There are a lot of ways to measure progress and success of a state’s entrepreneurial landscape. What’s the biggest? Money. And in Tennessee these days, there’s more venture capital finding its way to entrepreneurs than ever before. To be specific, over $645 million has made its way into the Volunteer State since 2012, money that has helped propel early-stage companies through the various stages of development. Best of all, the money’s not coming in one or two huge packages, but in many smaller deals with investors from around the state, region and nation.
For the third year in a row, we asked angel and venture investors who live in East Tennessee to share their thoughts on 2014 and their predictions for 2015. We were fortunate to have seven individuals provide their insights. Today is the second article in the six-part series. TODAY’S QUESTION: What about the deals you have been seeing? Are you seeing more deals or fewer ones? Are they better than in the past, about the same, or of lower quality?
Jumpstart Foundry (JSF) is a healthcare-focused mentor-driven accelerator with one simple mission: Make Something Better. During our 14-week program stretching from May to August, we’ll provide you with the knowledge, expertise and partners needed to rapidly grow your business. Jumpstart Foundry cohort companies receive an investment of $100,000 in exchange for a 7.5% equity stake.
From a pool of 68 applications, seven finalists have been selected to compete in the What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch competition. The contestants will now have just two days to flesh out their business ideas and get their companies ready to takeoff. “We were extremely excited to not only receive a record-breaking number of applications, but also such high quality ideas that we now have seven teams participating in the 48-Hour Launch instead of the six we’d originally planned on,” said Emily Skaar, entrepreneur coordinator for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.
Memphis Daily News
Start Co. has a new partner that’s bringing new funding with them to bolster the venture development organization’s efforts. As a result of a partnership between Start Co. and Innova Memphis, an early-stage venture capital firm and the investment arm of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, teams in two of Start Co.’s accelerator programs will have a pool of funds waiting on them when the programs kick off May 4. Those programs are Seed Hatchery and Upstart, and they’ll both be getting $25,000 in investment capital.
Nashville Business Journal
The Franklin lab at DiaTech Oncology is operational, and CEO Robert Henry is eager to get the company’s test, Correct Chemo, into the hands of more patients. The problem, for now, Henry says, is the “disruptive” nature of the product, which aims to determine which chemotherapy drug will be the most effective on an individual patient’s cancer.
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