Great ideas are being hatched every day in Launch Tennessee’s accelerator network, and at similar facilities around the Southeast. Dozens of those ideas, and the emerging companies behind them, will be front and center at 36|86, our signature conference happening Monday throughWednesday. So far, more than 760 people have gotten a ticket to the event, so now’s the time to secure a spot and find out what makes the Tennessee and the Southeast the best place for entrepreneurs to turn their vision into reality, while celebrating our unique Southern culture.
100 Girls of Code
The 100 Girls of Code program is expanding its reach into Atlanta by opening a local chapter and appointing an Atlanta-resident to its Advisory Board. 100 Girls of Code is an initiative of the Tennessee Code Academy that began in 2014 to spark interest in computer programming among young women ages 10 to 18. The initiative has grown into a nationwide program, with 16 chapters across the United States.
Nashville Business Journal
A Nashville-based startup has landed a new hire from one of the world’s best-known brands. Alan Caldwell, formerly head of mobile engineering and operations at Disney, has been named chief technology officer of iCitizen. Caldwell’s hire is one of several recent moves by the company’s new CEO, Russ Reeder, who has already bought another company and also hired a new CFO since joining the firm earlier this year.
Memphis Business Journal
If you don’t know the name Kimbal Musk, get familiar. In Early May, it was revealed that Musk and Hugo Matheson, of The Kitchen, a restaurant concept focusing on “real food” with locations in Colorado and Illinois, would add Memphis to its list. The Kitchen will open a bistro in the Heart of the Park development at Shelby Farms Park in 2016 and The Kitchen Next Door, a pub-style restaurant in the Crosstown Concourse, in 2017. The plan is to eventually have three to five restaurants across the area.
Investment capital is a huge element of Chattanooga’s startup ecosystem. The recent increase in local investors and investment groups willing to invest in startups and the number of investors attending Gig Tank’s annual Demo Day are familiar markers of progress in conversations about how the city’s startup scene is developing. Bringing regional and national investors together with local startups is perhaps even more important—after all, there’s a lot more capital outside Chattanooga than inside.
Chattanooga Times Free Press
A New York-based advertising agency and related venture fund with offices in Manhattan, San Francisco and Los Angeles has chosen downtown Chattanooga for its fourth office as it moves into America’s heartland. VaynerMedia will open a 10- to 12-employee office in Chattanooga in July to tap into the city’s growing startup and tech industry in Chattanooga’s new Innovation District. The ad agency, which was started just six years ago by Internet poster child and social branding expert Gary Vaynerchuk and his brother AJ, will locate its newest office in downtown Chattanooga in space adjacent to the Lamp Post Group in the Loveman’s building.
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