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April 24th, 2014

April 24th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Press Release: UT Martin student team to compete April 25-26 for national Agricultural Innovation Prize
Martin, Tenn. — Three University of Tennessee at Martin students will compete for the national Agricultural Innovation Prize, April 25-26, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Agriculture majors Shawn Butler, of Jackson, Austin Scott, of Hickory Valley, and Daniel Wiggins, of Friendship, will compete in a 30-team field that includes MIT, Yale, Harvard, Penn State, Purdue and other nationally known universities. According to its website, the Agricultural Innovation Prize encourages “cutting-edge technology in agricultural and food systems.” The site notes that the Ag Prize “seeks students who are interested in transforming global food systems into one that facilitates sufficiency and resilience.”

Memphis Daily News: Start Co. names new managing director
Mara Lewis has been named managing director of Start Co. Lewis originally joined Start Co. in 2013 to lead the organization’s Upstart accelerator, which works with women-owned companies. In her new role, she will primarily be responsible for building business and investment relationships around the U.S. Lewis previously was an entrepreneur-in-residence for Start Co., working in Memphis and San Francisco.

Nashville Business Journal: Veterans share tips for entrepreneurial success
If you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur, you need to be certain that’s what you want to do, be prepared to work long hours and shift the direction of your company if needed and always stay focused on finding a supply of customers who want to buy what you’re selling. Those are a few of the takeaways from a panel Thursday morning at  E|Spaces coworking space in Belle Meade, featuring three successful Nashville entrepreneurs:Nicholas Holland, founder and CEO of Populr.me and founder of CentreSourceInc.; Martin Renkis, founder and CEO ofSmartvue Corp.; and David Benskin, founder and CEO of  Wealth Access.

Tennessee Today: UT Hosts Inaugural Manufacturing Executive Summit May 2
Manufacturing is gaining momentum nationwide, creating jobs, and it is expected to grow faster than the overall US economy, according to the latest quarterly economic forecast from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. The College of Business Administration recognizes this game-changing resurgence and is using its supply chain and manufacturing expertise to shape the industry and inspire change. UT will host the inaugural Executive Summit for Manufacturing Leaders on May 2. The event will be in Room 602 of the James A. Haslam II Business Building, 1000 Volunteer Blvd.

National Innovation in the News

Quartz: The technology behind tech startups is now their least essential part
From a technical point of view there isn’t much difference between Instagram, Path, Oink, Hipster, or a bunch of other companies that all do essentially the same things. Mobile, social, photo apps that include comments and some type of friend/follow model. Why is one worth $1 billion and another shut down with no value? It isn’t about the technology or how long it took to build. First Mover Advantage is real. The first product on the market has a big advantage…if the product actually works. People get used to the product, get to like the user experience, and develop a user community culture. Users invite their friends and the viral growth cycle starts…Design and user experience matters, especially with consumer products. Timing and luck play a big part in success. Technology can be replicated, timing and luck can’t.

Forbes: The Value Of Thinking Like An Entrepreneur In A Corporate Setting
Large organizations know that to grow in today’s economy they need to encourage employees to approach the work they do with an entrepreneurial mindset. Employees who work for large organizations and figure out how to approach their jobs this way are more likely to thrive in an environment that encourages such behavior. Entrepreneurship in large workplaces has been a hot topic lately. Leaders from a number of long-established industries recently gathered in Chicago for theForbes Reinventing America Summit to discuss ways they are reinventing their businesses to position themselves for the next generation. A core discussion among the leaders at the summit centered on how to unlock that entrepreneurial mindset within themselves and their businesses to drive growth.

Entrepreneur: 5 Signs You Need Investors — Stat!
There’s a bootstrapping spirit that is common among entrepreneurs that can take you far. However, there are times in every business cycle when the need for investors may arise. The challenging part is deciphering the right time to go it alone versus bringing on investors. There are pros and cons to bringing on investors, like any other aspect of business, but if you’re dealing with any of these five issues — it’s likely time to consider them as an option.


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