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November 6th, 2015

November 6th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Enoble to Add $200 Million in Memphis-Area Business Funding
Memphis Daily News
Enoble Business Capital is expanding its service offerings to focus on Memphis-area startups and entrepreneurs, with the firm committing to add $200 million in business funding in Memphis over the next three years. The firm has specialized in supporting businesses in the transportation industry for years. Enoble COO and founding partner Jeff Rose said the company is dedicating new resources to provide funding solutions to Memphis-area entrepreneurs in a broad range of industries. Minority entrepreneurs are another area of focus. In the past 12 months, Enoble has provided more than $111 million in funding to Memphis-area businesses, 70 percent of which were women- and minority-owned.

Knoxville Chamber Wins Prestigious 5-Star National Accreditation
Knoxville News Sentinel
The Knoxville Chamber this week was given Five-Star accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in recognition primarily of its services to the community’s businesses and its pursuit of economic development, said Knoxville Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Edwards. The prestigious award isn’t granted lightly. The U.S. Chamber says only 102 of its currently more than 7,000 member chambers have qualified for the top level of accreditation. “It’s a pretty big deal for us,” Edwards said. “The award goes to the chamber as an entity, but it reflects on our business community overall and how well they operate and function. It was awarded to the chamber as their representative.”

RootsRated Raises $3 Million, with Series A Underway
Venture Tennessee Connections
Founder/CEO Fynn Glover confirmed for Venture Nashville that the Series A target is $2MM, of which more than $1.5MM has been raised, reflecting a $100K rise since the company filed Oct. 30. Glover, 27, said the company is likely to pursue a Series B raise in 2016, with a target possibly in the $3MM-$5MM range. Within about 12 months, Glover said he expects the company to reach breakeven or better and have a profile in about 25 U.S. markets. The company’s outdoors positioning is aligned with a widely recognized trend in Americans’ increased interest in healthy lifestyles, he said.

Silicon Valley Chooses Nashville
Medium
GrowthX makes early bets on great young companies. Our focus as a fund — drawing heavily from the deep experience of our partners as early-stage go-to-market experts — is identifying and investing in scale-up opportunities. We love writing the “in between” checks for startups that have graduated from a business accelerator and are working towards their Series A traction milestones. Our unique differentiator is that we back-up our investment capital with human capital. GrowthX makes early bets on great young companies. Our focus as a fund — drawing heavily from the deep experience of our partners as early-stage go-to-market experts — is identifying and investing in scale-up opportunities. We love writing the “in between” checks for startups that have graduated from a business accelerator and are working towards their Series A traction milestones.

Skillery Cutting Back on Workshops, Looks to Sharpen Entrepreneurship Focus
Nashville Post
The maturation of Nashville’s entrepreneurial community has led the founder and leader of The Skillery co-working and incubation space in Germantown to ring in some big changes as 2015 winds to a close. In an honest and eloquent blog post, Matt Dudley says the five-year-old Skillery needs to move on from its wide-ranging menu of classes and workshops. “It’s time to narrow our focus,” Dudley writes. “It’s time to let some things go. It’s time to make a change.” But The Skillery is here and established as a place for budding entrepreneurs to test their ideas, make valuable contacts and learn some of the skills they’ll need to grow successful business. Earlier this year, Dudley and his team designed and assembled a one-day workshop “Introduction to Entrepreneurship.”

Southern/Alpha
A true cast of characters assembled at the recent BarCamp Nashville, the annual technology unconference that brings together coders, designers, entrepreneurs and other creatives to learn, share and network. In between sessions, Clark Buckner, of podcasting agency Relationary Marketing, sat down with speakers, sponsors and other attendees and uncovered the backstories and personal interests that are celebrated at BarCamp. Dave Beronja, an ecommerce manager with a large corporate ecommerce company, works remotely from Nashville. Dave, who has been involved with BarCamp since the beginning, says that the unconference is really about evolution. “You don’t want to completely define it,” Dave mentions about BarCamp, discussing the varied sessions and people that you can meet at the event. “The idea that it’s just a tech conference or just about coding is kind of mistaken. It really is kind of in between tech and creative and entrepreneurship. Like I said, you can’t pinpoint it down and that’s why you should attend and that’s why I’m here.”

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