Disrupt the Continuum

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Ben Ferguson and Lisa Garner, cofounder and executive director of theCO, respectively, are proud that Jackson, Tennessee has become a regional hub for entrepreneurship and economic development. With theCO, they’re supporting rural entrepreneurship, providing technical training to students and elevating the stories of individuals who make their community one of a kind. In this episode, Ben and Lisa share some exciting updates on the work they’re doing in West Tennessee.
Heath Guinn, President and Executive Director of Sync Space, wants to prove that rural communities bring something special to the table when it comes to entrepreneurship. With Sync Space, he’s working to support startups and attract new companies to the Tri-Cities. Heath unpacks the mutually beneficial relationship he sees between entrepreneurs and rural communities, and he shares how Sync Space is making a difference as one of Launch Tennessee’s newest network partners.
Leslie Smith, Founding CEO of Epicenter Memphis and current national director for Gender Equality in Tech Cities, believes entrepreneurs are uniquely equipped to rise to the challenge in times of crisis. She’s worked hard to help build a collaborative entrepreneurship community that supports the whole city’s economic growth. Leslie offers an inside look at some of the secrets to Epicenter’s success and she explains how Launch Tennessee’s network of resources helps founders find support all across the state
Cortney Piper, Executive Director of Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, sees Tennessee’s advanced energy industry as a powerful force for economic development and job creation. In this episode, Cortney shares her vision for helping energy companies become global leaders, and she explains how TAEBC is partnering with Launch Tennessee to support startups.
Marcus Shaw, CEO of CO.LAB, wants people around the world to recognize Chattanooga’s appeal for growing successful companies. In this episode, Marcus explains how CO.LAB is helping startups of all sizes connect with the opportunities and resources they need, tapping into the unique advantages Tennessee offers entrepreneurs. He also shares why he’s optimistic that great innovation will grow out of the challenges of COVID-19.
Jeff Brown, cofounder, President and CEO of The Biz Foundry, believes rural communities have unique contributions to offer the startup world. He and The Biz Foundry Director of Outreach and Engagement Tiffany Anton discuss their efforts to support entrepreneurs in the Upper Cumberland region and share stories of startups that are changing their community and the world at large.
Jane Allen, CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and Vice President for Inclusion and Community Relations Brynn Plummer, believe Nashville is a city that was built on entrepreneurship. They explain how the NEC is helping entrepreneurs navigate the wealth of resources available to them, connecting people to the tools they need to start and grow a business. Jane also shares her vision for creating an ecosystem where successful entrepreneurs are empowered to give back to the startup community.
We’ve got your inside look at how LaunchTN’s statewide network and boots-on-the-ground startups are working to build Tennessee’s incredible entrepreneurial ecosystem. Leaders from across the state reveal why Tennessee continues to offer a competitive advantage for entrepreneurs looking to build and scale their businesses through statewide resources and strategic partnerships. These are the stories of LaunchTN’s community, collaborations, and the resilience of our state’s unique ecosystem.
The 2020 Legislative Reception took place during the last week of February, at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. It marked the beginning of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week, an annual event giving entrepreneurs and their supporters an opportunity to meet with Tennessee legislators and discuss issues most relevant to business growth. We were LIVE on-site to record this special episode of Disrupt the Continuum.
Alex West Steinman, CEO and cofounder of The Coven, illuminates the power of an inclusive and collaborative workspace. The Coven is a coworking space designed to give women, nonbinary, and trans professionals the resources they need to thrive — and Alex is excited to bring that magic to Nashville. She also tackles what entrepreneurs often get wrong about inclusivity, and shares her guidance for creating a company culture that works for everyone.
Angela Proffitt, an event and productivity consultant based in Nashville, shares her journey as an entrepreneur and unpacks some of the lessons she’s learned along the way. Angela dives into some of the productivity hacks and workflow strategies like scheduling weekly time to address specific tasks only, and lays out a roadmap of local resources and organizations where entrepreneurs can get plugged in and take their businesses to the next level.
Bellhops has disrupted the moving industry to become the nation’s fastest-growing moving company. Founder and CEO Cam Doody shares why Tennessee was the right place to seek venture capital for Bellhops, and explains why the Southeast is emerging as one of the most innovative ecosystems in the country.
Doug Speight, founder and chief innovation officer at AnnexTech Partners, believes the Southeast’s underrepresented talent is one of its greatest resources. Doug dives into what makes the region’s startup culture unique, and why it’s one of the most exciting places in the country to start a business.
Marcus Cobb, cofounder and CEO of Jammber, has built a team that’s rocketed Jammber to the cutting edge of the music industry. In this episode, Marcus shares the philosophy behind Jammber’s award-winning workplace, and explains how some of the most important lessons he’s learned as an entrepreneur have come from surviving mistakes made along the way.
Erica Grant and Lia Winter, rival pitch competition finalists at 36|86 Student Edition, discuss how they got their startups off the ground as students at UT Knoxville. In this episode, the innovators explain how they’re developing their products and building their businesses, and how organizations like LaunchTN can unlock doors and kickstart growth.
Kirsty Goodlett, Director of Ketner Group Communications’ Nashville office, sat down with us to unpack how to get your story out in a way that sticks. In this episode, Kirsty discusses the importance of staying relevant, highlights key resources businesses can use to boost visibility, and explains how to use customer data as a storytelling tool.
Founder Sarah Bellos sits with guest host Kevin Roddey of Pinnacle Financial Partners to discuss how her company Stony Creek Colors is bringing local and sustainable agriculture to revolutionize commercial fashion. In this episode, Bellos shares her experiences with the process of scaling her startup and how LaunchTN connected her with a vital network of resources to help her company grow.
In Season 2 of Disrupt the Continuum, you'll hear from innovators and thought leaders that make the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Tennessee flourish. This season we'll explore Tennessee's unique, thriving communities and hear about the programs and people that make LaunchTN a vital resource. Subscribe now from wherever you get your podcasts for Season 2 of Disrupt the Continuum – a LaunchTN podcast powered by Pinnacle Financial Partners.
Anne Driscoll, President and COO of Launch Pad, a network of coworking spaces, sat down with us at last year's 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival to discuss the importance of investing in entrepreneurial ecosystems on the rise. After years working for a tech giant in Silicon Valley, Driscoll now lends her energy and expertise to inspire entrepreneurs all over the country. She also shared the power of connecting ecosystems and the difference a collaborative community can make for entrepreneurs.
Founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, Arlan Hamilton, sat with us at last year’s 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival to discuss the work she’s doing to shine a light on the underestimated entrepreneurs of the world - founders who identify as women, people of color, and/or part of the LGBTQ community. Hamilton also shared why she believes venture capitalists often miss untapped potential by not investing in underrepresented talent and gave us a look at what she hopes is the future for diversifying the entrepreneur ecosystem as a whole.
36|86 Director Lindsey Cox takes us behind the scenes of LaunchTN’s upcoming festival to highlight what makes 36|86 vital for entrepreneurs of all stages and backgrounds.
We caught up with Matt Rogers, co-founder and product developer of Pure Sodaworks, at last year’s 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival to learn how Pure Sodaworks landed its first high-volume distribution deal with Cracker Barrel. Rogers shared the ups and downs of growing his business from a mobile soda fountain in Chattanooga to the award-winning craft soda establishment it is today, and urged fellow entrepreneurs to take their time to build their brands rather than scaling their businesses before they’re ready.
Rei Wang, former CEO of First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund, sat down with us backstage at last year’s 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival. We chatted about the VC landscape and spent some time unpacking opportunities Dorm Room Fund is creating for student entrepreneurs. Also on the agenda: the potential for creative collaboration in a university setting, and why a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem is key for innovation.
Mollie Lacher, CEO and founder of Sunny Care Services, shared her entrepreneurial journey with us – from personal loss to professional gain. Backstage at last year’s 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, Lacher opened up about the growing need for advocacy and authenticity throughout the entrepreneurial communities, and the support she received from network partners to help direct her to the right resources she needed to start her own business.
Former CEO of the Nashville Fashion Alliance Van Tucker joined us backstage at the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival last year to discuss how the emerging independent fashion industry has become a significant economic driver throughout the state of Tennessee. Tucker also shared her experiences using collaborative networks to maneuver the ecosystem and why it’s crucial for fashion companies to “cross-pollinate” with related businesses like agriculture, manufacturing and even music to find creative solutions to common industry problems.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Launch Tennessee
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Mar 10th, 2019
Latest Episode
Oct 27th, 2020
Release Period
2 per month
Episodes
29
Avg. Episode Length
20 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic

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