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April 30th, 2015

April 30th, 2015


Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces New Private Funds to Make Investments in Rural America
Innova Memphis and Meritus Kirchner Capital can now begin raising capital to constitute their funds. Meritus Kirchner Capital has set a goal of raising $100 million, while Innova Memphis has set a goal of raising $25 million for their respective funds. Once the funds have been raised, these companies will make equity investments in rural businesses with high-growth potential.

Feds Greenlight VCs Meritus Kirschner & Innova Memphis to Pursue $125MM+ for New Rural-Oriented Funds
Venture Tennessee Connections
Rural America probably got a boost today, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Meritus Kirchner Capital and Innova Memphis have been certified under a Federal program to raise as much as $140MM in fresh capital for investment in rural businesses.

GigHacks Scheduled for This Weekend; Registration Still Open
A cross-country gigabit hack-a-thon called GigHacks will take place this weekend in Chattanooga and several other cities. Local residents can still register to participate, and the event is open to everyone, according to the event’s website. In addition to Chattanooga, participating cities are San Francisco, California; Burlington, Vermont; Kansas City, Missouri; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Shark Tank Gears Up for Knoxville Casting Call
Knoxville News Sentinel
For three years, Mike Robinson has been building a business selling cooling products using his patented HeatSeeker technology around the world. The Rural Metro firefighter wants “to take it to the next level” with a little help from the hit ABC show “Shark Tank.”“My device saves lives. There are a lot of firefighters who depend on what I do. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip by me,” said Robinson, who was among the first in line at The Standard on Wednesday afternoon in hopes of getting a chance to pitch Thursday.

Shockwave Motors Eyes $1.5MM Raise for Defiant Electric Roadster Production
Venture Tennessee Connections
Shockwave Motors  is preparing to raise $1.5MM Seed capital for pre-production manufacturing of five of its three-wheel electric-powered Defiant roadsters. The startup company is based an hour’s drive east of Knoxville in Russellville, and it has been showing-off its pre-money prototype for about a year, said vehicle Designer John McMillian.

XOEye Technologies Closes $1.9M Series A
XOEye Technologies, a wearables solutions company, just announced it has closed its $1.9 million Series A funding round. XOEye raised $1.5M of the round in December. Leading the round was IncWell LP II, an early-stage venture firm founded in 2013 by Tom LaSorda, former CEO of Chrysler Group LLC. Existing investors, including Crestlight Venture and Selous Venture Society, participated in the round and were joined by new investors, including individual IncWell partners.

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