Success doesn’t always equate to getting straight A’s; it doesn’t necessarily fit inside a traditional box—that’s part of what the upcoming Mad, Bad and Dangerous is about. “Potential comes in a lot of different packages,” event co-chair Stefanie Crowe said. If you talk to CEOs, some say that they started their own companies after feeling like a misfit, misunderstood or pressured to “play the game a certain way,” she also said.
Over the last year, much of the buzz about the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (the EC) surrounded their accelerator program offerings. And rightfully so. Their accelerators increasingly attract applications from international companies and financial support from industry leaders. With the recent launch announcement of a new healthcare accelerator, it’s easy for the casual observer to think that the EC is a place for companies in an accelerator, while overlooking all the other functions that the EC provides. Such may be the case for PreFlight, now in its fifth cohort. Until joining the EC in December, I, a semi-casual observer, had never heard about this 12-week educational program for the “‘idea-stage entrepreneur.”
In our world of entrepreneurship, we at Launch Tennessee are fortunate to witness many business success stories from across the state. There are so many great advocates that are already sharing their stories on how being in Tennessee has helped propel their business. What better way to raise the profile of our great state than to capture these stories and share them on a larger platform? In an effort to do just that, LaunchTN is unveiling a new video marketing campaign called “Why Tennessee.” Watch the introduction video here!
Venture Nashville Connections
As promised a year ago, Life Science Tennessee (LSTN) has suited-up again to try to create a path toward eventual funding for innovation and Tech commercialization during the 109th Tennessee General Assembly. Though it’s still early innings, the nonprofit industry association seems to be cautiously focusing on getting a base hit this Session, rather than swinging for the fence. “We want to get this right,” LSTN Executive Director Abby Trotter said today. Before requesting legislation for $40MM in State funding that will be needed to operate a new technology commercialization program that would help startups in numerous industries, LSTN is simply going for legislative recognition of the program, with its concepts, rules and performance metrics to be subsequently delineated.
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Chattanooga economic development officials Tuesday announced grants for two companies that have pledged to create 235 new jobs in the city’s downtown Innovation District. Coyote Logistics, which acquired Access America in 2014 and itself was acquired by United Parcel Service last year, is adding 160 jobs in Chattanooga. Vayner Media, a New York-based advertising firm that opened an office in Chattanooga last July with only a dozen employees, plans to expand downtown to 75 employees over the next three years. Vayner Media employs about 600 people nationwide.
Now entering its seventh year, the Vol Court Pitch Competition encourages UT students, faculty, staff, and community members to pitch their business ideas for a chance to win $1,500, space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator, and free legal and accounting services. Vol Court is a six-week entrepreneurial speaker series hosted by UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that culminates in a pitch competition. Vol Court meets from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. every Wednesday beginning February 17 in Room 104 of the Haslam Business Building, 1000 Volunteer Blvd.
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