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December 7th, 2015

December 7th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Memphis Startup SweetBio Secures $1M in Funding
High Ground News
SweetBio, Inc. announced that, after less than a year in existence, they have successfully raised $1 million in funding. The medical device startup specializes in wound healing biomaterials with a focus in dental. The announcement of the $1 million funding mark came this week after the company raised $900,000 in equity financing to support FDA 510(k) clearance and commercialization of the SweetBio GTR (Guided Tissue Regeneration) Membrane. From May through August of this year, SweetBio participated in the Memphis Bioworks Foundation’s ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator that provided $100,000 in equity financing and services.

Nashville Hospitality Startup Gets Boost
Nashville Business Journal
Robbie Goldsmith’s Bach Weekend has had a busy year, landing investors and new partnerships with brands like Anheuser Busch. The startup has raised a seed round of $190,000, led by Vic Gatto-led Selous Venture Society, according to a news release. Next year, Goldsmith’s team is launching the largest bachelorette party ever, to be held in Nashville on April 8-10. They hope to attract more than 150 attendees to the event, which has Anheuser Busch as the official bar partner.

RMX Technologies Pushing Boundaries of Material Science
Teknovation
RMX Technologies has spent the last four years focused on one part of the process continuum of converting a precursor (raw material) into a usable carbon fiber. That area has been oxidation, something Bonds describes as “the most time consuming, energy intense and problematic” of the steps. “We’ve (now) proven the technology to industry,” Truman Bonds, Vice President for R&D, says. The process that RMX Technologies has developed is three times faster, uses 75 percent less energy, and saves 20 percent on the total cost of carbon fiber when compared to conventional approaches.

Shelby County Is On A Roll
Tennessee ECD
Shelby County is on a roll. This year, the region has earned 2,098 job commitments and of those, more than 1,100 are from projects landed in the past six weeks alone. Early last month, Commissioner Boyd joined Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr. at an event announcing LEDIC Realty Company’s plans to locate new headquarter operations in Memphis. “Memphis and the state of Tennessee offer a great workforce and a university system tailored to develop top talent,” said LEDIC Realty Company CEO Pierce Ledbetter. The decision resulted in a $10.2 million investment and the creation of 300 new jobs throughout Tennessee.

Tennessee Seeks to Close STEM Training Gap
Knoxville News Sentinel
The number of new businesses starting and coming to Tennessee continues to grow, but they and the state’s existing employers continue to face a shortage of workers trained in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — as well as information technology.   The state’s LEAP program provides funding to programs designed to match employers’ needs with educational resources. Last year, Roane State received $1 million to improve its mechatronics training and to partner with programs at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and area high schools. Employers supporting the effort included SL Tennessee, Dienamic Tooling Systems, Capstan Tennessee, AISIN and others.

Venture Tennessee Connections
Mike Carroll, a Knoxville-based serial entrepreneur who was instrumental in founding the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, has aligned with PYA Analytics, licensing PYA’s media platform for hyperlocal streaming audio websites that will air Indie cuts in up to 15 markets Carroll plans to develop. Joy Fisher, the former CEO of IP-driven startup Clodico, which gained backing from Solidus’ Venture INCITE and others before being essentially shuttered earlier this year, is now consulting on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Institute for Agriculture’s research divison. Working in coordination with University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and others, Fisher, 56, has already identified for UT a handful of possible monetization or commercialization opportunities on the campus.

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