By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

A group of Knoxville entrepreneurs is teaming-up to host a non-coding hackathon as part of “Innov865 Week.”

The effort, led by Brandon Bruce, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Cirruspath, adopts the concept of a hackathon, where developers write code for a software product like an app in a short period. Instead of developing an app, however, the focus will be on jumpstarting a concept or business.

“People think you can build an awesome product and customers will find it,” Bruce explained. “That’s not the way it usually works.”

The four-hour program, dubbed the “Growth Hackathon,” will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. September 20 at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

Joining Bruce in planning and delivering the experience are Austin Church, Founder of Wunderbar, and John Montouri, Digital Sales Manager and Sales Coach for Gannett.

“Attendees will develop a growth strategy for their idea and execute on growth tactics in real-time during the intensive hands-on workshop,” Bruce said. “It will be a series of quick turns.”

The four-hour block includes sessions on engagement with potential customers, proposal development, writing of blog posts, and cultivation of potential partners.

“We literally want them to get in front of customers to discuss their ideas,” Bruce explained. “It’s designed to help them jumpstart their business. There will be a bunch of work to do after the session.”

The “Growth Hackathon” is open to anyone who wants to attend. For more information including access to a registration site, click here.

(Note: This article appeared previously on, a web-based service that was launched to spotlight and celebrate “all things” related to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in East Tennessee.)