December 5th, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Etsy Declares Memphis an “Official Maker City”
Memphis Flyer
Etsy, the online entity that enables entrepreneurs to sell their products internationally just designated Memphis as an official “Maker City”. Memphis is the fourth city to receive this title from Etsy. The announcement was made at the Century House in Downtown, Memphis, as roughly one hundred artisans gathered to celebrate the ongoing research conducted by Little Bird Innovations.

GeoAir Takes Top Prize in Vol Court Competition
Knoxville News Sentinel
GeoAir, a startup company founded by University of Tennessee MBA candidate Alex Adams, won top prize during the fall 2016 Vol Court Pitch Competition, beating 18 competitors in a competition hosted by UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. GeoAir gives a faster, more precise way to identify mold in fields by using a drone to take airborne samples of the field. The data is used to create a heat map, which identifies mold hot spots. This information allows growers to spot treat the areas instead of the entire crop, saving time, money and crop production.

Here’s How Investors Can Help Put the ‘United’ Back Into ‘United States’
Entrepreneur
Rarely have we been so divided as a country. This election was a referendum on that divide: rich vs. poor, urban vs. rural, us vs. other. A large segment of the country feels disconnected from the 21st century economy. In today’s digital age, manufacturing jobs have largely left the US, and emerging technologies like driverless vehicles threaten many of the remaining options for blue-collar employment.

Kauffman Foundation Awards $4.3 Million in Grants to Organizations that Support Women and Minority Entrepreneurs
Kauffman
While startup activity in the United States is slowly rising, women and minorities consistently have lower rates of entrepreneurship. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announces grants to a dozen nonprofit entrepreneur support organizations to help remedy that. The Inclusion Challenge grant program will award funds to the selected organizations to help female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color achieve higher rates of success.

Startup Includes Southernisms in English Lessons for Japanese Workers 
The Tennessean
When Japanese workers move to the Southeast, their language instruction will likely include greetings, Thanksgiving rituals and how to ask for directions. What it should teach is what “Roll Tide” means, how to enroll a child in school and how to obtain a driver’s license, lessons that all should include words not seen in grammar books — “gonna,” “shoulda,” “wanna” and “y’all.”

The 50 Coolest Coworking Spaces Across the Country
Paste Magazine
The growing demand for coworking spaces signals not only the end of cubicle life, but the rise of a New Working Order. More than ever, we have to take our lives and futures into our own hands. We have to be for something great – not just against someone terrible. We have to spend our energy building the future – not destroying each other. We have to do more than coexist – we have to connect. And we have to do more than care – we have to create.

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5 Reasons Tennessee is a Startup-Friendly State

Here at Launch Tennessee, we are honored to contribute to the energy around the entrepreneurial movement in the state, which has been growing exponentially each year. Given that Launch Tennessee just celebrated its fifth anniversary, I thought now would be a good time to talk about how far the state … read more

ARC’s POWER Grant

This week we were thrilled to learn that Launch Tennessee was selected to receive a $500,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). We have had a five year partnership with ARC and piloted many new entrepreneurial programs which have led to job creation, capital investment and workforce development in … read more