News Flash

Bristol News

Posted on: April 30, 2019

4-30-19 Bristol and Startup Tri-Cities team up to bring Austin startup scene to the region

TRI-CITIES, TN: The Cities of Bristol, TN and VA and the Bristol Chamber of Commerce have teamed up with Startup Tri-Cities, a local entrepreneur organization, to bring a piece of the vibrant Austin, Texas startup community to our region. The 2019 Small Business Festival is a collaboration between small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the many supporting organizations that bring innovation and growth to our region.


Serving as a culminating event for National Small Business Week, the festival will take place May 9 –11. Events will be hosted across the Tri-Cities with a focus on providing actionable information to help anyone start and grow their businesses. Individuals curious about any type of small business are welcome. By combining retail, service, and technology companies together, amazing things happen as they share their experiences. The festival also provides our region with the opportunity to highlight the excellent programs and services already available to local entrepreneurs, and provides valuable exposure for our local subject matter experts. Selections from the festival lineup include:


Thursday, May 9:

9am: Thursday begins with a kickoff event at Bristol Motor Speedway with featured entrepreneur and speaker Jose Castillo, of NASCAR Trackside Live, who will be speaking on “The Birth of an Idea” which will inspire your creative side.

Afternoon: Workshops on how to start and grow a business will be held in Johnson City.

6:30pm: The fourth annual Pitches and Pints, the region’s largest open “Shark Tank”-like competition, will put aspiring entrepreneurs against the clock to pitch their ideas in 5-minutes or less for a chance to win cash prizes. Free finger foods, local craft beer, and audience participation are part of this year’s event.


Friday, May 10:

9am: Friday begins with a kick off breakfast in Kingsport’s Inventor Center, a new facility to help anyone build a prototype, learn about entrepreneurship, and engage our youth in hands on STEM education.

Afternoon: Workshops on how to start and grow a business will be held in Kingsport’s Inventor Center.

5:30pm: Entrepreneurial Networking Social will be held in downtown Kingsport to connect small businesses together, share stories, and learn from one another.


Saturday, May 11:

9am-5pm: All day in downtown Bristol, local entrepreneurs, business leaders, and supporting organizations will gather at the Foundation Event Facility on State Street to provide inspirational talks, workshops, and detailed information on how to start and grow your business. The focus of this main event is to provide all businesses with valuable tools to take their existing business to the next level with actionable information. For those thinking of starting a new venture, Saturday will have the information you need on how to get started in entrepreneurship in the Tri-Cities, as well as on pitfalls to avoid.


“When local entrepreneurs get together and openly share their experiences, challenges, and successes, amazing things happen economically for the region’s growth and development,” said David Nelson, entrepreneur and Startup Tri-Cities member. He added, “Bristol and Startup Tri-Cities invite everyone with an interest or experience in entrepreneurship to join them at the Small Business Festival.”


This festival is a free event to all attendees and refreshments will be provided at select events.


To learn more about the 2019 Small Business Festival and to view the full schedule as events and speakers are added, visit www.startuptri.com/sbf2019. For more information, about Startup Tri-Cities, contact David Nelson at info@startuptri.com.



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