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April 10th, 2014

April 10th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Disruption Corp.’s Paul Singh launches N.Va. venture fund for established tech firms
It’s that “post-seed” void that his company, Disruption Corp., is looking to fill with the launch of its $50 million venture fund, called the Crystal Tech Fund. Capital isn’t all the those businesses need, Singh said. Many small, growing technology companies have just as much trouble finding adequate work space, he said, because they are often too large to share short-term co-working spaces and growing too quickly to sign long-term leases. Singh’s solution? Offer optional, flexible office space to every company in the new fund’s portfolio. So far, five technology companies — three from the Washington area, one from Tennessee and one from Texas — have raised money through the fund and started to move into the space.

Memphis Daily News: Startup Conference Prepares to Return to Memphis
Final preparations are underway for the startup-focused Everywhere Else conference, which is returning to Memphis at the end of the month after its launch here last year and will bring entrepreneurs, investors and creatives from around the country to the Bluff City. Tippmann said this year’s expected attendance, for example, will be a maximum of 400 people, a fraction of what the event tried for last year. It will be held April 30 through May 2 at the 409 South Main gallery.

Press Release: iCitizen Android version now available
Nashville, Tenn. — iCitizen for Android launched today on the Google Play store with a free app that aims to make citizen involvement in democracy easier through the use of sophisticated mobile technology combined with a unique user experience. Called “nothing short of extraordinary” by POLITICO, iCitizen is a non-partisan civic engagement solution that enables citizens (i) to monitor in real time their personalized issues of concern (their “political DNA”), (ii) monitor the actions of their elected representatives generally and in connection with their unique political DNA, and (iii) make their voices count by voting on proposed legislation, elected representative performance and specific issues important to the individual. The Android version is a followup to iCitizen for iOS devices available on the App Store on iTunes. With over 300,000 downloads and a 4.5-star average user rating, iCitizen has experienced major growth and seen a wide base of active users since its November launch on iOS.

Nashville Business Journal: Officials expect an encore for Entrepreneur Center’s program for artists
The inaugural Periscope class, a business-training program for artists hosted at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, reached its halfway point this week, and program organizers already see opportunities for a second class…The class, which has 25 artists enrolled, marks the EC’s first foray into Nashville’s creative community. While the end game for artist-entrepreneurs may be different than the more-familiar health care or tech entrepreneurs that come through the EC, business basics remain the same, Burcham said, especially understanding the customer.

National Innovation in the News

Forbes: Barbara Corcoran’s 5 Tips For Investing In Crowdfunded Startups
Companies raising millions of dollars in crowdfunding campaigns are making out like bandits. Rewards-based crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer the lowest cost capital a startup can raise, bar none. But the backers are getting short-changed. They’re literally giving their money away to promising companies or projects in exchange for “good will” and a t-shirt or some other trivial promise of a future reward. Backers are simply not compensated for the substantial risks they take, which is a real shame considering some of thesestartups go on to make huge profits…I recently sat down with Barbara Corcoran, one of the “Sharks” on ABC’s hit TV show, Shark Tank, who has evaluated thousands of startups and invested in scores of them. She cautions that investors who decide to back the companies they believe in in the hopes of turning a profit will have to be willing to put in the extra time and effort involved in making smart decisions. This is especially true of people investing in startups for the first time. Barbara offers first-time angel investors 5 tips for startup investing.

Wall Street Journal: The Daily Startup: Fundbox Fills Up With $17.5M for Small-Biz Loans
In another example of investors flocking to put money into financial startups, Fundbox has raised $17.5 million to help small businesses cover their invoices with short-term loans, Deborah Gage reports for VentureWire. The investment was led by Khosla Ventures and includes SV Angels and several prominent individuals…YC’s New President. In an interview on CNNMoney, Y Combinator’s new presidentSam Altman talks about how determination is more important than talent and about the odds entrepreneurs must overcome.

Huffington Post: 6 Online Resources to Make Your Life Easier As an Entrepreneur
In today’s entrepreneurial landscape, the entrepreneurs that will succeed are those that can find a way to do complex task in a simple, cost effective and time saving manner. With the introduction of new technology and with the advent of the dot com era, it has never been easier to start a business. For aspiring entrepreneurs and for entrepreneurs having problems with their business, here are some effective online tools that will make your life much easier. This will also make the entrepreneurial journey much more fun.

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