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March 11th, 2016

March 11th, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

$20MM in Techdev Lets Startup VortexT Analytics Deliver Big-Data Insights
Venture Tennessee Connections
VortexT Analytics, the Oak Ridge startup that uses machine-learning technologies to generate intelligence and insights from Big Data, is heading rapidly into the commercial Healthcare market. Its speed-to-market is partly thanks to $20MM previously dedicated to developing technologies licensed for VortexT from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). VortexT (website under construction) is a joint venture between two Tennessee-based partners: National Security-oriented tech services provider Pro2Serve, headquartered in Oak Ridge; and, nonprofit healthcare system Covenant Health, based in Knoxville.

Chattanooga Chamber Drops Hilarious PSA Video
Nooga.com
The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has released a hilarious promotional video highlighting some of the main reasons entrepreneurs move to Chattanooga. The video is part of a promotion called Chattanooga Perfect, which features the “independent spirit” of the city and why great companies choose to call Chattanooga home. In the video, we see that just by moving to Chattanooga and using the city’s resources (i.e., the gig), Sadie is able to increase her downloads by a “metric butt-ton.”

Local Startup ‘Feather’ Reaches Funding Milestone
High Ground News
Feather, a mobile marketplace that helps families find, hire and coordinate in-home senior care, has reached a major funding milestone. The startup raised $250,000 in cash and services from Hayseed Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Fayetteville, Ark. Hayseed is led by Dr. John James, who founded the successful startup Acumen Brands, which focuses on the online retail business-to-consumer market.

Tech Evangelist to Visit Nashville as Part of Nationwide Tour
Nashville Business Journal
Paul Singh’s Airstream sits inside Lake Fairfax Park in Reston covered in decals, its silver frame marked in yellow by the various logos and hashtags announcing his latest — and perhaps biggest — project since his tech incubator Disruption Corp. was acquired by 1776. “Looks like you’re behind,” reads one decal. “Get ahead at resultsjunkies.com. Don’t tweet this. @PaulSingh. Free Wi-Fi for everyone. North American Tech Tour.” Now Singh is bringing his own personal brand of tech evangelism to those same small cities and suburbs on what he’s dubbed his North American Tech Tour, which will hit 29 cities, including Nashville, over the next several months starting with Pittsburgh on March 13.

Memphis Chamber Wants to Boost Minority Business
Memphis Business Journal
As is shown in this week’s Memphis Business Journal cover story, “Minding the Minority Business Gap” — on newsstands and in mailboxes tomorrow — minority-owned businesses in Memphis lag well behind the overall economy in the city. This week, the Greater Memphis Chamber took steps to help. The chamber announced a new forgivable loan program specifically for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. The loan is for training and certification for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards.

SBIR Road Tour Coming to Nashville on April 20
Teknovation
The billing is simple but enticing. The flyer reads that “America’s largest seed fund is coming to Nashville.” On April 20 a one-day event called the “SBIR Road Tour” stops in Nashville, and Launch Tennessee is hosting it as a way to increase Tennessee’s success rate with two federal programs that collectively represent $2.5 billion in funding for early stage companies. Those programs are known by their acronyms – SBIR for the Small Business Innovation Research and STTR for Small Business Technology Transfer. “They are stopping in Tennessee in an effort to raise awareness of the availability of SBIR and STTR funds and in an effort to increase successful applications and awards of those program funds to Tennessee based companies,” said Lindsey Cox, Launch Tennessee’s Innovation and Commercialization Manager.

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