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August 12th, 2015

August 12th, 2015

5 Unique Ways to Maximize an Investor Pitch
The investment industry shelled out $47.3 billion to startups in 2014, reaching levels approaching the height of the dot.com bubble. With this growth of available money, pitch competitions are plentiful and smart startups are lining up to tell their story. You’ve landed an opportunity to pitch at a killer conference like Launch Tennessee’s 36|86, Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, Venture Atlanta or Raleigh’s CED. You polish your pitch deck, practice ad nauseam and line up your travel plans. What else should you do to maximize the precious time and financial resources you’re investing in this endeavor?

Capacity Crowd Fills Square Room for “MediaWorks Demo Day”
A capacity, enthusiastic crowd filled the Square Room on Tuesday night for “MediaWorks Demo Day.” “We are celebrating a frantic and exhausting 12 weeks,” Jim Biggs, Executive Director of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC), said in his opening remarks, a reference to the entrepreneurial teams and the KEC staff. “MediaWorks” was launched in 2014 by KEC and returned this year with nine participating teams with ideas ranging from teaching young people how to read to helping people with food allergies better manage their dietary intake.

Changing the Way We Get Around Memphis
High Ground News
In a city as car-reliant as Memphis, getting people to explore alternate ways to travel is tough. But that’s the task before Suzanne Carlson, who joined the Innovation Team this year. Along with a growing list of strategic partners, she is improving transit choices in Memphis, particularly for those dependent on public options. With a master’s degree in public administration, Suzanne Carlson moved to Memphis in March to accept the job of Transportation and Mobility Project Manager. Formerly, for the past two and half years Carlson worked as a private consultant in the role of Pedestrian Program Manager for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Nashville Named A Top 10 City for Meetings
Nashville Business Journal
The Music City Center’s annual revenue grew by more than $8 million year-over-year, for the fiscal year that just ended June 30. For additional proof that Nashville’s convention and meeting business is growing, consider this: Nashville ranked number nine for meetings and convention business booked between July 2014 and June 2015, according to Cvent, one of the world’s largest providers of event management software. Cvent, a Virginia-based company, compiles an annual list of the top 50 meeting cities, according to event and meeting booking activity through the Cvent Supplier Network. To get a sense of the scope of business, Cvent sourced more than $8 billion in meetings and events through its marketplace in 2014.

We’re in the middle of Demo Day Season here in Tennessee, and on Thursday, Aug. 13, the city of Memphis will have its own Memphis Demo Day that will be packed with the startup energy of ZeroTo510 and Start Co.The accelerators that have collaborated to host this event together will give the investors a variety of startups to watch. Medical device accelerator ZeroTo510 is run by Memphis Bioworks, while Start Co. facilitates three other accelerators, Seed Hatchery (B2B Tech), Upstart (women-led), and Sky High (social innovation). “A connected, collaborative network is powerful, and events like Memphis Demo Day are a hallmark of ecosystems that produce inclusive economic impacts and attract talent and capital to cities, ” said EPIcenter president Leslie Smith.

Vanderbilt Law Alum’s Frustration Leads to a “Responsible Voting” Algorithm – and Launch of Votus
The sentiment that many people vote against their own interests comes back into the discussion every election cycle. Votus, with its civic-minded algorithm, may just be the tool of self-evaluation these voters need in order to ‘vote responsibly.’  Their current product, the Votus Ballot, allows users to compare with candidates, and find when, where, and how they should vote all from taking a questionnaire — the same one taken by the candidates.

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