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July 1st, 2015

July 1st, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Co-Operative Effort: theCO Plugs in to Southwest Tennessee’s Growing Startup Community
Launch Tennessee
Most entrepreneurs don’t need a lot of room early on. Garages, dorm rooms … the idea factory often is, in fact, quite small. But if someone in the Jackson, TN, area has a big idea that needs plenty of elbow room, theCO stands ready to help. “We’ve got a 10,000-square-foot facility here, and it’s split up into co-working space, a maker’s space, an event facility, conference area … and we utilize all those to help our members grow their businesses,” says Ben Ferguson, CO:founder and CEO. “We also have a strong outward focus, because a lot of area businesses use our space for events and meet-ups, as well as partner with us on workshops.”

“Explore ORNL” Postponed; Larger Event Coming in September
Teknovation
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is postponing the previously scheduled “Explore ORNL” event, set for mid-July, as it lays the foundation for an even bigger opportunity in September. Instead of hosting “Explore ORNL” on July 14 and 15, Tom Rogers, ORNL’s Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development, says the planners have their sights set on a much broader event scheduled for September 23 and 24. “We decided those who would benefit from ‘Explore ORNL’ would be better served by incorporating those ideas into the early fall event,” Rogers explained.

Lexington Startup MakeTime Raises $2.65M Led by Almaz Capital
Southern/alpha
MakeTime Inc., an online platform offering machine capacity for immediate purchase, today announced a $2.65 million Series A round of funding allowing it to build on current momentum with increased sales, marketing, and product efforts. The round was led by Almaz Capital and included participation from Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC). Recently MakeTime has made headlines as part of LaunchTN’s flagship 36|86 conference. The Lexington, KY startup participated as part of the “Village 36,” one of 36 companies highlighted at the three day event.

Lighthouse Fund, Others Join Forces to Back Chattanooga’s PriceWaiter
Teknovation
The Lighthouse Fund, a Knoxville-based angel fund, has joined The Lamp Post Group, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, VaynerRSE, and individual angels as investors in PriceWaiter, LLC, to complete bridge financing totaling $1.25 million. The start-up was a finalist in the recent “36|86 Conference.”

Relive 36|86 with Our Custom Podcast
WorkIT Nashville
After spending time at Launch Tennessee’s 36|86 conference, it was evident Nashville’s creative class is rapidly growing, and their energy is quite contagious! We decided to give you, our advocates, a special recap of the inaugural event, courtesy of fellow WorkIT Nashville advocate Clark Buckner. Throughout the course of the two-day conference, Clark captured 35 interviews with Nashville’s best and brightest technology leaders and even leaders who have a Silicon Valley address, but have realized their heart belongs in Nashville with the rest of us techies!

What’s the Secret to Success for GIGTANK Accelerator Startups?
GIGTANK
The Kauffman Foundation once surveyed what successful entrepreneurs think most affects the success of a startup. Seventy-three percent of those entrepreneurs surveyed said that “luck” was an important factor. When I take a look at The Billion Dollar Startup Club (a listing of relatively young, privately-held companies valued at over a billion dollars) published by the Wall Street Journal, I wonder how much of their “luck” is by design. Every single company on this list has leveraged pre-existing communities through either their investors, their corporate partnerships, or strategic relationships with mentors, advisors, and potential customers.

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