Bridging Research and Practice Event Focuses on Support Networks for Entrepreneurs

October 12, 2023

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI), housed in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, recently held its first ACEI Bridging Research and Practice event, “Building Internal and External Support Networks.” This inaugural event in the ACEI Bridging Research and Practice series focused on why and how entrepreneurs should create support networks to help them launch, maintain and grow their ventures.

Networking and Discussions Yield Enriching Insights

Entrepreneurship professionals and researchers from various industries came together to network and learn from each other’s experiences. The interactive discussion included Haslam faculty, staff and students and representatives from UT’s Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development and the UT Research Foundation, along with members of Knoxville’s entrepreneurship and innovation community.

The event’s centerpiece was a discussion hosted by Melissa Cardon, research director for ACEI. Cardon was joined by several panelists, including Angelique Adams, CEO of Angelique Adams Media Solutions, LLC; Jessica Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship and ACEI Research Fellow; Timothy Munyon, associate professor in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship and Ray and Joan Myatt Research Fellow; and Gary Pratt (HCB, ‘77), CEO of Surgical Review Corporation.

“The panelists provided fantastic insights into their personal experiences and research evidence about issues related to founders and co-founders, early employees and advisors and ecosystems that can support them,” Cardon says. “We wanted attendees to learn something new — and they did.”

The Bridging Research and Practice series supports the ACEI’s research mission of forging connections between academics and practitioners, particularly by connecting UT researchers with Knoxville’s entrepreneurship community. “Our goal is to bring our best academic knowledge and research to people who can benefit the most from it,” Cardon says.

The next Bridging Research and Practice event is planned for spring 2024.

About the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

ACEI is a university-based resource for entrepreneurship across the region and the state of Tennessee. Its mission is to foster an entrepreneurial culture at UT and across the state by developing student skills, providing experiential learning opportunities, conducting meaningful entrepreneurial research and connecting students with mentors and resources that enable them to successfully start and grow new businesses.


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist,