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April 17th, 2014

April 17th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Tennessean: State investment keeps local companies local
Tennessee’s momentum as a hub for entrepreneurship and capital formation is generating a lot of activity to support business startups in our state while attracting a lot of attention nationally as a place to invest in young companies. As TNInvestco turns 5, it is important to recall that five years ago capital was a relatively scarce resource for early-stage companies. TNInvestco proved to be a spark for our economy, and since then a number of very positive efforts have followed, including Jumpstart Foundry, Bullpen Ventures, growth of Nashville Capital Network angel funds and the launch of Nashville Entrepreneur Center. TNInvestco pushed Tennessee’s potential over the hill, and now it is picking up speed.

Times Free Press: Chattanooga’s Co.Lab shifting to ‘next stage’
Four years ago, Co.Lab was barely more than an idea: just a couple of guys running around the city, hosting events and talking about entrepreneurship…The Co.Lab is behind many of the events that have helped Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial ecosystem blossom, like 48Hour Launch, when teams of aspiring entrepreneurs come in on a Friday and have a business plan by Sunday. Or GigTank, which is a summer long program aimed at launching high-growth tech companies.

Teknovation.Biz: Michael Neel sees games development as helping achieve his goals
For local technology guru Michael Neel, CodeStock and the Technology Cooperativeseem like family. They are, after all, two activities where he has invested considerable time and energy. CodeStock is a two-day technology and information gathering of working professionals – web developers, information technology professionals, and entrepreneurs – who share their knowledge and experience. The 2014 event is set for July 11 and 12…Neel also formed the Technology Cooperative with two friends – Eric Johnson, a colleague at Jewelry Television, and Byron Williamson with Cruze Computers. “The Tech Co-op is about how we provide access to technology for students in schools that are less affluent,” he told us. The business model is somewhat unique. The Technology Cooperative provides collaborative workspace for members willing to donate their time to provide free technical learning activities, consultation, and mentoring for middle and high school students.

National Innovation in the News

NPR: ‘Silicon Valley’ Asks: Is Your Startup Really ‘Making The World Better’?
“The tech world has become really interesting to me, especially in recent years,” Judge tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies. Judge recognizes certain personality types from his college days and from his brief Silicon Valley engineering career in the ’80s. “Just knowing those types and seeing them suddenly have billions and billions of dollars — there’s just something funny about it to me,” he says, “and it’s something I hadn’t really seen explored that much.”

Forbes: “Why Can’t You Be More Like A Startup?” — How To Build A Culture Of Agility
Disruptive innovation and disruptive business models are increasingly fashionable. In this business environment, established businesses are often asked, “Why can’t you act more like a startup?” The sad fact is there are any number of businesses that see the potential for an “Agile” or “Lean” set of business practices, but don’t invest in the foundations required for it to succeed…To the cynically minded, “acting like a startup” might be interpreted as people asking permission to make rushed decisions with little or no oversight. However, my experience in working both at startups and Fortune 500 companies makes me believe that large businesses and startups could learn a great deal from each other.

Huffington Post: Entrepreneurship and Women: How We Can and Should Make “Female” an Unnecessary Adjective
Focusing on gender alone misses the point for true entrepreneurs. It is HARD for everyone. Whether you are black, white, female, Hispanic or male, it is really hard to do something that no one has ever done before. If you don’t believe me, read The Hard Thing about Hard Things. The tech press only features the outliers that have ten term sheets, instant viral growth and tech talent beating down the company ‘s door. Entrepreneurship, for the rest of us, levels the playing field quickly. Sleepless nights. Tough conversations. Big decisions in the face of uncertainty. I will consider it real progress when I walk into a VC meeting, a customer pitch, or my future IPO road show and no one says — wow look at this amazing company a female entrepreneur built. I want them to say — look how this person built something from the ground up and made lives better because of it.

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