In June 2006, a consortium of academic professionals, businesspeople, PK-12 educators, Chambers of Commerce and government was formed in response to a challenge issued by U.S. Sixth District Congressman Bart Gordon. Congressman Gordon, Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology called for a coordinated effort to bring technology-based ideas and concepts forward to be developed, tested and introduced to the marketplace, all in order to create jobs and expand economic development. Congressman Gordon offered the assistance of his Committee on Science on an ongoing basis to aid in this effort.
More than 40 representatives began meeting monthly to talk, review resources, share information about current technology-based projects, attend additional related conferences and meetings, and determine the best way forward. During this discovery period, the group, chaired by businesswoman Andrea J. Loughry, functioned under the name of Middle Tennessee Technology Council and was staffed by the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. Oak Ridge National Laboratory awarded a grant to the consortium for the development stage.
In February 2007, the consortium held a day-long visioning forum, from which a nine-member Task Force was formed. The initial task force members were:
- Andrea J. Loughry, Retired Business Owner
- Dr. Leslie Wisner-Lynch, Biomimetic Therapeutics
- Elliot Dawson, Bioventures, Inc.
- Tom Ballard, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Holly Sears, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development
- Jerome Terrell, Tennessee Valley Authority
- Susan Elkins, Tennessee Technological University
- Dr. Don Daniel, University of Tennessee Space Institute
- Dr. Robert Carlton, Middle Tennessee State University Astronomy & Physics
In September 2008, the first Executive Director of Mind2Marketplace, Sandy Ponder was hired. The board of directors was formed in early 2009.
Current Board of Directors:
- Chuck Shoopman, Assistant Vice President, UT Institute for Public Service
- Tim Choate, President/CEO, Bondware Inc.
- Faye Johnson, Assistant to Provost, Middle Tennessee State University
- Patrick Geho, State Executive Director - TSBDC at MTSU
- Brian Robertson (Chair), Director of IT for Rutherford County Government
- Paul Jennings, UT Center for Industrial Services
- Janie Robbins, TTU EPRD, Associate Director, Southern Region
- Murat Arik, Business and Economic Research Center, Jones College of Business, MTSU