A Recap of 2018 from theCO

A Recap of 2018 from theCO

It’s time again to reflect on all the goings on from the past year at theCO!  Last year we saw some impressive growth from many of our members’ businesses, and this year we tried to take a page out of their business strategy books. We have tripled the size of our team in 2018, adding many new positions and expanding theCO in some amazing ways.

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Introducing theVenture

Introducing theVenture

Driving Innovation is a program launched by theCO in October of 2017, but it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that it really came into full swing. January was the start of a lot of new things for theCO, and the different buses that make up Driving Innovation were no exception, each having their own specific undertaking. theLab, the first of these buses, focuses on STEM education and has been visiting various kid’s camps, festivals, high schools, and colleges since this spring. Now finishing their second creation, theVenture, Driving Innovation is shifting its focus to small business owners and entrepreneurs for this specific bus. The end goal is to have three unique buses altogether, but the last one is still in the process of being developed.

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Introducing: Driving Innovation

Introducing: Driving Innovation

Starting this month, theCO is launching one of their best-kept secrets.

Using a grant from Governor Haslam’s Rural Task Force, theCO has been stripping out the insides of RVs to transform them into mobile platforms devoted to informing, equipping, and preparing our rural communities for emerging jobs. They’re calling the project “Driving Innovation.”

“Within the scope of our contract with the state of Tennessee, we will go to all nineteen distressed counties and half of the at-risk counties,” explained Bria Pittman, Program and Outreach Manager for Driving Innovation. “The purpose is to take resources to those communities. . . . So we’ll be rolling on in, literally.”

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2017: Another Great Year in the Books!

2017: Another Great Year in the Books!

Every December I write this article reflecting on the moments, milestones, and amazing people that made 2017 a year to remember. From announcing another Best in the West business competition winner to accepting a state-funded grant in which we have been tasked with turning forty-foot motorhomes into rolling innovation labs, it’s been an extremely busy year for theCO.

However, overlooking the mistakes, the loses, and the setbacks for the year would be naive of us as an entrepreneur development center. Some of the greatest achievements and growth can be traced back to times of failure, and that’s perfectly okay! We’ve seen great ideas and potential businesses put on the back burner this year and understand that life gets in the way sometimes. Just know that theCO is here to help. Ask us questions, and tell us about your struggles. We want nothing more than to see you grow personally and help your business grow as well.

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