By Charlie Brock, for the Tennessean

"Back in January, I wrote aboutTennessee’s unique accelerator network and the collaborative statewide efforts to support the nine regional entities.

Tennessee’s statewide accelerator network, as we know it today, has been in existence for almost two years. The network was kicked off in 2012 as part of Gov. Haslam’s Jobs4TN plan with the goal of spurring more entrepreneurship across the state.

Now that we are two years out from Gov. Haslam’s announcement, let’s take a look at how far we have come, as well as the future of entrepreneurship and the accelerator network.

Since January 2012, Tennessee’s regional accelerators have screened and assisted more than 2,200 companies. An additional 230 companies went on to become graduates from their respective “cohort” programs. More than 1,000 events have been held promoting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, and perhaps most importantly, the accelerator-assisted companies have raised more than $48 million in capital and created more than 1,300 jobs. The network has greatly evolved over the past two years to truly harness both the internal and regional strengths. As a result, the output numbers mentioned above are continuing to increase by the day.

Like any entrepreneur looking to constantly enhance their product, over the past eight months we have been engaged with our accelerator leaders to review our initial results and consider how the network should look going forward. We believe our new structure, what we have coined “Accelerator 2.0,” is primed to maximize the opportunities, resources and outcomes for all nine accelerators."

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