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December 30th, 2014

December 30th, 2014

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Band on the Brink: The New Dylans
The Tennessean
And in the most progressive version of music distribution, the band will make songs available through a partnership with Nashville-based music technology start-up Featuring.Me. The concept behind Featuring.Me is for fans to be able to customize their own versions of original recordings provided by their favorite band. Through an app, fans are given all the recorded elements of a song, the drum section, guitar and bass parts, vocals and other elements like horns or solos.

Chattanooga Touts Transformation into Gig City
ABC National News
A city once infamous for the smoke-belching foundries that blanketed its buildings and streets with a heavy layer of soot is turning to lightning-fast Internet speeds to try to transform itself into a vibrant tech hub. Through a combination of political will and federal stimulus money, 175-year-old Chattanooga became the first U.S. city to broadly offer a gigabit per second internet speeds, nearly 50 times the national broadband average.

Is There Room in Nashville for the Kid Who Invests $400,000 of His Own Money?
Southern/alpha
SocialCoaster just raised a $650,000 seed/bridge round to build mobile micro-communities. I spoke to Jonathan Burdon, CEO of SocialCoaster, on December 22nd about his plans for the consumer-facing startup. Burdon mentioned his perspective of investing was of a different opinion than most, citing that his own investment of $400,000 in the round was from his previous SEO website domain ventures. Burdon said he sold six of his seven websites to invest into this initial round of SocialCoaster.

Michael Burcham Named Tennessean of the Year
The Tennessean
Michael Burcham had sold his latest health care company for a nine-figure sum, and the non-compete agreement keeping him from building another business was about to expire. But in spring 2010 the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, disrupting his plans for a fourth health care venture. The timing proved to be a godsend for Nashville. Instead of starting another company, Burcham accepted the chief executive position at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and built a nonprofit that has since helped more than 130 start-ups launch.  

Ready.Fund.Grow! Aims to Help Emerging Businesses Get Loans
Chattanooga TImes Free Press
New small businesses that haven’t been able to lock in loans might now be able to. Tennessee Small Business Development Centers and Pathway Lending have partnered to offer loans of up to $100,000 at an interest rate of 7.75 percent to small businesses that are at least 24 months old. Ready.Fund.Grow!, as the program is called, will be a boon to emerging companies that can’t get bank loans, aren’t keen on creating crowdfunding campaigns or don’t want the big bucks of investors.

Sewn and Grown in America: Chattanooga Eco-Clothing Designer Starts Her Own Label
Chattanooga TImes Free Press
For a whole year, Ongeleigh Underwood banned herself from buying clothes. That was shortly before the budding eco-clothing designer started her own label. She launched Temperate Honest American Clothing in April from her Chattanooga home, a solo act she moved into studio space in St. Elmo in August. Underwood took that year to observe and chart her spending and closet-related habits.

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