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October 12, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENN – TennSMART, a public-private statewide consortium with a vision to elevate Tennessee to the forefront of smart mobility solutions, today announced that Bryan Barringer will serve as the organization’s first-ever director of entrepreneurship and commercialization. Barringer, a serial entrepreneur and seasoned mentor, will use the position to encourage Tennessee entrepreneurs to solve automotive industry challenges and put Tennessee on the leading edge of technology and smart infrastructure development.

“We are thrilled to have Bryan manage this new portfolio for TennSMART,” said Rich Davies, board president of TennSMART and director of the Sustainable Transportation Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “As the state seeks to position itself as a leader for future mobility research and development, investment in early-stage companies and innovative entrepreneurs will be essential. Bryan has proven himself to be more than capable of sparking a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

As the director of entrepreneurship and commercialization, Barringer will oversee several programs for TennSMART funded by a grant from Launch Tennessee. He will manage and serve as the lead Entrepreneur in Residence for the Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network, a structured program offering startup founders strategic business, marketing, and financial expertise from industry mentors.

Barringer will also launch an Automotive & Smart Mobility Challenge, a 12-week accelerator program that gives participants hands on experience in commercialization and entrepreneurship with intellectual property developed at Tennessee’s leading research institutions, and a Reverse Pitch program between universities, entrepreneur centers and TennSMART members.

“Bryan’s experience working directly with founders and startups, coupled with his enthusiasm for the work, make him a great addition to one of our newer network partners,” said Lindsey Cox, CEO, LaunchTN. “We are excited to see how TennSMART’s new programs will spark more entrepreneurship in this fast-growing industry.”

Barringer brings more than three decades of experience in startup life to this role. He has helped startup founders plan, establish, execute and scale their concepts to form viable companies with solid product-market fit. He has also developed and delivered entrepreneurial curriculum that address the knowledge and skill gaps of aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators.

Prior, Barringer was the director of entrepreneurship and innovation for Christian Brothers University in Memphis. He was also the director of the 800 Initiative, a public-private partnership that assisted over 2,000 minority-owned businesses with an active portfolio of 55 firms receiving ongoing entrepreneurial support in the form of programs, curriculum, talent and capital from public and private sources.

“I am honored and excited to take on this role for TennSMART,” said Barringer. “There is a robust pipeline of major automotive and transportation companies doing business in Tennessee. I look forward to working with our research institutions and TennSMART members to ensure Tennessee’s entrepreneurs can tap into the vast network of resources to build and scale innovative companies.”

To learn more about TennSMART’s entrepreneurship and innovation programs, visit

About TennSMART

TennSMART is a public-private consortium encompassing a growing number of organizations working together to assess, develop, and deploy new intelligent mobility innovations that could change how America transports people and goods. The consortium serves as a forum for organizations to share knowledge and leverage resources related to connected and autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, cybersecurity, freight efficiency, and multi-modal commuting. TennSMART members also engage governments, academic institutions, and industry about the importance of investment in smart mobility technologies and their role in job creation, as well as position Tennessee as a model for other states. For more information, visit


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