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April 25th, 2014

April 25th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Nashville Ledger: Accelerator programs help secure Tennessee’s image as tech hub
A collective of software and consumer Internet-based accelerator programs has placed Tennessee on the map – strikingly close to the technology holy ground of Silicon Valley. Tennessee’s nine statewide accelerator programs represent the only such network of tech incubators in the country, and they’re backed by Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership intended to coordinate and support entrepreneurial activity across the state. In June, Launch Tennessee will partner with Pando CEO Sarah Lacy for the inaugural Southland Conference. The three-day technology and startup conference will be the first of its kind outside of Silicon Valley. “There’s a lot of relationship building from Silicon Valley to New York that has allowed for even greater success of our programs,” says Launch Tennessee president and CEO Charlie Brock. “Southland will be just another step up.’’

Tennessean:  Spring Hill’s AutoXLR8R partners with Clemson
A Spring Hill-based accelerator program for automotive startups will partner with Clemson University’s automotive research center during this summer’s entrepreneur boot camp. Companies involved in the AutoXLR8R camp for 2014, which runs May 19 to Aug. 15, will spend two weeks at the Clemson campus in South Carolina as they develop their products and business plans. “This partnership with (Clemson) will allow Auto­XLR8R aspiring companies to receive additional hands-on training and instruction from some incredibly qualified industry experts and local specialists,” said Jack Sisk, the AutoXLR8R program manager.

Nashville Ledger: A Jumpstart toward success: Nashville business accelerator ranks among nation’s best
Jumpstart Foundry, a microfund supporting seed-stage ventures and the start-up entrepreneurs behind them, has graduated 28 entrepreneurs through its annual three-month intensive cohort. The companies have raised more than $10 million since the program’s inception in 2010. Thriving startups like Newsbreak, Wannado and The Skillery have all received tutelage through Jumpstart Foundry. Nationally, the accelerator program was named one of the top 15 programs by Tech Crunch during South by Southwest. According to Tech Crunch, that ranking is based on the company’s success in securing financing after the program, opinions of venture capitalists, and how participants rate their experience during the cohort.

Times Free Press: Mozilla funds three Chattanooga gigabit-education projects
The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund will give money to three Chattanooga projects that aim to marry education with the city’s gigabit-per-second Internet speeds, Mozilla announced today. The technology company started the fund earlier this year with a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, and is splitting that money between Kansas City and Chattanooga. Mozilla is offering grants between $5,000 and $30,000 to teams that aim to create tangible, local applications for gigabit Internet during 2014. That projects must focus on either education or workforce development, and a total of eight projects have been funded — five in Kansas City and three in Chattanooga. The Chattanooga projects are: Remote Audio Mixing, Hyperlocal Hyperaudio and Viditor.

National Innovation in the News

Mashable: How to Raise the Next Generation of Innovators and Entrepreneurs
An entrepreneurial spirit isn’t just something you find in adults with startup companies and well-seasoned careers; it’s something we should be encouraging in our children and students from a very young age. After all, if we want the kids of today to create new inventions and technologies, improve our society, and affect real, viable change, then we need to not only inspire their creative thinking and innovation, but also give them avenues to turn that into to actionable tools.

Forbes: The Highs And Lows Of The Startup Game: Entrepreneur Matthew Bellows Tells His Tale
There are a lot of journeymen (and women) in the startup and tech game. Matthew Bellows would probably qualify as one of them. In his 18-year career he’s founded a company and flipped it for a few million dollars, jumped on board a growing tech startup but left before it was acquired, braved inter-office power struggles (and got canned in the process), raised millions in growth capital and, most recently, launched a sales and marketing communication tool called Yesware, all the while managing to fit in countless hours meditating. “Business is very creative and you’re literally creating something out of nothing. I really love that feeling” said the 46-year-old. “That’s the feeling, I think, that drives me now.”

Businessweek:  How to Test Your Startup Idea for Fluffiness
You’ve soaked up all the entrepreneurship classes in business school and studied the careers of such innovative chief executives as Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. You haveThe Innovator’s Dilemma practically memorized. Now ask yourself if you know the key differences between fluffy ideas and weightier opportunities. Innovators should know the answer: Opportunities can be analyzed and presented in concrete terms, while ideas remain at the conceptual level. If you can’t tell the difference, your idea will probably get little traction and never evolve into an opportunity.

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