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November 18th, 2015

November 18th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Ambition Experiences Growth After Focus on Product Improvement, Innovation
Nooga.com
The key to success for local company Ambition has been a focus on product refinement. “Within the first year and a half, we focused on making the platform the best it could be,” Jeremy Boudinet, marketing director for Ambition, said. “We invested all of our funding to creating the most robust platform we could, and that’s been the success of going and selling our product.” The company was a finalist in the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Innovation Awards. The company’s innovation is rooted in their product, Boudinet said. “Innovation in our minds has always been about how and what you build, and making sure that that builds value within the market,” he said.

Capital On-Tap, Rezli Software Platform Serves Career of Interactive Gamers and Others
Venture Tennessee Connections
REZLI, the software platform created by a Chattanooga startup that previously produced tournaments, will now focus on supporting interactive gamers and others who are building personal career networks and pursuing jobs they prize. A $1.4MM Series A round was recently completed by parent Iron Gaming Inc., according to Cory Allison, who is its president, CEO and a director. Proceeds will support platform development and early marketing. A Series-B raise is likely to support full market entry, next year. A target has not been set for the B-round, but it could be in the $3MM range. Allison said Series B talks at this time would distract her from operational priorities. After all, she’s still collecting A-round checks. The company has received a total $4.4MM in investments, since inception in 2012.

Commissioner Randy Boyd: Countdown to the Record
Tennessee ECD
When I accepted the job as commissioner of this department, it was with one slight reservation. I was aware that in 2013 we had won “State of the Year” for economic development and set a record for new jobs. When my appointment was announced, I called my great friend and predecessor, Bill Hagerty, who briefed me on my new team for about an hour and then concluded by saying, “We also have some more great news that has yet to be announced. We won ‘State of the Year’ again for an unprecedented second time and will set a new record again at 24,221 new job commitments!” While, of course, I was happy for my state, my first thought was, “Well, that’s just great for you Bill, but how can I follow that?!” I think I may have actually said it out loud! Read more.

Inaugural Class of Business Owners Graduate from Entrepreneurship Program
The Chattanoogan
Sixteen area business owners now have the “knowledge, connections, and the know-how” to grow their business with support from the NextLevel Chattanooga, an entrepreneurship program offered by the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga in collaboration with the city of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs, Chattanooga Small Business Development Center and BrightBridge. NextLevel Chattanooga is a seven-month program based upon the nationally recognized and award-winning StreetWise MBA curriculum. This curriculum was developed by Interise, a Boston-based nonprofit committed to helping existing small businesses that are interested in growing their businesses to scale.

What Would Global Entrepreneurship Week be without a Good Ol’ Fashioned Hackathon?
Jonathan Sexton with Knoxville Entrepreneur Center
Holy Global Entrepreneurship Week, Batman!   And what would GEW be without a good ol’ fashioned hackathon?  Our 6 CodeWorks teams are planning to spend the weekend coding their brains out, in preparation of Demo Day on December 17th… and we still have a few spots to fill, so this is an open call to help: Calling all developers! This weekend, November 20-22, come join us at KEC’s Market Square location for our second hackathon this year in support of our 6 CodeWorks teams.  Don’t worry, food and drinks are on us! (Well, technically – breakfast is on Cirrus Insight, so big, big, big thanks to them!) Wanna play? Email James Horey at jhorey@gmail.com or Jonathan Sexton at  JS@knoxec.net


Nashville Business Journal
Groups that support entrepreneurship in Nashville will soon have $500,000 of potential grant money they can use to further their missions. That’s thanks to Nashville’s selection as one of three cities the Kauffman Foundation is working with on a new program to advance entrepreneurial efforts in cities. The announcement was made official during a press conference Tuesday afternoon, during which Rachel Carlton, a senior adviser with the Kansas City-based foundation, talked about why Nashville won out over thousands of competing cities. “It was [the] evidence of collaboration that was one of the several things that captured our attention and eventually tipped the scales in favor of Nashville,” Carlton said, referencing not only a strong interest from the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and government officials but also business leaders in Nashville who voiced their support of such a program.

 


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