Bundled Together Success

It’s likely your feeds have been filled with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups facing the dismaying effects of COVID-19. In February 2020, LaunchTN partnered with ItsBundled, a Tennessee-based startup founded by Courtney Jones, to expand the Bundled Initiative that connects startups to immediate resources that can help them accomplish their next milestone. The Appalachian Regional Commission funded the continued expansion of the project that awarded seven East Tennessee companies access to the vetted Bundled service providers right as the pandemic reached US soil: 490 BioTech, Aysha’s Friends, BeforeWeBegin, EDP Biotech, Origami Day, PowerUpFitness, and Vayska.

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Bundled aggregates vendors on behalf of startups by connecting them to vetted service providers who share a passion for seeing growth in early-stage companies and who offer preferred rates. Bundled service providers offer a wide range of expertise including legal, accounting, marketing/branding, technology development, and much more. Bundled Project Managers work as an important ally in the process by identifying potential service providers and negotiating preferred rates. They also work directly with the selected startups to develop a scope of work and facilitate the connection to the service provider who is best suited to help them achieve measurable milestones.

Our East Tennessee network partners help select startups from the application submissions. The selected startups are awarded prepaid units that they can utilize with Bundled vendors to accomplish their next milestone and guarantee maximum impact.

COVID-19 challenged PowerUp Fitness and founder Stacey Baugues to figure out a way to pivot her traditionally in-person physical fitness programs for kids amid a new socially-distant environment. With Bundled units in hand, Stacey utilized her units to create a package of 15 videos available for purchase online.

Founder Brandon McKinney of Vayska worked with ARO Creative to curate a stunning digital marketing rebrand to showcase their hydration packs, meant for wearer’s to “#PaintYourAdventure.”

“My natural tendency is to think things will never turn out as good as everyone makes them sound or as good as they ought to be. In this case, Bundled and ARO exceeded expectations.” Vayska’s video campaign looks like a commercial ready to air before the Super Bowl.

LaunchTN’s investment (supported by ARC) in the highly customizable Bundled Initiative is unique because while it provides an immediate impact on the selected startups’ ability to scale it is also investing in the growth of our Tennessee-based service providers. Especially in the COVID environment, recovery efforts must be inclusive and generate positive economic impacts. Over 40% of the Tennessee-based Bundled service providers are women, minority, or veteran-owned.

Not only is Bundled a win for entrepreneurs, but also for vetted service providers that have a history of working with startups. Frank Williamson, CEO of Oaklyn Consulting worked with EDP Biotech and their development and commercialization of immunodiagnostic tests including their new COVID-19 antibody tests to create a due diligence package for potential investors.

The Bundled Initiative is accepting applications for startups in East Tennessee from Aug. 11-31. Apply today!

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Empowering Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and working to make TN the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Host of 36|86 Festival | launchtn.org

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