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February 16th, 2015

February 16th, 2015


Launch Tennessee Awarded $250,000 Innovation Grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to Support Entrepreneurship
Launch Tennessee Blog
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today awarded Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) a $250,000 grant through the third annual Blackstone Innovation Grants Program, which targets non-profit organizations that strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and support high growth entrepreneurs. This is the third year that LaunchTN has been an Innovation Grants recipient and previous awards were used to launch The TENN and Specialist Programs. This grant will help fund LaunchTN’s flagship 36|86 conference as well as The 36|86 Southern Series. 36|86’s mission is to become the annual meeting place to celebrate Southeastern entrepreneurship and innovation. As a way to identify top Southeastern entrepreneurs, a prelude of entrepreneurial pitch events, named The Southern Series, will be held leading up to 36|86, which occurs June 8-10 in Nashville, TN.

Baker Donelson Partners with East Tennessee State University
Baker Donelson is partnering with East Tennessee State University’s Innovation Laboratory and the Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association to “recruit international companies to the area and provide market entry assistance,” according to a press release. ETSU’s Innovation Laboratory, a full service small business incubator, offers business services for foreign firms entering the U.S. market. Baker Donelson’s Global Business Team of provides ETSU’s Innovation Laboratory with inbound legal services like corporate formation, acquisitions, trade compliance, real estate and economic development, immigration, intellectual property, international arbitration and dispute resolution, government contracts, federal public policy, labor and employment and construction.

Bright Future ahead for Tennessee’s Female Entrepreneurs (by Charlie Brock)
The Tennessean
While the climate for women in the tech startup world has improved, it has a long way to go. In Tennessee, however, female entrepreneurs continue to have strong success in a variety of different industries, and in all stages of their careers. The present and future continue to be bright for female entrepreneurs in Tennessee. They’re getting funding, securing agreements with industry partners, picking up awards and much more.

Entrepreneur Launches Nonemergency Transportation Business
Entrepreneur Robin Davis was getting ready for an empty nest as her teenage daughter prepared to graduate high school. But after spending the past decades focused on her daughter, she wanted to find something to do when her daughter left. The health care industry veteran saw a need for nonemergency transportation, so she launched a new business called Loving Hands Helping Hearts Transportation. The new company has three vehicles—two vans that are wheelchair-accessible and one car—and provides transportation to medical appointments.

Paay Co. Close to Launching Digital Wallet
Memphis Business Journal
A Memphis-based technology company is closer to entering the emerging digital wallet market. Paay Co. is nearing the end of a closed beta test for its product, which allows customers to enter their phone numbers instead of credit card numbers when making online purchases. The company just closed a round of funding where it will receive more than $500,000 in capital from investors. This is the second round of funding the company has received.

VisualTour Relocates to Knoxville
Knoxville News Sentinel
Family vacations to Gatlinburg and an admiration for former University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning eventually brought Steven Jarrell to Knoxville from Florida. Jarrell attended the university in 1999 — the year after the Tennessee Vols won the national football championship, he noted — and a few years ago, decided to go back to get his MBA in entrepreneurship and innovation. “I’ve always been passionate about growing something here in Knoxville,” he said.

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