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Accelerator aims to grow tech companies in East Tennessee

June 3, 2021 GMT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee System are partnering with Techstars to launch a startup accelerator that aims to grow 30 technology companies over three years.

Techstars’ Industries of the Future Accelerator will specialize in startups that solve problems using a variety of things including clean energy, artificial intelligence and digital currency, the Knoxville News Sentine l reports.

Leaders at the East Tennessee facilities say partnering with a firm that has helped startups grow into billion-dollar ventures is the beginning of a larger plan for the area to become a national destination for entrepreneurs, investors and a skilled workforce.

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“We believe this is a start of a future collaboration,” UT System President Randy Boyd told Knox News. “Working together, we can make a profound impact in the community. I think Techstars is a great project by itself, but maybe the bigger story is this new degree of collaboration between these three organizations.”

The three entities will share the $9 million cost of the accelerator.