Tennessee Innovation in the News
In Nashville last week, LaunchTN gathered entrepreneurs from 10 states and over 70 investment firms for a shindig known as SouthlandSE. The “investor-conference-cum-
Teknovation.Biz: Seven autoXLR8R teams in Oak Ridge and Knoxville this week
To paraphrase a frequently used statement, “They are in the region.” The “they” in this instance refers to the seven teams that comprise the 2014 autoXLR8R, the technology accelerator run by the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers. Six of the seven have strong ties to East Tennessee, and all of the teams gathered at Tech 20/20 in Oak Ridge yesterday to begin a week of programming, visiting, and other interactions in the region. “We needed to bring the researchers, interns and technologies together,” Jack Sisk, Program Manager, said of the plans for the week. The teams will spend this morning (Tuesday) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), one of the key sources of technologies that many of them are pursuing. Their visit includes tours of ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and Carbon Fiber Technology Facility.
National Innovation in the News
As an entrepreneur raising money in the South, you have likely heard investors talk about traction, momentum and market validation – in fact many entrepreneurs in the South complain about the low risk tolerance of Southern investors. The problem for these entrepreneurs is that they require an investment in order to get the market traction they need to get the investment – a Catch-22 somewhat unique to regions outside of the capital centers. But what if you found an investor who could get that traction for you? Would they care as much that you need more validation if they are in fact the ones who can help you get it? Perhaps their investment criteria would be a little more lenient. But where do you find this “Smart Money?” Here are four places you can look to find investors who can help you get the traction (and money) you need to succeed, all while improving their chances for a good return on their investment.
One of our earliest team members, who left to start his own company, sent us an email recently. I’ll paraphrase here, but the gist of it was that despite his being one of the first people to join the team at Ampush, nothing could have prepared him for starting his own company from the ground up. I’m not surprised. Startup founders are often portrayed as “living the dream”: Young, bright, usually C-level executives of their companies, working on “cool stuff;” running “The Show.” It must seem like an incredibly attractive career option. You don’t have to work up the corporate ladder at BigCo, or even be employed by the startup itself. But reality looks a little different. While there are great articles that give advice for working at a startup and that outline the startup social contract, very few give an open and honest view of what it’s actually like to be a founder/startup executive.
Venture Beat: IBM wants to give NYC startups a chance to to use its brainiest AI, Watson
If you’re running a tech startup in New York City, Watson wants to meet you — Watson, IBM’s legendary supercomputer, that is. To help shake its persistent image as a stodgy producer of enterprise tech, IBM has launched a concerted effort to introduce Watson to the myriad startups in the New York City technology scene. The Watson Group is using Ted Angelus and his team at Bluewater Labs as pathfinders into NYC’s bustling technology hive. Angelus prides himself on his underground tech cachet, so receiving a call from IBM requesting he be a guide for Big Blue into the Big Apple was a shocker.