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April 8th, 2014

April 8th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Nibletz: Everywhere Else TN Startup Avenue–Who’s Your Favorite?
There are some great companies populating the Startup Avenue this year. They’re coming from all over the country, from awesome startup cities like Boulder and Dallas and Charlotte. (And across Tennessee, of course!) They also span all kinds of industries, healthcare to publishing to video games. During Everywhere Else Tennessee, these 10 startups will show off their products to attendees and investors. They will be competing for a chance to pitch onstage in front founders and investors–as well as an angel & VC-stocked judging panel. The winner will be crowned the Heavyweight Champion of Everywhere Else. But first…They’re competing to win YOUR vote. Check out the companies below, then let us know your favorite. The winner of the Fan Favorite Poll will get one of the spots in the live pitch contest.

Southern Alpha: The New Roles of Jumpstart Foundry Managers
Jumpstart Foundry (JSF) just announced that for their 2014 Cohort, they are bringing Chris Poole to their management team and creating a new role for David Ledgerwood to help every business launch before graduating. Chris Poole will be Jumpstart Foundry’s new Managing Director. He is currently a Principal at Solidus Company. His past experience includes building one angel-backed startup. By bringing Poole on board, JSF gains additional startup experience and adds more of an investor perspective to the program. “Jumpstart has had an incredible amount of success over the last four years and is in great position to capitalize on explosive growth in the Nashville startup community. I am excited to join JSF and look forward to bringing VC and startup experience,” Chris commented…David Ledgerwood is moving from his current role as COO to serve as Entrepreneur in Residence. Ledgerwood talks about his new role: “I’m really excited to lead the faculty team that will ensure our startups maximize their early revenue potential. This was my favorite part of the job during last year’s cohort, and it leaves some time in my schedule for private consulting, another passion of mine.”

Knoxville News Sentinel: UT executive seizes tech transfer opportunity
Joy Fisher has wanted to be part of a high-tech startup since she worked for telecommunications giant Motorola in the 1990s. “I did a stint in the new enterprises group looking at new business opportunities for Motorola,” Fisher says. “I decided someday I wanted to do a tech-based startup, but I just didn’t have the confidence to go off and do it.” After leaving Motorola to do consulting work, she landed at the University of Tennessee, where she worked with the UT Research Foundation, ultimately serving as director of business startups for the organization that seeks to commercialize faculty- and student-created technology. While at UT she learned the ins and outs of tech transfer and got hands-on experience with entrepreneurs. Today, she’s living the entrepreneurial experience, full of adventure and the unexpected, as president and CEO of Clodico, an Oak Ridge-based company developing environmentally friendly deodorizer and disinfectant products.

Tennessean: Google Fiber crosses off line on Nashville checklist
For Nashvillians clamoring for the speedy arrival of Google Fiber, there is a new logistical milestone to track: fiber hut approval. In an effort to move forward with potential plans to bring its high-speed Internet to Nashville, Google Fiber now needs Metro’s approval to build shed-like structures – called “Fiber huts” – in and around the city…The fiber huts serve as the network’s switchboard, housing devices that receive and transmit signals between computers and the Internet. They are typically 22-by-11 feet, and dozens will be needed in and around the city if Google chooses Nashville for expansion. Gaining city approval for fiber huts is one of many items on the Google Fiberchecklist that the city is working on before the company determines if installation is feasible in Nashville. The agreement will be up for first reading at Metro Council’s April 15 meeting.

Event: Start Co. Lounge
Join Memphis’ startup scene — including professionals, entrepreneurs, innovators and creators — as we enjoy drinks and good conversation with Memphis’ finest. Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Click here to register.

National Innovation in the News

WhiteHouse.gov: Fact Sheet: Strengthening Entrepreneurship At Home and Abroad
Entrepreneurs play a critical role in expanding the economy and creating jobs. President Obama is committed to increasing the prevalence and success of entrepreneurs across the country, including through the White HouseStartup America initiative, an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to expand access to capital, accelerate innovation, and promote private sector efforts to strengthen the Nation’s startup communities. The United States also runs and funds hundreds of programs to support entrepreneurs globally and maintains a broad coalition of governments, business people, civil society, investors, and academics to educate and support entrepreneurs around the world. Building on these efforts, today the Administration is announcing a series of new steps to accelerate the success of entrepreneurs in the United States and across the globe: Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship; Attracting the World’s Best and Brightest; Accelerating Biomedical Entrepreneurs from Lab to Market; Energizing Entrepreneurs to Help End Extreme Poverty; and Bolstering Exchanges and Training for Entrepreneurs in the Western Hemisphere.

Business Insider: The Most Women-Friendly Startup Investors In New York Tech
There is a gender gap in tech. So which investors are doing their part to help change the ratio and fund more female founders? Business Insider researched active portfolios for 16 early-to-mid-stage venture capital funds in New York. We then found the number of startups in the portfolios that had at least one female founder and calculated what percent of the total portfolio included female-founded companies. We then got in touch with every firm to confirm the numbers. Angel investors, incubators and accelerators were not included. Here are the results.

Inc.: 9 Things You Need to Know Today
1. Decoding VCs-Looking for venture capital to fund your startup? Hunter Walk, who is a partner at seed stage venture fund Homebrew, broke down what funding a company means to the investor: It’s one of two to three investments he or she will make this year. Your challenge? Convince them you’re “worth the opportunity cost of using one of those ‘slots.'”…3. Poaching, Silicon Valley Style-Education tech company, Remind101, snagged Josh Wiseman a former engineering director at Facebook to work at the startup. How? By attracting him with a product and a cause he believed in. Take note, startups.


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