Who We Are
We are a nonprofit organization designed to act as a catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Upper Cumberland region.
We work within the 14 counties of the
Upper Cumberland region in Tennessee:
Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White.
We offer workshops and events that support entrepreneurs
with the tools and resources they need:
education, networking, peer support,
mentorship and access to capital.
We promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation:
encourage collaboration, welcome change, recognize opportunity, accept and learn from failure, and embrace technology.
We aim to expand the regional economy by assisting new and/or existing businesses that address large or new markets and have high growth potential. In fact, 2/3 of all new jobs come from companies less than 5 years old. These entrepreneurial successes bring jobs, create wealth that build more vibrant economies and communities.
Jeff Brown - Executive Director/President
Jeff brings 25 years of entrepreneurial experience to the organization. Jeff has started and managed five different businesses through the years including, a large real estate operation, a development company, a construction company, a mortgage operation, and a full service insurance business. Jeff is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University (TTU), has been President of a local Rotary, President of the local Association of Realtors, a director for the Knoxville Association of Realtors, and has been a county commissioner for 10 years. He is an outspoken advocate and evangelist for entrepreneurship and is known for his ability to connect partners and garner support for various initiatives.
Cherry Daugherty - Administrator
Cherry has 27 years of experience in financial management, administration, grant management, and program administration. Cherry has held the position of Finance Director for Cumberland County, served as an administrative assistant to the County Mayor, and as a Counselor/Placement professional with the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development in our region. Cherry is well connected in the economic development community and committed to entrepreneurship.
Mike Ames - Program Manager
Mike recently moved to the Upper Cumberland area from Atlanta and joined The Biz Foundry team in March. He will be focused on developing our Mentorship Program, filling the Events Calendar, and expanding our Co.Starters Program reach. Mike has an MBA from The University of Michigan, more than 30 years of management experience, including 10+ years at The Coca-Cola Company, and several years experience in senior operations roles at start-ups, turn-arounds, and internet-based product & service companies. In 2013, he started his own business coaching company, The Biz Garage, and has since been active in mentoring in the startup community and at local hackathons in the Atlanta area.
Want to join the team? We are always looking for volunteers and interns.
Contact us to learn more.
Contact us to learn more.