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May 20th, 2015

May 20th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

EC Chief: Better Engagement a Top Priority
Nashville Post
The Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s new CEO held a town hall-style meeting Tuesday night for the incubator’s partners and donors to get some feedback on his first 40 days as the EC’s new CEO and talk about his priorities moving forward. Last month, Michael Burcham stepped down to re-enter the private sector and build care coordination venture Narus Health. McWhorter, a partner at Clayton Associates, has said he has an open mind about the future of the EC and has promised more transparency via town hall meetings like the one last night.

GuruSkins Finishes Second in National Davidson College Competiton
Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
A University of Tennessee team recently finished second in Davidson College’s National Venture Tournament for Sustainability & Sports, winning $5,000 in capital to advance their company, GuruSkins. GuruSkins is a crowdsourcing site connecting artists and snowboarders through the sale of custom ski, snowboard, wakeboard, and other board-sport vinyl covers, enabling customers to protect their boards while conveying their individual styles.

LaunchTN’s 36|86 Attracts People, Ideas, Capital
Venture Nashville Connections
LAUNCHTN’s 36|86 conference June 8-10 is arguably the most visible stratagem in Tennessee’s campaign to establish the state as “the best place in the Southeast to start and grow an early-stage company.” Just 20 days from now, hundreds will gather at Marathon Music Works, which is to be the epicenter for a kind of “venture fusion” that is expected to galvanize the Tennessee venture community and attract top people, ideas and capital from elsewhere in the region.

Memphis: Access to Capital Means More Community, Government Infrastructure
Southern/Alpha
Looking into Memphis, there’s tons of opportunities for startup companies to grow, and there are certainly no shortages of resources like Start.Co, (which include a family of three accelerator organizations: Seed Hatchery, Upstart and SkyHigh) events like Emerge and Startup Memphis, and a plethora of interesting consumer, B2B and healthcare related startups. So today I interviewed Matt Heiter, Shareholder at Baker Donelson in Memphis, and Frank Williamson, partner at FourBridges Capital Advisors, to get an update on Memphis’ investment landscape.

New CEO, Big Funding Round for edo
Nashville Post
Credit card marketing company edo Interactive has a new CEO and nearly $20 million of fresh capital in the bank. Veteran Nashville sales executive Ed Braswell (pictured at right), who launched edo in June of 2007 after running the former Link2Gov for more two years, has stepped aside as president and CEO and is now the company’s executive chairman. Taking his place as CEO is Souheil Badran, who previously was a senior vice president at Digital River in Minnesota and general manager of that company’s payment lines of business.

TechTown Scholarships Available to Young Innovators
Chattanoogan.com
National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. members and Sigma Pi Phi have joined forces to offer summer camp scholarships to minority students to attend TechTown, and the Benwood Foundation has matched these donations, so that a total of 50 summer camp scholarships are available for Chattanooga-area youth. “The digital divide will continue to expand if we do not harness the attention of young people as early as possible,” said Sigma Pi Phi Foundation leader and businessman, S. Reginald Ruff.  “Chattanooga has created an innovation ecosystem that rivals any mid-size city in the country, and we want to ensure inclusiveness and opportunity for all Chattanoogans.”

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