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February 18th, 2015

February 18th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Entrepreneurship Minor Opens Academic Doors
UTK Daily Beacon
Starting this fall, students will have a new choice when selecting a minor. A new, interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor was approved by the UT Faculty Senate on Feb. 2. Coordinated by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the minor will allow students from all fields of study to add the minor to their curriculum. For David Williams, assistant professor of management, the addition of the minor is a result of requests from many students.

EpiCenter Chooses TechTown Detroit CEO Leslie Lynn Smith as First Leader
Memphis Business Journal
The Entrepreneurship-Powered Innovation Center has its first leader. EPIcenter was created through a partnership with several local organizations including the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis & Shelby County, Innova, Start Co., EmergeMemphis and the Crews Venture Lab with the goal of creating 1,000 new entrepreneurs and 500 new companies in the next 10 years. Leslie Lynn Smith, who most previously served as president and CEO of TechTown Detroit, will lead EPIcenter and will also join Bioworks as vice president.

Fiveworx’ Jamie Lalos Wins AESP’s One to Watch Award
Teknovation
Fiveworx, a marketing software company for the energy sector, announced today that its own Jamie Lalos has been selected as the Association of Energy Services Professionals’ (AESP) 2015 One to Watch Young Professional. Sara Van de Grift, chair of AESP’s board of directors, presented the award to Lalos last week at the association’s 25th annual conference in front of hundreds of energy services professionals from North America and abroad. This award is presented annually by AESP to a young professional (under the age of 35) who has demonstrated leadership and made measurable achievements at his or her company for advancing the energy service field. 

Patrick is Revolutionizing the Lending Business
Teknovation
“I intend to revolutionize how business lending is done,” Jonathan Patrick says. The Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at the UT Federal Credit Union (UTFCU) is well-known in the area for his passion for small businesses, most recently helping spearhead UTFCU’s “Line 12 Micro Fund.” Patrick is also an entrepreneur. One of his start-ups is GoGrabLunch.com, a tool to facilitate one-on-one networking lunches between business professionals who have never met. Today, he is combining his knowledge of commercial lending and his entrepreneurial passion into a new venture named FeasibleFunding.com. Patrick is undertaking the effort with the full support of Debbie Jones, Chief Executive Officer of UTFCU.

Start Co. Expands its Downtown Space
Memphis Daily News
The organization helping startup founders launch new ventures in Memphis will soon have more elbow room for the space where it holds events, teaches and provides a co-working environment for startup teams. The Start Co. crew has signed a lease for extra space for its Downtown “Start Lab” at 88 Union Ave., increasing the current footprint to 7,600 square feet – 80 percent more space that includes expanded amenities for entrepreneurs like an outdoor patio for events and networking opportunities.

SwiftWing Ventures Has a New CEO
Nooga.com
Venture capital group SwiftWing Ventures has a new CEO, but the firm’s mission remains the same. “We invest in people who can make an impact in Chattanooga and beyond,” new CEO Christopher Cummings said via email. “Last year was our year of investment, and 2015 is our development year.” Christopher has taken over for former CEO Ben Brown. He said Brown wanted to move on to other projects. The company’s investment team is still made up of John Foy, Todd Phillips and Paul Cummings, Christopher’s father.

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