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August 27th, 2015

August 27th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS
autoXLR8R #5: Twitch Technologies
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 Twitch Technologies. The idea for the product was conceived back in 1983. Unfortunately, in 1983, even the smallest computer was a large affair, owing to the size of the obligatory CRT monitor. In that era, a minimalist computer keyboard offered no competitive advantage over a full-sized QWERTY keyboard. It was the advent of the iPad that stimulated me to file a patent application, and proceed with a start-up.

Belmont University Taps Joe Calloway as Entrepreneurship Executive in Residence
SouthernAlpha
Just a day before the fall classes begin, Belmont University’s Center for Entrepreneurship announced that Joe Calloway has been appointed as the Executive in Residence for the school year. “Belmont University has always been a source of new thinking and ideas,” stated Calloway, an internationally-recognized business speaker. “In my work with entrepreneurs, I’ve seen that success is driven by a passion for new ideas and a constant drive to take what works and make it better.  This is what I hope to encourage and develop in students in bringing them some of the best thinking from the entrepreneurial marketplace.”

Chattanooga Leads State in Business Startups
Chattanooga Times Free Press
When Platt Boyd quit his job to build a new 3-D printing company to construct buildings, the Montgomery, Ala., architect came to Chattanooga. Boyd was among those lured to the Scenic City this summer to participate in the 100-day accelerator program for startups known as GigTank. His Branch Technology capitalized on the high-speed Internet service offered by EPB and the business support for 3-D printing offered at Chattanooga’s CoLab. During GigTank Demo Day last month, he and his team unveiled the largest free-form 3-D printer in the country to “print” walls and potentially revolutionize the way buildings are erected. Boyd is among a growing number of entrepreneurs who are coming to Chattanooga to try out their business ideas. Combined with local entrepreneurs who are starting businesses with the help of local incubators, venture funds and community volunteers, Chattanooga is picking up the pace of business starts.

Eight Vanderbilt Researchers Named “Inspiring Women in STEM”
Vanderbilt University
Eight Vanderbilt professors are recipients of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. The award honors highly accomplished women working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who have made a positive impact on the trajectories of other women thinking about or newly embarking on STEM careers. “For many years Vanderbilt has made it a priority to encourage qualified women to assume leadership roles and cultivate a diverse intellectual community,” Susan Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said. “I’m pleased that so many of our talented faculty have been recognized not only for their contributions to their respective disciplines, but also for the efforts they’ve made to encourage other women to consider careers in these historically male-dominated fields.”

JusticeXL Selects 12 Startups for Inaugural Cohort
Teknovation
The JusticeXL, a new start-up accelerator discussed in a recent teknovation.biz article, has announced participants in its inaugural cohort. Dan Marcum, Executive Director of the sponsoring Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC), said 12 companies have been selected. “We set out to limit the number of participants to be within a range of eight to 12 start-ups,” he said. “The response was higher than expected and the quality of applicants has been outstanding.” Six of the 12 companies are Tennessee-based. The breakdown of the others is one each from Arizona, California, Georgia, Kentucky, New York and Tel Aviv, Israel.

Strep Vaccine Invented in Memphis Moves Closer to Market
The Commercial Appeal
A medicine invented in Memphis to treat strep infection moved a step closer to commercialization. Memphis-based startup Vaxent has launched a Phase 1 clinical trial of StreptAnova at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Vaxent and Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. announced the trial on Tuesday. Vaxent earlier teamed with Pan-Provincial, a group at the University of Saskatchewan specializing in clinical drug trials. Vaxent’s protein vaccine technology is intended to thwart infectious diseases beginning with Group A streptococcal infections in children, which can lead to toxic shock syndrome, flesh-eating disease, pneumonia, rheumatic fever or inflamed kidneys. About 616 million cases of streptococcal infections are reported each year throughout the world.

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