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March 6th, 2015

March 6th, 2015


Launch Tennessee Building Out All-Star Lineup for 36|86
Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) announces the addition of hit singer/songwriter John Rich, Paul Singh (Disruption Corporation), Paul Santinelli (North Bridge Venture Partners), Kelly Hoey, Jared Nixon (Shark Branding), Greg Lok (Konica Minolta) and Kristina Montague (The JumpFund) to the roster for 36|86, LaunchTN’s flagship event highlighting the best in southern culture, entrepreneurship and investment.

2015 “Spark!” Features Both ORNL and UT Technologies
The Spark! Technology Forum, an annual event to showcase promising but early stage technologies, has been expanded this year to include inventions from both Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee (UT). The event, which has been hosted in the past on the ORNL campus, will now be held the afternoon of March 25 in the Atrium of Tech 2020, 1020 Commerce Park Drive, Oak Ridge. “The goal is to provide regional entrepreneurs and business leaders an early look at technologies coming out of ORNL and UT,” Mike Paulus, ORNL’s Director of Technology Transfer, said.

Andy Weissman: “There are Opportunities All Over, Including Nashville”
In a short interview with Andy Weissman from Union Square Ventures (USV) this morning, the notable investor indicated that he was looking forward to coming to Nashville this summer for 36|86. “USV has invested in lots of places, from NYC to SF to Toronto, Pittsburgh, Des Moines. Definitely there are opportunities all over, including Nashville,” he said. Several Nashville-based companies are using services like CircleUp (Everly) and Kickstarter (Artiphon, HavenLock, Arrister) to get started. Union Square Ventures has strategically invested in several crowd-funding and social lending startup companies. In some of our recent reporting, we indicated that angel groups and crowd-funding will continue to be a powerful way for startups to get early-stage capital.

Facebook Pilots News Feed Program in Knoxville
Knoxville News Sentinel
For seven months, Facebook has been operating a pilot program in Knoxville, where 30 people have been tasked with deciding which stories in the News Feed they like. The project, which I first read about in a Jan. 30 Backchannel article written by tech journalist Steven Levy, has grown to more than 600 people around the country. It’s unclear why Knoxville was selected, but a testing firm was hired, and as Levy notes, set up its experiment here in a nondescript three-story building in space modeled after the main Facebook offices in Menlo Park, Calif. Even some of the same posters hang on the walls.

It’s Not an Experiment Anymore: Jumpstart Bets Big on Health Care
Nashville Business Journal
Vic Gatto is going all in. After five years, his Jumpstart Foundry is taking its biggest risk yet. The startup accelerator is putting more money on the line and getting more choosy about who gets in. The goal: better results. Jumpstart’s new model is about producing larger returns for its investors, but it’s also about building breakout companies that can keep Nashville’s signature industry on top.

RMX Technologies to Commercialize Carbon Fiber Technology
Knoxville News Sentinel
A Knoxville startup is positioning itself to be a key player in reducing the cost of manufacturing carbon fiber, a lightweight material that automakers have targeted to improve fuel economy. RMX Technologies has spent the past three years developing and testing a prototype machine using patented technology developed jointly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory that cuts costs by 20 percent.

Tia Capps from Company Lab and GIGTANK in Chattanooga (Interview)
In this fifth interview, Tia Capps talks about The Company Lab and GIGTank, two vitally important pieces in Chattanooga’s start-up ecosystem. My name is Tia Capps and I serve as the communications director for The Company Lab (CO.LAB). We help launch and sustain early-stage companies of all kinds, from lifestyle businesses to startups with high growth potential. Our organization is perhaps most widely known for hosting GIGTANK, a national startup accelerator that invites entrepreneurs to innovate on Chattanooga’s gigabit network. I lead the media and marketing strategy for this program as well. Because GIGTANK is a global brand with a vast number of audiences, it requires an enormous amount of communications support.

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