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Class to teach TCAT students how to start own businessess

From Staff Reports

Students and graduates of TCAT Elizabethton will learn how to start their own business from the director and assistant director of the ETSU Innovation Lab at 1 p.m. June 22. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the Administration Building at the TCAT Main Campus, 426 Highway 91 North, Elizabethton.

Innovation Lab Director Dr. Audrey Depelteau and Assistant Director Liz Lewis will discuss business incubation with a focus on the essential elements of creating a business model.

“In addition to the technology-based residential members, the ETSU Innovation Lab has assisted approximately 50 individuals and companies, including medical device developers, neutraceutical companies, farmers, students, etc. in developing their business model,” Depelteau said. “Because starting a business is never predictable, ever changing and an adventure, the title of the presentation at TCAT will be A Walk on the Wild Side,”

Several recent graduates of TCAT Elizabethton programs in automotive, electricity, HVAC, and computer information technology have started their own business, according to TCAT Director Dean Blevins. Eleven training programs at TCAT Elizabethton may be completed in 12 to 20 months.

“Lessons learned from the ETSU Innovation Lab will go a long way in helping TCAT students be successful as they consider job opportunities in the workplace,” Blevins said.  

The ETSU Innovation Lab is a high-tech business incubator. Among business incubators, 54 percent are mixed-use, 37 percent are technology, six percent have a service/niche, i.e. art, kitchen, and three percent are manufacturing, Depelteau said. The Innovation Lab is one of 31 incubators worldwide that has received the prestigious International Soft Landings Designation to recruit and assist international companies as they enter the United States market.

Contact the ETSU Innovation Lab at 439-8500, visit or contact TCAT Elizabethton at 543-0070 or visit for additional information.