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November 3rd, 2015

November 3rd, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Dayton Entrepreneur Plans to Expand to Chattanooga, Carry on Family’s Legacy
Nooga.com
Third-generation entrepreneur John Tipton is studying business management at Mercer University, and he plans to expand his family’s business from Dayton to Chattanooga when he graduates. “My grandfather and uncle own their own mechanic shop, my grandmother has been cooking for over 50 years and has owned a couple of restaurants, and my parents have owned their store for 10 years,” he said. He hopes to expand his parents’ small business, a promotional product store and print shop called Solutions Printing, into the Hixson area. He is working out the details of the lease now and aiming to open in June. He is becoming an entrepreneur because of his family, not for the money, he said. He wants to carry on his family’s legacy and be a part of the community and storytelling aspect of business ownership.

Don’t Miss the Nashville Analytics Summit!
Nashville Analytics Summit
This Thursday & Friday (Nov. 5 & 6), the Nashville Technology Council and its Business Information & Analytics Peer Network are hosting the Nashville Analytics Summit at the Tractor Supply Head Quarters in Brentwood, Tennessee. This two-day event will focus on the fundamental issue data-driven organizations face today: how to effectively leverage analytics. This year’s keynote address will be given by Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer for Teradata. He provides insight on trends in the analytics & big data space and helps clients understand how Teradata and its analytic partners can support their efforts. Register here!

Enthusiasm, Energy &Inquisitiveness Abound in YEA! Classroom
Teknovation
Oh, to be so young with all of the enthusiasm, energy and inquisitiveness that was evident in a college classroom one recent evening when I had the opportunity to observe a “YEA!” session. It was one of 30 weekly classes scheduled well into next year where two dozen young people with an average age of between 13 and 14 are learning about entrepreneurship – taking an idea and developing it into a business. “YEA!” stands for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a national initiative among chambers of commerce that launched locally in mid-October. The Knoxville Chamber brought the program here, working in cooperation with the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee (UT), where the weekly sessions are held.

JusticeXL Accelerator Announces Demo Day
Venture Tennessee Connections
JusticeXL, the rural Tennessee accelerator for startups in the law-enforcement, public safety and corrections sector, announced that eight startups will present during JusticeXL Demo Day Nov. 18, 2015, Noon to 5pm. JusticeXL is operated by the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC), based in Tullahoma, south of Nashville. Program Manager Jerry Wright emphasized that “JusticeXL is the only accelerator in the nation focused collectively on law enforcement, public safety, and corrections. New emerging technologies combined with a strong nation-wide interest in law enforcement, public safety, and corrections make this business sector vibrant for new startups…”

LeanKit COO Makes Move to London
Nashville Post
Change has been the constant this year at LeanKit, a lean process and workflow management software company based in downtown Franklin. In July, the group founded in 2009 secured $16 million in funding from New York-based investment firm Insight Venture Partners. As that funding announcement made waves, co-founder and CEO Chris Hefley and his team were making moves that resulted in more big news in late September: the acquisition of Nashville-based custom software development shop Firefly Logic. “We’ve used Firefly Logic as a contractor, and one of our founders is a former employee. It’s such a great fit,” said Hefley, who plans for all Firefly employees to complete their transition to LeanKit employees this month. The combined team numbers about 100 people and counts among its clients Kimberly-Clark, Rockwell Automation, Xerox, IBM, CarMax, Honda, Target, PayPal, Rolls-Royce, Verizon, Cisco, EMC, Microsoft, Adobe and Siemens. As the Firefly veterans make their way to Franklin, Hefley (left) confirmed that COO Jon Terry officially moved to London about a month ago and plans to stay in Europe for the next two years to be close to the company’s Old World client base, which accounts for about 30 percent of LeanKit’s total.

Nashville Business Journal
The Nashville Technology Council is taking a stand. Or, at least, it’s helping its member do so. The group, which has been working to define its role in Nashville during the past two years under relatively new CEO Bryan Huddleston, is adding advocacy to its slate of offerings for members. That doesn’t necessarily mean the council will start lobbying policymakers, said Alex Curtis, who’s heading the effort. “It’s something that the tech council hasn’t taken on to this point,” said Curtis, whose background includes time spent working for a Washington, D.C., public advocacy firm and on Capitol Hill. But, he continued, especially as the NTC focuses on its role as a supporter of educational programs designed to build a pipeline of future tech workers, “It’s been something that we’ve increasingly needed to be involved in.”

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