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August 25th, 2015

August 25th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS
autoXLR8R #3: Patco Sleep Solutions
Teknovation
Ten start-ups are participating in the third iteration of the autoXLR8R program run by Tech 2020. Ahead of the August 28 “Demo Day” in Oak Ridge, we are running brief profiles on the participants including, Patco Sleep Solutions. The initial product is a manually operated self-leveling air mattress that will fit underneath the main mattress in the sleeper cab of an 18-wheeler truck. The design will be modified to accommodate RVs, campers and travel trailers. The idea, especially for truck drivers, is to offer a better and more restful night’s sleep. As we know, a well-rested driver is a safer driver. So the benefits are many. A well-rested driver will be more alert and efficient and involved in fewer accidents. This is also a benefit for those of us who share the roads with the 18 wheelers.

Beyond Beta brings “Customer Discovery Weekend” to Nashville
Beyond Beta
Validating an idea and figuring out exactly what the market needs is the best way to ensure success. Learn about surveying, talking to users to learn what they really need, product market fit, and more from Customer Discovery Ninja’s Steven Sherman.

Business Bits: Startup Week Chattanooga, Leadership Transition at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Nooga.com
Entrepreneur, best-selling author and co-founder of VaynerMedia Gary Vaynerchuk will join Andrew Hyde—founder of Startup Weekend—at Chattanooga’s upcoming Startup Week. Vaynerchuk, whose social media-first digital agency recently opened an office in Chattanooga, will kick off Chattanooga’s Startup Week at a lunchtime event Oct. 12. Also, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee CEO Bill Gracey is retiring at the end of August, and Chief Operating Officer J.D. Hickey will take over the head position.

EPICenter’s Inaugural Logistics Innovation Accelerator Attracts Teams from Across the Country
SouthernAlpha
Working on innovation never stops, and Memphis certainly exemplifies that saying as the new accelerator for logistics innovation commenced in the city just days after Memphis Demo Day. The inaugural EPICenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator began on Aug. 17 for its 14-week program. The accelerator is appropriately located in a city that boasts a distribution hub, and is sponsored by FedEx.  “Memphis has unparalleled has unparalleled logistics expertise and capabilities, which makes it ideal for a business accelerator in this space,” states EPIcenter president Leslie Lynn Smith in a statement.

Memphis Investment Corporation Receives National Certification
High Ground News
U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has certified River City Capital Investment Corporation as a CDFI.  This certification make River City Capital Memphis’ only certified homegrown CDFI loan fund for small businesses. River City Capital Investment Corp. is an affiliate of Community LIFT whose mission is to increase economic development in under-served neighborhoods by attracting and leveraging investment capital for community revitalization. River City Capital strategically provides loans to community development organizations, and for-profit businesses that operate within its targeted neighborhoods of Greater Binghampton, Frayser and Upper South Memphis.

Nashville Health-Tech Company Nears Sale
Nashville Business Journal
Nashville-based NaviHealth is nearing a deal to be sold to a large public company, according to reports. The Nashville Post reports that medical products and services company Cardinal Health, based in Ohio, is looking to buy NaviHealth. According to Venture Nashville Connections, the deal is expected to be valued at about $400 million. If completed, the deal would mark Cardinal’s second major move in Middle Tennessee. In April, the company bought specialty drug distributer Metro Medical Supply Inc.

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