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October 30th, 2015

October 30th, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

Franklin Health Care Startup with Big-Name Background Readies for Prime Time
Nashville Business Journal
That’s what Tim Ryan is hoping to capitalize on with his new Franklin-based life sciences startup, Sano Informed Prescribing, co-founded by his brother, Doug Ryan, a vice president with Colliers International, and experienced health care executive Murray Blackshear. “The why is pretty simple,” Tim Ryan, a veteran of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, said of the reasoning behind the company. “We think optimizing medications [patients] are currently taking or should be taking will do far more for health care than bringing new drugs to market. And we see a lot of value for the patient.”

Meet the Six Teams of CodeWorks, Tennessee’s First Accelerator for Coders
Southern/Alpha
Earlier this month, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center kicked off its newest accelerator program, CodeWorks.  Six teams, with focus on a variety of markets, were selected for Tennessee’s first accelerator exclusively for software developers. Jonathan Sexton, entrepreneur-in-residence at the KEC, is already quite impressed with the teams that are just a few weeks into their program, especially when it comes to their problem-solving mindset in that “scaleable, hacker way.” Sexton says that their natural tendency to tackle the technology first in order to come up with all solution has been the one challenge where he hopes CodeWorks can help. “We encourage them to not think about just the technical side of the problem and get them out of the mindset of themselves and into the mindset of the customer,” said Sexton, as he emphasized again how impressed he is with the teams.

MyPro Platform Breaks Stealth, Eyes Capraise + Future IPO
Venture Nashville Connections
Andrew McGarry’s MyPro platform for digital content from celebrities, experts and other inspiring figures has quietly hopped from storyboard to Mobile/Web; collected $1.5MM investment; and, is looking seriously toward an institutional round and future IPO. Given what he’s been able to get done with $1.5MM in the past three years, McGarry said he believes somewhere in that range there’ll be enough powder to fund near-term growth and position the company for a further institutional raise or even an early IPO. He raised MyPro’s earlier investment from friends and family, in $25K to $200K amounts.

SweetBio Uses Honey for Oral Healing
Memphis Daily News
Honey is more than just a sweet substance for SweetBio. It’s the main ingredient in the healing process that comes with its guided tissue regeneration membrane that will be used in oral surgeries. SweetBio is a Memphis-based biotech company with a mission to make a membrane that can be used in oral surgeries to regenerate tissue and bone. It combines Manuka honey with natural wound-healing potential and antibacterial properties. SweetBio was founded in March, but the idea for the product has been in development for a few years, dating back to when CEO and co-founder Isaac Rodriguez was at Virginia Commonwealth University where he earned his doctor of philosophy in 2013.

TN Commits $8MM to Support Rural Economic Development
SSTI.org
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced a new fund to support economic development in rural parts of the state. While most of the $8 million (approximately $7 million) is designated for shovel-ready economic development sites and tourism projects, the state will commit $600,000 for economic development grants to support entrepreneurship in small towns across the state including $300,000 to support a Main Street Business Incubator Program for downtown business districts. Launch Tennessee will receive $75,000 for AgLaunch – an agritech-focused business acceleration program developed by Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

Nashville Business Journal
Inspired by her grandparents, Reese Witherspoon knew she wanted her lifestyle company to have a philanthropic component. That’s why she spent her Tuesday night at Music City Center with Mayor Megan Barry, YWCA CEO Pat Shea, First Tennessee’s Middle Tennessee President Carol Yochem and group of Nashville girls looking to learn more about personal finance. Draper James, which recently opened its first brick and mortar store in Nashville’s 12South neighborhood, partnered with the YWCA to support its Girls Inc. program, kicking off with Tuesday night’s Girls Just Wanna Have Funds conference. Answering questions before the conference, Witherspoon said she was inspired to give back to the Nashville community — her hometown — by the example of her grandparents (for whom Draper James is named).

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