Well, it is an entrepreneur center, coworking space, and general front door for
entrepreneurship and innovation. We help people imagine new ideas, get their ideas off the ground and help existing business owners grow. Hence, our tag line: Imagine, Start, Grow.
I could write volumes on what we do in an average month, but I want to take a minute to talk about the why. One of the best books on innovation and company building is Simon Sinek's: Start With Why.
Entrepreneurship is a very important leg of economic development and community growth. You can't be one of the cool kids without new businesses starting as older ones close. It is a bit like the birth rate. New businesses need to be started to replace ones that close. New businesses create jobs, build wealth, and add to the vibrancy of a community. New businesses, both small and large, are part of keeping an area relevant in a never changing world. Unfortunately, rural areas have seen a tremendous decline in new business starts since the 80's.
We started The Biz Foundry, a non-profit organization, to help build the entrepreneurial, creative and innovation ecosystem in the Upper Cumberland region. Technology allows rural innovators the chance to build companies that can grow quickly and help change the social and economic picture in ways that just couldn't be done 20 years ago. We believe that it can be done here. We receive support from LaunchTN and the TN Department of Economic development and we are part of a statewide network of six Entrepreneur Centers throughout the the state.
We believe that it takes a village. Entrepreneurs need communities, governments, bankers, attorneys, CPA's, a talented workforce, universities, investors, existing businesses and other entrepreneurs to help them. We need investors and other non-traditional sources of capital. We need mentors that have been there and done that to help others along the way. (We believe your football coach should have played a little football!) Everyone should have a seat of the table of this ecosystem, but entrepreneurs and innovators have to lead it. Entrepreneurship is not a zero sum game. When local entrepreneurs win, everyone wins!
Finally, what do we do?
We run programs to help people work on their idea or business, not just in it. Most importantly, we connect a lot of dots to get everyone the help they need when they need it. We do entrepreneurial boot camps, workshops on everything from marketing to insurance, events that get starters and doers in the room together, run mentoring programs, offer technologies for creators to use, help with access to capital, use our network to help you move faster and get paying customers, and we provide you with a place that you will be surrounded by others that think like you and hopefully make the entire process a lot less terrifying. Oh, we also have awesome freshly ground coffee.
This is not all we do, but it is a good sample.
I hope this answers a bit about what we do and why we do it.
If you want to know more you can always email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, check us out at www.thebizfoundry.org or call me at
931-248-7014. Join us in doing cool things.