March 9, 2021

100Knoxville Announces First Cohort


Amanda O'dell


Following a virtual launch event on January 20th that drew more than 150 attendees including the mayors of Knoxville and Memphis, 100Knoxville kicked off its inaugural 5x5x5 program on Monday, March 8th.

The 5x5x5 program brings together 5 Black-owned companies for a 5-week business development sprint with $5,000 for each entrepreneur to invest toward growing their company thanks to a $25,000 grant from TVA.

The program attracted more than 125 applications. The 5 companies in the first cohort are:

Deidra Harper, B&B Services
• Lee Sloan, Hand N Hand
• Jade Adams, Oglewood Avenue
• Reuben Mitchell, NACI Corporation
• Sterling Henton, Rev It Up

100Knoxville volunteer mentors will work with these companies for the 5-week program. Dozens of mentors have offered their time, talent, and expertise including core mentors:

Angelique Adams, Chief Innovation and R&D Officer, Aperam

Richard Dapaah, Executive in Residence, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center

Nadim Jubran, Entrepreneur and partner in Capstone Concepts; Vice-Chair of Entrepreneurship/Small Business at the Knoxville Chamber

Tommy Smith, VP of Ackermann Marketing & PR

Matt Padgett, President of Keystone Mortgage

Damon Rawls, Principal Strategist, Damon Rawls Consulting Group

Jim Biggs, Executive Director, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center

Brandon Bruce, Chair, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center

The program’s goal is to clarify strategy, improve operations, and lay the groundwork for a measurable and sustainable increase in revenue for each company. 100Knoxville will also be assisting the other companies that applied to the program and aims to have future cohorts of the 5x5x5 program.

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