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September 26th, 2016

September 26th, 2016

TENNESSEE INNOVATION IN THE NEWS

A Week With Entrepreneurs and a Chat With Travelista Teri (Teri Johnson)
Inside of Knoxville
A critical component of a healthy city in 2016, and maybe in any era would be a creative, entrepreneurial culture. This week hundreds of people discussed these qualities and how and if they apply to our mid-sized city. Are we creative and entrepreneurial? The evidence of the week suggested as much. It started with the Mayor’s Summit Monday morning, followed by Etsy’s Maker City Event that afternoon. Speakers from the Kaufman Foundation, Etsy and our very own city talked about, as Mayor Rogero put it, “rethinking economic development while recognizing and supporting entrepreneurial efforts.” She pointed out that large companies are great, but they can go bankrupt or leave a city, doing a lot of damage to the community, while focusing on many smaller businesses is more sustainable.


Chattanooga’s Innovation District Beckons to Young Entrepreneurs
The New York Times
From Boston to Seattle, cities across the country are vying to create technology hubs, spurring real estate developments to attract start-ups and young entrepreneurs. To the south, this smaller but thriving city is seeing returns on its effort to do the same. Chattanooga has leveraged its lightning-fast broadband connections to develop a tech scene in its recently designed innovation district, a 140-acre section of its compact central business district. At the district’s core, the Edney Innovation Center draws young entrepreneurs who pace across the polished concrete floors and talk business from couches and beanbag chairs that give the 90,000-square-foot office building the feel of a college study hall.

EC Partnership Adds Second Day to Blockchain Conference
Nashville Post
The organizers of a conference next month on the potential for blockchain technology to disrupt the health care sector have teamed with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to add a second day of panels that will focus on the music industry and venture capital opportunities with blockchain companies. BTC Media’s Distributed:Health conference is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and will feature, among others, former Vanguard Health Systems Chairman Charlie Martin and the chief innovation officer of Humana.

‘Embrace the Danger of New Ideas’ at IdeaFestival
Startup Southerner
Ever been to an idea festival? Did you know the concept—in the United States, at least—originated in Kentucky? In 2000, the first IdeaFestival was held in Lexington, with 2,500 participants in its first year. In 2006, the festival moved to its current home in Louisville. Since then, more than 100,000 people have attended the annual event that bills itself as a place where you can “think differently and share that way of thinking with innovative, like-minded individuals,” explains Kris Kimel, the event’s founder. IdeaFestival 2016 kicks off Sept. 27 and runs through Sept. 30. We checked in with Kimel to find out more about this decidedly unique experience.

Nashville Firm Seeking to Become Uber of Beauty Salons Eyes Memphis
The Commercial Appeal
A Nashville-based technology company known as Belle is connecting customers with hair stylists and other beauty and health professionals who will provide services in customers’ homes. Like “sharing economy” giants such as Uber and Lyft in the transportation business and Airbnb in home rentals, Project Belle LLC has run afoul of government regulators who aren’t buying the company’s new model of doing business.

Richard Smith and Chattanooga VC Firm Fund Memphis Startup
Memphis Business Journal
The company has received a new round of funding from The Jumpfund, a Chattanooga-based all-female venture capital firm based in Chattanooga, and a personal investment from Richard Smith, vice president of global trade services at FedEx Express.

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