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September 2nd, 2015

September 2nd, 2015

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS
Clinical Trial Starts for Vaccine 25+ Years in the Making in Memphis
SouthernAlpha
“Nature is really clever, and Jim has been working to unwind it for a long time,” said Dr. Steve Bares, president and executive director of Memphis Bioworks, when he spoke of Dr. James B. Dale, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Perhaps Dr. Dale’s name may not have a familiar ring, but strep, the topic of his research, may be something you’ve experienced. While strep generally causes short-term inconvenience for many affected families in the United States, there are still 1,850 deaths from strep in the country each year. Worldwide, Group A streptococcal (GAS) infections cause an estimated 663,000 cases of severe infection and 470,000 cases of acute rheumatic fever result in 517,000 deaths annually. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome has a mortality rate of 30-70%. And Dr. Dale has been working on a streptococcal vaccine for over 25 years in Memphis, with the goal to prevent these needless deaths that often claim the lives of young children.

Don’t Miss AngelSummit US
Angel Summit US
Join other influencers in the movement to transform startup investing in the US and across the globe. Learn from the world’s most forward-thinking investors and entrepreneurs. Meet trailblazers in corporate innovation and community development. Explore new opportunities and partnerships and discover the Southeast’s dynamic startup scene in a conference set among the beauty and culture of fall in Tennesse.

Franklin Tech Startup Looks to London for Growth
Nashville Business Journal
Fresh off a $16 million investment round, Franklin-based tech startup LeanKit is looking to London for its next office. Chris Hefley, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said about a third of LeanKit’s revenue already comes from Europe despite the fact that the company’s “never had anybody on the ground tying to make the most of it.” So, supported in part by that $16 million raise announced in mid-July, co-founder Jon Terry will move across the pond in a few weeks with his family to start establishing an office and hiring sales people. Once the first few employees are added, Hefley said, they’ll assess where they might establish a brick-and-mortar location.

Memphis-Based Wright Medical Wins FDA Approval of Augment Bone Graft
The Commercial Appeal
Long-sought government approval of a bone graft product on Tuesday achieved a key part of Wright Medical Group Inc.’s blueprint for fast growth as a Memphis medical device maker. The company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Augment Bone Graft, a biologic product the firm bet on with a $190 million purchase in 2013 of Franklin, Tennessee-based BioMimetic Therapeutics Inc.

NorthSouth Productions – Mark Hickman
Knoxville Entrepreneur Center & Kelly Hastings
Located in the quaint Emory Place Historic District of Knoxville, Tennessee, NorthSouth Productions’ role in the media industry is anything but outdated and old-fashioned.  Boasting well-known clients such as History, TLC, Discovery, TruTV, A&E, Food Network, Sundance, Speed and Travel Channel, NorthSouth is a major player in the national media market.  With two other offices in New York and Atlanta, NorthSouth helps put Knoxville on the map for cable television producers and consumers across the country. NorthSouth has produced many notable television series since its inception in 2000, including the popular show Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, which chronicles women’s attempts to find the perfect wedding gown at Bridal’s by Lori, the nation’s largest full service bridal salon.  The show is produced for TLC and is in its ninth season.  The comedy series Impractical Jokers capitalizes on hidden cameras and outrageous public pranks performed by four childhood friends and members of comedy troupe The Tenderloins.  On April 1st, 2014, the group performed on The Today Show, posing as an up and coming boy band.  Impractical Jokers is in its fifth season and airs on TruTV.

RAMP Manufacturing Conference, EXPO Plans Unveiled
Teknovation
The second annual “RAMP Manufacturers’ Conference and EXPO” is set for October 5 and 6 at the Hilton Knoxville Airport Hotel. The event begins with a cocktail reception the first day with opening remarks by Senator Doug Overbey and will continue on October 6 with a full-day of speakers, panels, and live demonstrations, according to Stephen Williams of Tech 2020. “We had 400 attendees last year, and our goal is to have at least as many in 2015,” he said. The location was selected for ease of access for attendees. RAMP stands for the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, an initiative initially funded under a federal grant that is currently transitioning into a membership-based entity.

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