The Knoxville region must differentiate itself to compete effectively for entrepreneurship and economic growth. As three of the areas’ largest employers, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee want to help position our region for the future.
Significant potential remains for identifying our area’s assets as well as gaps that weaken the region’s appeal to innovation and entrepreneurial companies. ORNL, TVA and UT have partnered to commission Techstars, a global platform for investment and innovation, to provide third-party analysis of the Knoxville region’s potential for economic development, including areas of strength and areas to improve.
ABOUT THE ASSESSMENT
The Knoxville region competes nationally and internationally for the industries, jobs and work force that will allow the Knoxville region to thrive for the long-term.
Companies and entrepreneurs locate in communities where they can find skilled professionals in a variety of fields, community leadership that supports risk-taking and growth, and a quality of life that is attractive across generations.
HOW DOES IT WORK
The Techstars team will research the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem through extensive gathering of business metrics and one-on-one interviews. Techstars uses primary and secondary data collection, quantitative analysis, relationship mapping, and qualitative surveys. They will identify relationships that form around key institutions and individuals, and the values and other attributes that have been shown to drive performance. They also will identify a range of other sentiments and other characteristics associated with entrepreneurial success.
At the end of the assessment, Techstars will produce a written report summarizing its insights and identifying three to five key takeaways for area leaders to act upon. The assessment results and recommendations will help the community assess area strengths and gaps to fill for long-term sustainability of an innovation effort.
The study will be broad, focusing on high growth and scalable companies and their impact in a region. The overall goal of the assessment is to help the community as a whole to work more effectively together. We invite you to learn more about their approach.
WHAT WILL THE REPORT INCLUDE
The written report will include a summary of the current state of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region, a detailed “scorecard” of relevant parameters in the region, and a roadmap and recommendations for enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.
Once completed, the report will be presented at a public event.
The assessment will focus on the greater Knoxville region, with a primary focus on Knox, Anderson, Blount, and Roane counties. However, our secondary focus will include the other counties that, along with the four primary counties, constitute the Knoxville Metropolitan Area.
This wider, secondary focus concerns the use of any secondary data sources that are tabulated at the level of metropolitan areas.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS
To grow responsibly as a region, to become known as an attractive location for the industries of the future as well as a great place to live, we need lots of people thinking about it every day. Techstars’ analysis will help us to see the best way to align all of the resources and talents we already have, so we’re helping one another in a way that moves the region forward.
The ultimate goal of the work is to get a full and accurate account of the current state of the Knoxville entrepreneurial ecosystem. To that end, it will provide an objective set of facts and a shared understanding from which the community can come together and shape a well-informed strategy. The report will provide the evidence base needed to shape the right strategies that will lead to greater new company formation and job creation over the medium and long term.
The Techstars assessment provides an informed and expert perspective on the current state of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. In more than eight assessments that Techstars has conducted, those communities have found success in creating a clear and shared understanding of the opportunities and strengths. To learn more about Techstars, visit their website at www.techstars.com.
Individuals from across the community may be called upon to participate in the assessment interviews, secondary data requests, or surveys. You can help by making introductions, sharing perspectives or information about your organization, responding to surveys, or attending community events. Check out our kick-off.
We would love to speak with you as part of our assessment process! Schedule a time with our team here: https://calendly.com/knoxvilleecosystem
For more information on Techstars, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.