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April 9th, 2014

April 9th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Nashville Business Journal: HCA to partner with Nashville Entrepeneur Center
The Nashville Entrepreneur Center has announced a new partnership with Nashville-based health care giant HCAHoldings designed to support startup growth in Nashville’s health care sector, according to a news release. “As our health care industry continues to evolve, we continually are seeking ways to improve the delivery of high-quality care and the patient experience,” HCA president and CEO R. Milton Johnson said in the release. “Nashville has a tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in health care, and we are proud to support the great work by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.”

Tennessee Today: QuickSod Wins $30,000 in the Tennessee Venture Challenge
QuickSod swept the first-ever Tennessee Venture Challenge, claiming both the $25,000 overall prize and the $5,000 Crowd Favorite Award at the TVC Pitch Competition held by the UT Research Foundation on Thursday, April 3, at the Foundry in Knoxville. TVC is a business plan competition for the University of Tennessee community. To be eligible for the competition, potential startup companies must be commercializing intellectual property created at a UT campus or institute… QuickSod enables sod producers to decrease time to harvest and increase yield. Their proprietary growing medium allows for harvestable sod in twelve to sixteen weeks, compared to the fifty-two to 120 weeks expected with traditional methods. This allows for at least twice the production in the same amount of time.

Memphis Business Journal: Memphis startups will join Everywhere Else’s “Startup Avenue”
Three Memphis startups have been selected to exhibit in the Startup Avenue exhibit at the 2014 edition of Everywhere Else Tennessee. This year’s event will take plac e April 30 through May 2 at 409 South Main. The local companies — MentorMe, Screwpulp and Wedding Worthy — will compete with seven other startups from around the country in front of an estimated audience of 400 entrepreneurs and investors…They will be judged by a group of venture capitalists and angel investors. The 10 companies were chosen from a pool of 100 applicants.

National Innovation in the News

Washington Post: Meet Obama’s new ambassadors for entrepreneurship
The White House on Monday introduced several new ambassadors — ones it will be sending around the world to help entrepreneurs launch and grow new businesses. Dubbed the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, the committee includes the founders of some of the nation’s most rapidly growing companies and well-known brands, like LinkedIn, Zillow and Tory Burch. Each has committed to spend time and resources to help public officials “develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.” The move is part of a renewed push by the administration to encourage new business development not only in the United States, but globally.

C|Net: Uber gives startups 7-minute rides to pitch Google Ventures investors
Startups in Silicon Valley will have seven minutes to pitch investors during a free Uber ride Wednesday, according to a post from the on-demand car service. Uber is partnering with Google Ventures, the investment arm of the tech giant, to give entrepreneurs a chance to market their ideas. The company’s app, which lets users order chauffeured cars through their mobile phones, is making good on CEO Travis Kalanick’s vision of delivering everything on-demand. They just need to request an “UberPITCH” ride through the Uber app while in the heart of the Valley: Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Menlo Park. The app orders a driver who will drive over with an investor. Entrepreneurs get seven minutes to pitch to the investor, while riding in the car, and then the investor will give feedback for seven minutes. The drivers will make round trips back to the startup location but where they go during the ride is unclear.

Wall Street Journal: The Daily Startup: Andreessen Horowitz Makes Major Foray Into Health Care
Balaji Srinivasan, who was hired as a general partner by Andreessen Horowitz to help the firm move into new areas, has spearheaded the firm’s first major foray into health-care investing with a $23 million Series B round for digital therapy companyOmada Health, Tim Hay reports for VentureWire. Though Andreessen has backed several consumer-facing health technology companies, the funding for Omada was the first double-digit venture capital round for a company with clinically proven, prescription-based products, and it’s Andreessen’s first board seat at such a company.


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