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April 28th, 2014

April 28th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Tennessean: LaunchTN program builds on success
Grants from the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs give early stage startups — especially those based on academic research — another vehicle through which to seek funding. In today’s competitive financing environment, these grants can help entrepreneurs who wouldn’t otherwise receive the money they need to start their businesses. Launch Tennessee is in the second year of the Phase 0/00 Program, which was named for the Phase I and Phase II awards given to successful SBIR/STTR applicants…So far in the program’s second year, Launch Tennessee Commercialization Director Jim Stefansic and Mark Henry, a nationally known SBIR/STTR expert and consultant, have screened and helped numerous companies with their applications. We’ve also held new events, including a workshop for academic research and development experts. At the workshop two weeks ago, Mark spoke about paid participation in research and development projects, ownership of funded small firms and leveraging academic preliminary data and intellectual property into the commercial marketplace.

Nooga:  Founder of The Company Lab moves into entrepreneurial ecosystem he helped create
Grizzle’s new undertaking is called Spartan Ventures, which is the investment arm of a company called Spartan Systems. Grizzle’s relationship with the partners of Spartan Systems began years ago. He said they were formative in what The Company Lab eventually became, and they were the first recipients of a grant from CreateHere and the Lyndhurst Foundation…Spartan Ventures, which is the investment arm of Spartan Systems, has four partners and a few different functions, Grizzle said. The company takes the profit generated through consulting to reinvest in startups that need software development work. The company’s leaders provide that work in exchange for equity in the startup, Grizzle said.

WBIR: Knoxville 3-D printing company shows off new technology
A 3-D printing company in East Tennessee showed off its newest technology Friday. ModernTech in West Knoxville hosted a 3-D printing seminar, to show people how the technology is changing manufacturing, engineering and even the medical fields…ModernTech says its 3-D printers can make products out of plastic or a rubber-like material. Its customers are from all industry segments, ranging in size from small organizations to multi-national companies.

Nashville Business Journal: Why Brentwood Capital Advisors wants to bolster its tech business
While some in Nashville bemoan a lack of venture capital – especially in fields outside of the health care space – Franklin-based investment banking firm Brentwood Capital Advisors is confident investment money will start to flow in the region as the technology scene gains momentum. To that end, the firm, which has traditionally focused much of its work on health care and health care IT companies, has added Cook Wylly as vice president to focus on a more diverse spectrum of technology companies.

National Innovation in the News

Washington Post: Here’s what it actually takes to make it as an entrepreneur
A young male who was born to be an entrepreneur drops out from a computer-science program at a prestigious university.  He meets a powerful venture capitalist who is so enamored with his idea that he gives him millions of dollars to build his technology.  Then comes the multi-billion-dollar IPO. That’s the Hollywood version of Silicon Valley.  But it is as far from reality as is Disneyland.  Entrepreneurship is never that easy and the stereotype of the startup founder is not representative of the technology world.  Yes, there are a few, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who made it big.  But they are the outliers—and they too don’t fit the stereotype. Here are six myths about what it actually takes to make it.Huffington Post: Marketing Is An Experiment For Startup Companies
In a scientific experiment, you start with a hypothesis based on what you currently understand about the world around you. You then test that hypothesis, rigorously and unbiasedly measuring how your subject responds in such an environment. Some experiments succeed, validating your hypothesis, while others fail, making you throw it out. Regardless of whether the experiment succeeds or fails, science continues to move forward. Scientists either solidify and expand the successful hypothesis or develop a new hypothesis based on the new data they were able to collect. As a marketer and entrepreneur, you need to channel the scientific method in order to get the most out of your marketing campaign.

Forbes:  Five Pitfalls Of Running Lean Startup Experiments
By now, the concepts popularized by Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup have become part of every day startup lingo. With that, the implications of each concept are misconstrued and loses meaning. MVP is used to describe the first version of a product launch, which it is not. Pivot is used loosely when teams abandon an idea on a whim in favor of another idea. Talking to customers is understood as asking your friends and peers what they think about your idea. At Lean Startup Machine, I’ve worked with thousands of entrepreneurs to help break down their grand startup visions into quick experiments. I’ve seen people repeating the same mistakes when trying to apply Lean Startup principles to their ideas. Here are the most common mistakes that will help clear up any confusion.


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