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April 3rd, 2014

April 3rd, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Mashable: Startup Offers Free Ebooks So No Good Book Goes Unread
Screwpulp launched last year to help independent authors get their books in front of readers and the site now has 70 books from 55 authors, and just raised its first round of funding. The site allows authors to list their books as a free download in all major ereader formats, and readers that download a free book must review it before downloading another free book. This engagement loop forces honest feedback to the author, which Screwpulp co-founder Richard Billings says not only helps curate books for readers but could inform writers…Screwpulp already has a great hook for readers by offering free books but if it can catapult the breakout of a few bestselling authors it could soon be Kickstarter for the publishing world.

Tennessean: InvisionHeart lands $100K from AOL founder Steve Case
Executives of InvisionHeart, a Nashville startup, pitched their business to Silicon Valley investors at Google today and walked away with a $100,000 equity investment from AOL founder Steve Case…For InvisionHeart, founded by Vanderbilt University cardiac anesthesiologist Susan Eagle and led by CEO Josh Nickols, that investment means the company is close to completing a $1.25 million Series A funding round that will allow it to finish its technology phase, seek clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and begin sales.

News Channel 5: Students Go High-Tech For Spring Break
While most kids spend their spring break playing video games, 14 Maury County students are programing their very own. For five days; six hours a day, these students ages 12 to 18, are learning what signs, numbers and letters all mean when you put them together…Mitchell Taylor, with BizFoundry, says programing may look like a foreign language to many of us, but it’s not as hard as it seems. “[The students] can come in literally knowing nothing and can learn the basics and know what’s going on by the end of the week,” said Taylor. This program is all part of Launch Tennessee, which focuses on job and economic growth. The goal with this particular program is to inspire kids to start their own companies or just have the qualification to get jobs in the growing computer science field.

Teknovation.Biz: Millhorn talks about his vision for UT Research Foundation
David Millhorn is passionate about research and the impact that scientific discovery can have on individuals, society and the economy. As the University of Tennessee’s (UT) Executive President and Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Hamilton County native oversees a variety of activities – from the institution’s managementrelationship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to the UT Research Foundation (UTRF)…He talks about new initiatives such as managing start-ups and overseeing contract research. “We need to explore what else we can do other than technology transfer,” he says in reference to the primary role that UTRF does. In fact, UTRF is the umbrella for organizations like Cherokee Farm, TennEra, and older initiatives such as the Tennessee Solar Institute and Tennessee Biofuels Initiative. Millhorn would like to see UTRF do a better job of leveraging these assets.

Nashville Business Journal: The Pitch: Technology built by engineers, for engineers, seeks to solve problems faster
When Jamie Bailey was working as an engineer for Lexmark International, he and his colleagues spent much of their time searching for and fixing bugs and problems slowing down product launches. That’s why he developed Initial State, a Nashville-based startup that spun out from Lexmark in 2012 and recently raised $570,000 in its first round of funding… Initial State’s technology allows engineers to feed large, “ugly,” “Matrix-like” data sets from products that have encountered a problem into its system to create a data visualization that’s easier to digest.

National Innovation in the News

Inc.: 4 Things You Need to Know Today – April 3rd
A roundup of the day’s news curated by the Inc. editorial team to help you and your business succeed…Through the end of March, 64 companies went public raising nearly $11 billion, according to new research from IPO advisor and research company Renaissance Capital. That’s more than double the number of companies that went public in the first quarter of 2013, and the highest number since the same period in 2000, Renaissance reports. Health care and biotech firms dominated the public debuts… Early adoption and buzz are great, but what makes people stick with your product over the long haul? That’s the dilemma facing makers of wearable tech: According to a research paper by Endeavor, one in 10 Americans own an activity tracker, but half of them no longer use it.

Time: Startups Going to the Dogs
As Americans spend more on pets, businesses hope to cash in…American spending on pets reached a record $55.7 billion last year, more than the GDP of Luxembourg. “If the pet industry were tracked by the U.S. government as a single entity, we’d be the seventh largest retail segment in the country,” says Bob Vetere, CEO of the American Pet Products Association, which released the spending figure in March. “It’s an attractive opportunity,” says Stuart Ellman, a managing partner at venture-capital firm RRE Ventures, which led funding rounds for the delivery service BarkBox.

Forbes: Delayed Gratification Is Essential For Startup Leaders
Simply put, delayed gratification is putting off the things that aren’t truly needed today until tomorrow. It’s about the nice-to-haves versus the need-to-haves — an idea I continually try to instill in my children, and something I’ve been constantly reminded of during the last five years at my startup, InContext Solutions. There are plenty of times I haven’t delayed gratification when I should have. Here are three things every aspiring founder or newly minted founder should keep in mind to help delay gratification.

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