AgLaunch, a joint initiative of Memphis Bioworks Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, today announced the inaugural cohort of a three-month, focused accelerator program. Additionally, the organization is kicking off several new initiatives that are positioning Tennessee and the surrounding region as a strategic area to start and grow agricultural innovation businesses. The new programs include an expanded farmer network, university boot camps, and targeted programs to assist agricultural businesses in distressed rural counties in Tennessee. AgLaunch programs are coordinated by Ag Innovation Development Group (AgIDG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Memphis Bioworks Foundation, leveraging the expertise of a world-class group of regional partners.
Our “award-winning” members have spoken on the best companies working in the local government arena. The inaugural ELGL Choice Award recipients have been selected using two criteria: the number of nominations received by each company (75%) and an evaluation from the ELGL management team (25%). Based on member feedback, the ELGL Choice Award will become a fluid list that is updated quarterly using the above criteria. Anyone (ELGL member or not) can submit a nomination via the form at the end of this post.
High Ground News
The FedEx Institute of Technology continues to create opportunities for interdisciplinary technology innovation with the launch of the 2017 Film Innovation Challenge, a contest open to filmmakers across the country that highlights the latest advances in technology innovation. Contestants are invited to submit films between five to 10 minutes in length in one of two categories –Film Innovation and Technical Innovation. Each category is designed to push the limits of how film can incorporate emerging technologies, both as subject matter and as technical development. The Film Innovation Challenge festival highlighting the finalists will be held at the FedEx Institute of Technology Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.
Terrence (TC) Carter believes a new entrepreneurial initiative that the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) is championing in East Knoxville could become a model for other sections of the city as well as communities across the state and nation. The Paradigm Challenge was one of the winners of a grant under Launch Tennessee’s Creative Communities Initiative. The majority of the 13 recipients, announced in late July, were East Tennessee-based. “If this works in this community to stimulate economic growth versus economic decline, we can do it in Mechanicsville, Lonsdale, Vestal or anywhere,” KAUL’s Director of Economic and Business Development, believes, and he’s urging everyone to spread the word about the initiative.
Arts + Business Council of Greater Nashville
Each year, the Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training program culminates with the Periscope Pitch event, where our talented arts entrepreneurs put their training to the test as they take the stage to pitch their arts businesses to the community. Throughout the evening, Periscope artists will share about their artistic work, business models and key needs. An all-star panel of judges will provide insights along the way, and attendees can participate in live voting to help determine which artists will walk away with cash prizes.
As a 17-year-old student at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in north Georgia, Kellie Keith had a dream—to be the first in her family to earn a college degree. Like many of her classmates she was struggling with answering one basic question: What degree should she pursue? “The TVA CADNet program was a godsend,” says Ms. Keith, now an electrical engineer in TVA’s Telecom Planning and Standards group. “If I hadn’t been exposed to CADNet, I wouldn’t have thought about being an engineer at all.” CADNet is a program that trains high school students in computer-aided drafting (CAD). CADNet students earn valuable work experience and technical training so they can better compete in the workforce of the future.
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