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April 2nd, 2014

April 2nd, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Memphis Daily News: Ignite Memphis Doubling Event Capacity
Ignite Memphis, an event at which Memphis creatives give a series of slide-based presentations on a range of diverse topics, sold out its gathering in November. That’s why the next incarnation of Ignite is more than doubling its venue capacity by moving from Crosstown Arts to Playhouse on the Square, where 12 speakers next week will challenge, inform and perhaps inspire the crowd that’s come to hear them…“Since its beginnings in Memphis, Ignite has always emphasized the importance of creativity and innovation,” said Undercurrent founder Patrick Woods. “Ignite Memphis has become a catalyst for entrepreneurs, executives, nonprofit leaders and artists to get in a room together to be challenged and inspired. It’s where the people who are making things happen come to connect and learn.”

Tennessean: Fetch founder learns hard lessons in Vine’s wake
Hoffman and his team are back with a new app, Fetch, and they are seeing much faster adoption rates than with Kiwi. Through Fetch, users create a message or drawing with the stroke of their finger and send to friends, offering a more personalized, thoughtful alternative to a text or Tweet. Hoffman describes it as a greeting card-like application used to brighten someone’s day through a message that is easy to create and has personality…”To make something habit forming, I’ve realized, is the hardest thing in the world,” Hoffman said. “This happened organically.”

Times Free Press: Top startups: Jonathan Susman wins 48Hour Launch with Adagio mobile app
Jonathan Susman, brain behind Adagio, a mobile application positioned to turn music education on its head, was taker of first place at this year’s 48Hour Launch, the weekend-long startup incubator hosted by The Company Lab…Mike Bradshaw, executive director of The Company Lab, said he wasn’t sure he still had it in him to do these weekend-long launches. But there’s maybe more reason now than ever to be re-energized about Chattanooga’s presence in the startup community. At this year’s 48Hour Launch, a firm from Atlanta came up to participate. That’s Atlanta, with a metro population of nearly 5.5 million and a plethora of small business incubators. And still, Chattanooga fished one of the Big Peach’s own away. “Isn’t it beautiful?” said Bradshaw. Size is part of the reason he believes Chattanooga is in some cases a more attractive location for startups. “Being a smaller city actually provides, in some cases, better opportunities, because you have a better chance to get noticed,” he said.

National Innovation in the News

Forbes: Behind Closed Doors: What To Expect Inside A Startup Accelerator
Startups fail everyday. Because smart entrepreneurs know this, they seek help. Mentors, advisors, peer group entrepreneurs, business courses, masterminds and accelerators are a few options. In fact, according to TechCrunch there are roughly 170 accelerators worldwide. Media darlings like 500 Startups, TechStars and Y Combinator churn out big successes and sometimes colossal failures — but rarely is there a peek behind closed doors of what an accelerator is and what it can do for your startup business. So in search of answers, Robert Wallace, Executive Vice President of Tallwaveshares key insights on how it works.

GeekWire: Boom times: Venture capitalists pour $15 billion into startups in Q1
We’ve officially hit the end of the first quarter, and with that comes data about venture capital investments. The first out is PitchBook, which notes that $15.4 billion was invested in 1,348 deals during the quarter. That’s up from about $12 billion in 1,856 deals for the same period last year…Even so, the number of exits and dollars associated with those exits dropped during the first quarter when compared to the fourth quarter, though they were up when compared to the first quarter of last year. However, the number of IPOs during the first quarter — 72 — was a quarterly high not seen since 2000, reports Fortune.

NPR: Never Too Late: More Older Adults Sold On Entrepreneurship
Business creation by older Americans grew more than 60 percent between 1996 and 2012, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Dane Stangler, the foundation’s vice president of research and policy, says that’s partly because of the aging of the huge boomer generation. He says technology has also made it easier to start a business, including going online to incorporate the business, among other things…Older entrepreneurs have some advantages that don’t have much to do with technology, says Edward Rogoff, chairman of the department of management at Baruch College. They have more money and a network of contacts they can turn into orders or customers. “They bring a lot to the table,” Rogoff says.


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