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February 18th, 2016

February 18th, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Entrepreneur’s Love of Technology and Music Helps Musicians Collaborate Worldwide
High Ground News
Technology developer and audio engineer Brian Wentzloff merged his love of technology and music into his company, Musistic. Several of the co-founders all related to the same pain point: each was in a band, one member moved away causing the band to break up because they could no longer collaborate with that member. Musistic solves this problem by creating software tools for musicians to easily collaborate with people anywhere in the world. “We’ve created a product that integrates into the software that musicians are already using to record to allow them to collaborate with other people that might be using different software,” explained Wentzloff.

GM Investing $148M, Keeping 200 Jobs in Middle Tennessee
Nashville Business Journal
General Motors will invest nearly $150 million in its Spring Hill manufacturing plant. The investment will repurpose machinery and assembly equipment to allow the plant to build V8 engines, retaining about 200 jobs, according to a news release. The upgrade will mark the first time the Spring Hill facility will be equipped to build V8 engines, and will allow the plant to quickly add capacity to build the small-block, 6.2L engines for its trucks and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab, GMC Sierra Crew Cab, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL Denali and the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.

Innovation District to Create 235 New Jobs with New Grant Program
The Chattanoogan
Nick Wilkinson announced on Tuesday the plans to create 235 new jobs in the city of Chattanooga. During the City Council agenda meeting, the deputy administrator of Economic Development presented the Innovation District Jobs Grant Program. Mr. Wilkinson said Chattanooga was the first mid-sized city in America to create an Innovation District. The proposed program aims to help the district grow by giving grants to businesses that hire 25 or more new employees.

March 18 App Deadline for EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator
Venture Tennessee Connections
The applications window for the 2016 EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator in Memphis is to close March 18. The 15-week accelerator program is to begin May 2. It was created to help startups bring innovative transportation and logistics-oriented products and technologies to market. The program is sponsored by Memphis-based FedEx. “FedEx is a proud supporter of the EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator,” said Russ Fleming, vice president, strategy, innovation and product development, FedEx Services. “We are a company committed to innovation, and look forward to helping connect these start-ups with the regional expertise and resources they need to grow.”

New Memphis Startup Focused on Lab-Grown Meats
Memphis Daily News
The purpose of new meat-production startup Memphis Meats Inc. is in the name, but what’s perhaps more important – the “how” of the company’s operation – is not as readily apparent. Memphis Meats, which launched a few days ago, is one of a group of companies working to grow meat in labs, using the cells of cows, pigs and chickens as the building blocks. The co-founders include Will Clem, a biomedical engineer with a Ph.D, who’s also a BBQ pit master and whose family owns the local Baby Jack’s restaurant chain, and the company’s first products include hot dogs, sausages, burgers and meatballs grown in a lab setting.

UT’s Innovative BETS Program Accepting Applications for Next Class
Teknovation
The term BETS is more than just an acronym; it’s also a significant wager that the University of Tennessee (UT) and its partners are making annually in the success of 30 high school students considering a career in business. “Business Education for Talented Students,” the official title of the program, was launched in 2008 by the Office of Diversity and Community Relations in the Haslam College of Business with a two-fold goal: increase the business acumen of high school students from under-represented groups and help recruit more of them to the institution.

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