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January 12th, 2016

January 12th, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

After Starting Small, 127 Press Looks Toward Opening Storefront
Nooga.com
About four years ago, entrepreneur Casey Whitaker sold a MacBook computer so he could buy his first silk screen press. “It started as a hobby and grew into an actual business,” he said. “It’s grown way more than what we expected originally.” Since the launch of 127 Press, the company has doubled its business every year. And now it provides income for Whitaker, his wife and business manager Natalie Whitaker and employees Nathan Francisco and Josh Branam, who do a lot of the printing.

High Speed 3D Printing Startup Receives Investment from Asimov Ventures
Journal 3D Printing Industry
MecklerMedia and the 3D Printing Fund may be no more, Alan and John Meckler are still in the 3D printing business with Asimov Ventures, their venture capital firm focused on investing in cutting edge technologies.  And, today, the firm announced that it has its sights set on the Silicon Valley of the Southeast, in Chattanooga, where it will be investing in 3D printing startup Collider, with funds matched by the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund. Though their website says very little at the moment, Collider claims to be able to rapidly 3D print industrial-grade plastic parts previously only available with traditional manufacturing.

Kindful, Which Bought Populr in 2015, Keeps Growing in Nashville
Nashville Business Journal
Jeremy Bolls’ tech startup Kindful made headlines last April with its purchase of Populr, a buzzy startup helmed by serial entrepreneur Nicholas Holland. But the headlines and the hype around Nashville’s growing tech scene aren’t things that hold high interest for Bolls, who got his start in Nashville tech with Shannon Terry’s Rivals.com about a decade ago, and drifted in and out of other fields before launching Kindful just over four years ago.

Local Biz: Sweet Bio Makes Mid-South Home
Local Memphis
The trio behind a Memphis bio-tech start-up are ready to introduce their product to the dental world. The company is called Sweet Bio. Usually when you associate something sweet with dentistry, you think cavities. Not with honey though. At least not the way Issac Rodriguez uses it. “That membrane is there to help prevent the gums from growing into that hole,” Issac Rodriguez of Sweet Bio said. The membrane he is talking about is made out of all-natural manuka honey and proteins which regenerate bone and tissue The 30-year-old Virginia native has been working on it at this University of Memphis engineering lab for the past three years.

This Surprising State May Have the Formula for Startup Success
Inc.
If you want to gain an innovation advantage, you’re probably considering an accelerator. But which one Much like the edge Ivy League grads enjoy in the workforce, business accelerator alumni companies get ear-marked for special treatment. Numbers speak for themselves: more than $13 billion has been invested through accelerators since 2009, according to SeedRankings research. There are in the neighborhood of 2,000 accelerators and incubators across the country, typically run by private groups hoping to profit from equity in accelerated companies. As you consider your options, it’s fascinating that only one state government has gotten in on the act.

Uber Launches New Public Transit Program First in Memphis
Memphis Business Journal
Memphis will be one of two markets to test a new partnership between ridesharing company Uber and TransLoc, which provides public transit data. The two companies say their partnership will “create a new standard in public transit and private technology collaboration.” Uber will integrate its API into TransLoc’s Rider app, allowing users to customize several modes of transportation.

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