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August 23rd, 2016

August 23rd, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS


7 Things Smart Entrepreneurs Do on Instagram 
Inc.
When Devon Valentin-Minnis, a 28-year-old Connecticut native, launched Nine Five Photography in 2013, social-media marketing was his primary means of drumming up awareness and new business. Since photographing weddings means dressing to the nines, it wasn’t long before his menswear and fashion posts started to gain attention, particularly on Instagram. “I began to change the way I was engaging with my target audience in order to get my current and potential followers to see my posts,” he says. As his Instagram following grew, so did his influence. This opened up new doors, bringing in more money for his business and more value to his personal brand. Devon is becoming a social influencer, working with brands like SprezzaBox, Lavazza, and others to promote menswear, fashion, and lifestyle products in some of his photos.


Brookings Fellow: Nashville Has ‘Very Serious’ HealthIT Opportunity
Venture Nashville Connections

Nashville has a “very serious” opportunity for leadership in HealthIT, and clearer strategy could help the community surmount hurdles to local progress, according to Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Mark Muro. Muro and Brookings Associate Fellow Scott Andes will present “From Health Care Capital to Innovation Hub: Positioning Nashville as a Leader in Health IT” during the Annual Meeting of the Nashville Technology Council (NTC), beginning 7:30 a.m., Aug. 24, at Marathon Music Works (details).


Finalists For Top Awards at Knoxville’s Upcoming “Startup Day” Announced
Teknovation
The Innova865 Alliance has announced the finalists for the two top awards that will be given at the end of this year’s Knoxville “Start-up Day” set for September 22 at the Bijou Theater. Three finalists have been named for the “Traction Award,” while six start-ups will present their new companies in the “Pitch Competition.” Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank are the title sponsors for the pitch competition’s $5,000 cash prize. The UT Federal Credit Union sponsors the “Traction Award” which is presented to an alum of one of the three previous “Start-up Days” who has made the most progress or gained the most “traction.”


Local Motors to Produce Olli Self-Driving Vehicle in Knoxville
Knoxville News Sentinel
Olli, a self-driving vehicle that Local Motors plans as a form of public transportation on demand, will be produced in Knoxville starting next year, the company said Friday. A grand opening is planned in early 2017 for the micro-factory that the Phoenix, Ariz. -based company is constructing in West Knoxville, and Jay Rogers, Local Motors CEO, told an audience at the Knoxville Chamber’s Endeavors 2016 Young Professionals Summit Friday that the facility will manufacture the Olli. Production should start around late 2017, said Local Motors spokeswoman Jacqueline Keidel.


Marion County Receives $500,000 Grant From the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Chattanoogan
Marion County received notification from the Appalachian Regional Commission that they had been awarded a $500,000 grant to assist with the construction of a rail spur to facilitate the expansion of an existing industry and to provide rail service into the Nickajack Port Industrial Park located in New Hope, Tennessee.  The total project cost is estimated at $2.1 million and will consist of site infrastructure improvements to accommodate the new railroad spur track including site clearing and grading, storm water control facilities, and track construction.


Memphis Has One of Nation’s Lowest Startup Costs
High Ground News
SmartAsset has uncovered the U.S. cities with the lowest startup costs, and Memphis takes the seventh spot. In its first year in business, a company with five employees and a 1,000 square foot office can expect to spend a total of just $234,524 in Memphis according to our calculations. The startup scene in Memphis is beginning to boom as new businesses from around the country and even outside of the U.S. have moved to the Birthplace of Rock and Roll. Of course, that’s no surprise since Memphis has historically served as a place where business leaders have thrived. Six Fortune 1000 companies, including FedEx, have headquarters in the city. Details on the study, including full methodology and rankings, can be found here.


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