For the record: Launch Tennessee aims to revise statutory charter

Milt Capps

For the record: Launch Tennessee aims to revise statutory charter | Mark Norris, Charlie Brock, Bob Rolfe, TTDC, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, State of Tennessee, state government, economic development, ECD, Economic and Community Development, Randy Boyd, Launch Tennessee, LaunchTN,

LAUNCH TENNESSEE, the assumed name of the nonprofit officially chartered as Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC), seeks to amend its statement of objectives.

Its board of directors is next scheduled to address the matter via telephone conference, March 16.

The changes sought are described by Launch Tennessee staff as bringing the statute governing Launch Tennessee -- a nonprofit agent of sponsor Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) -- into tighter alignment with the organization's current priorities and activities, which have shifted significantly since the organization's founding.

Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock most recently reported to ECD Commissioner Randy Boyd, who was chairman of the organization's board of directors.

Bob Rolfe recently succeeded Boyd as ECD Commissioner and Rolfe seems likely to become the next chair of the LaunchTN/TTDC board.

Venture Nashville was provided relevant documents by representatives of both Launch Tennessee and ECD, who responded separately to our simultaneous formal Public Records Requests.

The documents provided and available here:

  1. TTDC's amended (2009) Corporate Charter, in which developing science and technology and fostering technology transfer, commercialization, entrepreneurship and quality improvement, etc., are emphasized.
  2. A recent Launch Tennessee iteration of its request for legislation in 2017, including changes in responsibilities for the organization, with emphasis on strengthening the state's entrepreneurial ecosystem and capital formation capacity, etc.
  3. A prior 2016 TTDC draft of a request for legislation amending the organization's charter.

A Launch Tennessee representative said Feb. 23 that the organization was at that point working with State Sen. Mark Norris (R-32-Tipton/Shelby Cty) to advance related legislation.

Legislation originally defining TTDC was passed in 1997, the corporation was chartered with the Secretary of State in March 1998 and its first full year of operation was in 1999.

This story will be updated, as warranted. VNC