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September 20th, 2016

September 20th, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

America’s Entrepreneurial Schools Initiative Receives POWER Grant
EntreEd
The comprehensive K-12 Entrepreneurship Education Initiative known as America’s Entrepreneurial Schools began last year in West Virginia and has been awarded nearly $2.2 million to expand efforts to more counties in West Virginia as well as counties/districts in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. EntreEd Executive Director Gene Coulson said the $2.2 million Appalachian Regional Commission grant awarded through the POWER initiative will be disbursed to his organization over three years, hopefully alongside the $75,000 over three years that his group has applied to receive from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The Benedum Foundation and the Appalachian Regional Commission — an economic development partnership among the federal government and state and local governments — together gave $125,000 for Coulson to begin the entrepreneurship education program last school year.

Eclectic Eye Co-Founder: A Small Business Has to Start Somewhere
Memphis Daily News
Robbie Johnson Weinberg has a great appreciation for FedEx, AutoZone, International Paper and other large corporations based in Memphis. But when she’s traveling, the co-founder of Eclectic Eye always likes to check out the small businesses in other cities – everything from a neighborhood pub to the “funky comic book store.” Those small businesses, like her own, which she started with husband Michael Weinberg in 2002, don’t just happen, aren’t just spoken into being because somebody has a dream and a desire to do something else. There must be an initial business plan, no matter how basic, to serve as a catalyst for the steps that will follow.

Innovation Crossroads: ORNL Energy-Startup Accelerator Aborning
Venture Tennessee Connections
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is launching a new accelerator and training program in the Oak Ridge area for clean-energy entrepreneurs. Venture Tennessee research indicates the accelerator program is dubbed Innovation Crossroads. Without formally revealing the name of the accelerator, ORNL made the announcement in general terms, in a mailing to news media, this morning. Coincidentally or not, unveiling of the project coincides with today’s kickoff of the robust Innova865 Week of startup Pitch events and related activities in Knoxville.

Knoxville Officially Proclaimed a ‘Maker City’ at First Summit
Knoxville News Sentinel
On Monday, as a result of their tenaciousness, over 300 makers and city officials filled The Mill & Mine for the inaugural Knoxville Maker City Summit. The organizers’ goal was to talk about the successes and needs of the maker community in Knoxville, at this free event. While 13 cities were selected to attend the Etsy Maker Cities Summit in May, not all 13 have officially been named Etsy Maker Cities yet. To do so, they need to execute their project plans from the summit and receive an official letter of recognition from Etsy.

“Mayor’s Summit on Entrepreneurship” Launches Week-Long Startup Celebration
Teknovation
“Pizza, beer and music are the holy trinity” of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, Evan Absher of the Kauffman Foundation told about 100 people attending yesterday’s “Mayor’s Summit on Entrepreneurship.” The morning session, hosted by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, officially kicked-off “Innov865 Week,” the region’s first-ever week-long celebration of entrepreneurship. It was also the fourth Mayor’s Summit that Kauffman has co-hosted around the country, going to places where Mayors are heavily involved in the start-up space. “Entrepreneurship has been part of my agenda since I came into office,” Mayor Rogero said. “Today’s theme is rethinking economic development. We are not talking about scrapping or taking away from anything we are doing.”

Startup Week Announces Kay Koplovitz as Kickoff Speaker
The Chattanoogan
Startup Week will take place Oct. 3-7 and organizers have announced the kickoff speaker, Kay Koplovitz, managing partner at Springboard Growth Capital, chairman of Springboard Enterprises, and founder and former CEO of USA Networks.  Ms. Koplovitz will get the week’s activities underway on Monday, Oct. 3, at 11:30 a.m. in Miller Plaza with a presentation sponsored by EPB Fiber Optics.

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