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Williamson Inc. boosts local entrepreneurship with Tennessee House at SXSW

Nathan Zipper, left, chief economic development officer at Williamson Inc., poses with Claire Crunk, founder and CEO of Trace Femcare, and Brentwood High School senior Anthony Beckett at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.
The Tennessee House debuted at this year’s South by Southwest festival and conference, with local students and entrepreneurs presenting promising new startups.

Launch Tennessee hosted the Tennessee House event at the Austin, Texas, festival in mid-March in partnership with Williamson Inc., Williamson County’s economic development agency.

Williamson Inc. Chief Economic Development Officer Nathan Zipper and Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development Nick Biniker worked closely with the team at Launch Tennessee to ensure that Williamson County was well-represented.

Launch Tennessee is a nonprofit group that supports the startup ecosystem through capital, connections and commercialization. It also offers summer internships to undergraduate and post-graduate students. Interns work in high-growth startups, venture capital firms and regional entrepreneur centers across Tennessee.

Nathan Zipper, left, chief economic development officer at Williamson Inc., poses with Claire Crunk, founder and CEO of Trace Femcare, and Brentwood High School senior Anthony Beckett at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.
Nathan Zipper, left, chief economic development officer at Williamson Inc., poses with Claire Crunk, founder and CEO of Trace Femcare, and Brentwood High School senior Anthony Beckett at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

“I was so proud that our team had the opportunity to help showcase two of Williamson County’s most important assets — Williamson County Schools and our incredibly impressive small business community,” Zipper said.

Williamson Inc. was created in 2012 with the goal of helping community members be productive, progressive and prosperous business professionals. It also has a program for high school students interested in entrepreneurship.

Brentwood High School senior Anthony Beckett, a student in the Williamson County Schools Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center program, impressed attendees with a compelling pitch for Markify, one of the many applications he has created.

“Presenting Markify at the Tennessee House during SXSW was an unforgettable experience,” Beckett said. “Making connections is paramount for any business endeavor and I appreciate the EIC, Williamson Inc., and Launch Tennessee for helping me make some great connections.”

Adding to the diversity of Williamson County-based companies represented at the conference was Claire Crunk, founder and CEO of Trace Femcare, and a tenant at Williamson Inc.’s Franklin Innovation Center. Trace Femcare, the world’s first fully traceable feminine care brand, exemplifies the groundbreaking work happening within Williamson County’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Williamson Inc.’s strategic collaborations continue to yield opportunities for businesses and students. To learn more about the Innovation Center and the enterprises it supports, visit FranklinInnovates.com.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Williamson Inc.’s Tennessee House promotes local entrepreneurs at SXSW

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