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December 19th, 2014

December 19th, 2014

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Brentwood Capital Advisors Eyes Pure-Play Technology Deals
Venture Nashville Connections
Pure-play technology companies in Nashville seem likely to get unprecedented attention from 15-year-old Brentwood Capital Advisors (BCA). Recently appointed BCA Managing Director Scott Kozicki told VNC that the traditionally healthcare-focused investment banking firm recognizes that Nashville’s “pure tech ecosystem has improved dramatically.” In addition, BCA’s own capabilities have expanded, positioning the boutique to address capital and financing needs of both pure Tech and healthcare founders, said Kozicki.

Knoxville Startup Cirkel Brings IKEA Products to the Customer
Knoxville News Sentinel
Cirkel is a shopping, delivery and gift registry service for the more than 10,000 IKEA products available at the retailer’s stores. Consider that only about 2,000 of those items are available for purchase through IKEA’s website. “If you don’t want to rent a truck and drive to Atlanta to get what you want, we’re a great alternative,” Cirkel chairman and partner Chuck Morris said.

Meet Randy Boyd: Tennessee’s New ECD Chief
Nashville Business Journal
Boyd stepped down Thursday as chairman and CEO of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based company he founded in 1991 that now posts more than $350 million in annual sales. His new gig: commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Economic & Community Development. As an entrepreneur himself, Boyd said he wants to continue to build support for the Tennessee’s entrepreneur space through state programs like Launch Tennessee.

Memphis StartCo CEO Updates Angel, Accelerator Plans
Venture Tennessee Connections
Eric Mathews told VTC the StartCo Angels group he leads has 10 Angels actively engaged, after adding “three or four” in the past year, through a deliberately “slow and steady recruitment process.” StartCo, the sponsor of the Angel group, plans to close on June 30, 2015 a capital raise that is now underway with a $500K target, said StartCo Founder and CEO Matthews.

So, What’s Your Big Idea?
Inside of Knoxville Blog
So what about that big idea you’ve got? You’ve got an opportunity to submit your idea for a shot at a three-day crash course in developing and pitching the concept. The winner of the competition will be enrolled in the Co-Starters program with an opportunity to receive $10,000 at its conclusion to be used in implementing your newly-minted business plan. Think you’ve got what it takes? You’ll find the application and rules here. The deadline for this event sponsored by the KEC and the Chamber of Commerce is January 7, with the event taking place January 23 – 25.

This Guy Gets It: Memphis and Nashville Should Complement Each Other
Southern/alpha
The purpose of Southern/alpha is to tell the story of startups in the South. It’s an amazing opportunity to write that narrative for cities that are very much about revitalizing culture, very tech-focused and very entrepreneurial. I took an interest in writing the blog because I believed these same cities also existed in bubbles, always excited for their own opportunities, but lacking crucial inside knowledge about the narrative next door.

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