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May 7th, 2015

May 7th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Internet of Things: BKON Connect Tacks Toward Seed and Series A Raises
Venture Nashville Connections
BKON Connect is crossing that ocean known as the Internet of Things, navigating toward both UriBeacon and iBeacon markets, and preparing to bring investors aboard. Nashville-based serial entrepreneur Richard Graves, who is co-founder and CEO of BKON, told VNC he aims to raise about $500K in Seed Capital near-term, followed in autumn by a Series A round.

LaunchTN Announces Full List of 36|86 Finalists
Southern/alpha
The selected 36 startups represent seven southern states plus the District of Columbia, span 18 industry clusters and have collectively raised over $18M in capital. We featured GameWisp and Scorebird as finalists in Spark, Southern/alpha’s annual pitch competition. Additionally, we’ve covered 19 out of the 36 finalists.

Nashville-based YouScience Raises $3.9 Million
Nashville Business Journal
Nashville-based YouScience has raised $3.9 million as part of a $5 million funding round, according to a news release. CEO Philip Hardin, a former Emdeon executive, and The Ball Foundation contributed $2.2 million to the round. YouScience focuses on helping high school and college students determine a career track based on their strengths and interests.

Report: Tech Jobs on the Rise in Music City
Nashville Business Journal
With a growing tech sector comes a growing demand for tech workers. The supply part can be more of a challenge. The number of technology job openings in Nashville grew 9 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to the Nashville Technology Council’s annual employment spotlight, released Thursday.

This New TN Law is Considered a Boom for Recruiting Businesses, Startups
Nashville Business Journal
Proponents of a new filing status for companies argue it will be an effective tool for recruiting new businesses and lead to more startups in Tennessee. The legislation allows for-profit corporations to register and form as benefit corporations in Tennessee. What that means: A company can now incorporate in Tennessee so that its main goal is not simply generating shareholder returns; instead, its driving mission can be some type of material impact for the public good (whether its promoting clearer air, preserving the environment or even funding after-school programs to promote college-readiness).

Wal-Mart Touts Memphis Entrepreneur in Effort to Attract More Vendors
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cites Memphis entrepreneur Jennifer McCullough in its latest call for products made in the United States. McCullough was a caterer whose Chef Jenn line of prepared foods was stocked last year for the first time by the nation’s largest retailer. Wal-Mart has scheduled its annual Made in the USA Open Call and U.S. Manufacturing Summit on July 7 and July 8 in Bentonville, Arkansas. Potential suppliers are invited to show products made in America.

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