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July 16th, 2015

July 16th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

First EPIcenter Memphis President Now Deep in Community Engagement
Venture Tennessee Connections
EPIcenter Memphis President Leslie Lynn Smith is having “real, honest conversations” with Memphians about strengths and gaps within the city’s business ecosystem, and before Labor Day she is likely to offer strategic recommendations drawn from those discussions. The Entrepreneurship-Powered Innovation Center (EPIcenter) is a program operated under the aegis of the Chairman’s Circle, a Memphis Chamber of Commerce auxiliary that has more than 100 local senior executives as members.

Google Fiber to Offer Free Internet Service in Nashville Public Housing
The Tennessean
As part of President Obama’s new broadband initiative, Google Fiber will be offering free Internet access and devices to select public housing properties in Nashville. The ConnectHome initiative, led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be rolled out in 27 cities and is expected to reach nearly 275,000 low-income households nationwide through public and private sector partners. n Nashville, Google Fiber will work with local community groups to provide computer labs and digital literacy programs, with a focus on K-12 students.

LeanKit’s $16MM Raise Shows Resolve to Grow Local Tech Company ‘That Matters’
Venture Nashville Connections
LeanKit, the Franklin-based lean-techniques-based project and work-delivery platform, has received a $16MM equity investment from New York-based PE Insight Venture Partners. The growth capital will be used to expand marketing and sales operations globally, and to accelerate product innovation, Co-founder/CEO Chris Hefley told Venture Nashville. “This is definitely a signal from us that we are raising this money to grow the business and grow a sizable company that matters for the Nashville area,” said Hefley, who cofounded LeanKit in 2009.

ORNL Holding “EERE Industry Day” September 23 and 24
Teknovation
When Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced in late June the postponement of its “Explore ORNL” event, it promised a larger and more exciting opportunity in September. Plans for that event, scheduled for September 23 and 24, are beginning to unfold. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy, gave a sneak preview of the plans during last Friday’s roundtable hosted in Chattanooga by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council.

Project Music Readies for Year Two at the EC
Nashville Business Journal
When former Sony Music VP Heather McBee first learned about the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and became involved as a mentor, she didn’t know the center was preparing to launch an accelerator focused on music tech. Project Music wasn’t yet a fully formed thing, as funding, sponsors and industry support were still being worked out. Fast forward a year later to today, and McBee is now a full-time employee at the EC, overseeing Project Music as it grows from a 14-week accelerator into a year-round focus for the organization.

Restore Medical Solutions Introduces New Product, Secures More Funding
Memphis Business Journal
Memphis-based Restore Medical Solutions has finalized a new series of funding that will help the company continue product development. Restore, developer of a tray that aids in the sterilization process of medical instruments after surgery, received $1.6 million from a group of investors that included MB Venture Partners, Innova and Mountain Group Capital, an investor from Nashville. Steven King, Restore’s president and CEO also participated in the funding.

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