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May 14th, 2014

May 14th, 2014

Tennessee Innovation in the News

Press Release: Launch Tennessee, PandoDaily Announce The Startups Invited To Southland Launch Tennessee and PandoDaily have announced the early-stage companies invited to the upcoming Southland conference, which takes place June 9 – 11 at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. The startups were chosen by a panel of investors, entrepreneurs and technology writers from across the country and will all have exhibition space in Southland Village.

Entrepreneur: Steer Clear of these 5 Pitch Mistakes It’s easy to get the impression that any entrepreneur who scrawls an idea on the back of an envelope can get funded these days…Nonetheless, many entrepreneurs miss out on critical start-up financing by blowing their pitches to angel investors, say investment insiders. Often, for instance, entrepreneurs get so excited about their concepts that they neglect to dig into crucial business details…You may reach numbers like that if you get really lucky, but in most cases, it’s harder to win early customers than entrepreneurs think, said Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee, a public-private organization focused on building entrepreneurship in the state. He has raised angel capital for start-ups and provided it as a backer. Instead of trying to dazzle investors with enormous revenue predictions, show them how you’ll win sales, Brock advises.

Memphis Business Journal: Zero to 510 accelerator launching Wednesday with new companies The 2014 cohort of Zero to 510, the medical device accelerator developed by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, has been selected, and the companies will begin the program May 14…In the three years of its existence, Zero to 510’s companies have received $4.5 million in investments, and three companies are now selling products in the marketplace. Two are continuing to evaluate their long-term potential and the remaining companies are in the product development stage and/or raising additional funds.

Nooga: Three lessons from entrepreneur, best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk Entrepreneur and best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk spoke in Chattanooga Tuesday evening after touring local businesses earlier in the day. Partners with venture incubator Lamp Post Group brought Vaynerchuk to town. It was his first time in Chattanooga, but he said it won’t be his last. Vaynerchuk, who is a self-proclaimed lifelong entrepreneur, is the co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia, a social media brand consulting agency…He spoke to Nooga.com about his impressions of Chattanooga and about how he thinks some businesses could improve.

National Innovation in the News

Harvard Business Review: What an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Actually Is Fostering entrepreneurship has become a core component of economic development in cities and countries around the world. The predominant metaphor for fostering entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy is the “entrepreneurship ecosystem.” It should come as no surprise, however, that as any innovative idea spreads, so do the misconceptions and mythology. Here is a quick true-false test that will serve as a reality check on entrepreneurship ecosystems, and on the connection between entrepreneurship and development more generally.
A February 2014 Kauffman Foundation study found the high-tech entrepreneurship rate peaked in the U.S. in 1982 – 32 years ago – when it represented 60% of all new firms. Today that rate has dropped by half. To be sure, there’s still an explosion of startups spreading across the country, and it’s cheaper, faster and easier than ever before to launch a new venture. But it’s also harder than ever before to succeed and scale, especially in a way that creates lots of jobs and lots of wealth for lots of people. The condition of the nest – to belabor the analogy – does seriously impact that golden goose. Few American policy makers seem concerned about the conditions, particularly at the federal level.
Fox Business: SBA Accelerator Competition Will Award $2.5M to Startups To kick off National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration announced a new $2.5 million competition aimed at startup accelerator programs. The competition will award monetary prizes of $50,000 to winning accelerators. The deadline to enter the competition is August 2, 2014. One key goal, according to the SBA, is encouraging more startup creation in areas of the country not known for their startup ecosystems (i.e. not Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley). To support this, the SBA says the judging panel it assembles will pay particularly close attention to applicants that fill in geographic gaps.

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