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August 18th, 2015

August 18th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS
Elwell Provides Update on the CO.STARTERS New Zealand Effort
Teknovation
What do Chattanooga and New Zealand have in common? The answer is a growing partnership that started with mutual interest in gigabit networks, but has quickly progressed into much more. “Chattanooga was viewed as this amazing place,” Enoch Elwell, the guru behind the “CO.STARTERS” program, told us recently. He had just returned from a whirlwind trip to New Zealand that we first noted in a post a few months ago on teknovation.biz. During the three and one-half week journey, Elwell worked with five communities that had reached the finals of a something called the “Gigatown” initiative.

Fancy Rhino Announces New Production Company, Feature Film
Nooga.com
Chattanooga-based Fancy Rhino has already earned a reputation as a significant creative content company with a catalog of national clients and a portfolio of work. And in a recent news release, Fancy Rhino announced the formation of a new production company called Mama Bear Studios. The effort will focus on feature film development, television and new forms of original content.

Governor, ECD Commissioner Announce Rural Development Task Force
Venture Nashville Connections
Tennessee is giving additional impetus to finding a “holistic” solution to the economic development needs of Tennessee’s numerous rural communities. Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Randy Boyd today said a new Rural Development Task Force should help bring unprecedented focus and concerted efforts to devising strategy, tactics and, presumably, some funding to address a set of issues many believe has received too-little priority, compared with that accorded programs to recruit major industrial investments and spawn scaleable, tech-centric startups and capital formation, which have some inevitably tended to gravitate toward the state’s urban areas and toward the state’s nine regional accelerators.

Launch Tennessee Preps Ambitious Plans for 2016
The Tennessean
It’s hard to think about New Year’s plans of any kind in a sweltering Tennessee August, but good business requires planning ahead. That’s a lesson preached to everyone who engages with Launch Tennessee’s entrepreneur network, and so it’s why we’re looking at how to capitalize on a remarkably productive 2015 with an even more robust 2016, which for us began on July 1 with the start of a new fiscal year. Here are some of the major focus areas we’re concentrating on and the goals associated with them.

New Knoxville Entrepreneur Center Caters to Women
Knoxville News Sentinel
Most people would never notice the dilapidated building that used to house Knox Tenn Rentals on Central Avenue. But local photo and interiors stylist Rebecca Ridner was drawn to the location, just south of the up-and-coming Happy Holler area. Three months later, the interior has been transformed into an inviting 2,000 square-foot, sunlit space. Purple tint has been scraped from the enormous windows, years of grease and dirt scrubbed away and the walls and rafters whitewashed. The industrial style has been prettied up with handmade tables and benches, as well as finds from Craigslist, thrift stores, Ikea and West Elm.

Why a Los Angeles-Based Creative Agency Relocated to Germantown
Nashville Business Journal
When Go West Creative chairman and CEO David Fischette opened a Nashville office last fall with six employees, the intent was not to relocate the creative agency’s headquarters here from Los Angeles. But, over the past year, that’s exactly what’s happened. “Nashville is more cost-effective, and it made sense to be shipping and trucking [our equipment] from a more central location,” said Fischette, who founded the company 30 years ago. “Plus, it’s got that small-town charm but is super hip, and it’s got culture.” After shareholders approved the move, Go West began the process of relocating headquarters to Nashville in March, including moving 18 employees and their families from the West Coast. In June, the company threw a launch party to celebrate their new permanent digs in Germantown.

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