Closeup.FM is web-based software that facilitates pop-up events powered by fans. Bands use Closeup’s do-it-yourself tools, ticketing, and free venue network to book concerts directly with their fans. Musicians can thus convert their online currency (likes, follow, pageviews, plays, etc.) into profitable offline businesses. Or to put it more simply, Closeup helps musicians find, monetize, and grow their fanbases.
Nashville Business Journal
Artiphon, a Nashville-based startup that makes musical instruments, hit a huge milestone in April. As previously reported, the company wrapped up a month-long Kickstarter campaign that secured $1.32 million in pledges from backers in more than 70 countries around the world, making it one of the crowdfunding company’s most successful campaigns. Now comes the hard part – fulfilling the 3,000 some-odd orders that the company’s earliest backers are owed.
The Nashville Technology Council has partnered with the Tennessee Code Academy and RePublic Schools on two initiatives to create local computer-programming camps and after-school programs. The goal is to increase opportunities for students in the thriving tech sector and to develop a larger software-oriented workforce. More than 1,400 tech-related jobs are available in the region, according to the council.
Memphis Business Journal
Memphis-based Innova is one of two venture firms that will take part in a new initiative created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Innova will begin raising $25 million as part of the Rural Business Investment Companies. The RBIC will make equity investments in rural businesses, helping them grow and create jobs. The creation of the RBICs is part of the USDA’s ongoing efforts to help attract private sector capital to investment opportunities in rural America in order to drive more economic growth in rural communities.
Life Science Tennessee, a statewide nonprofit, is launching a mentorship network to connect entrepreneurs with experienced professionals in life science and help them develop new companies in the field. The Life Science Tennessee Statewide Mentor Network, funded by a grant from Launch Tennessee, will focus on at least five life science entrepreneurs affiliated with the nine business accelerators in the state. Advising will include intellectual property rights, marketing and capital raising.
Nashville Business Journal
Nashville-based health tech startup Healthspek has raised more than $1 million from private investors, the company announced late Monday. Healthspek, which I wrote about last year, creates a personal health record for users that can consolidate and store a wide variety of personal health information and other valuable documents. Co-founders Bruce LeFew and Randy Farr plan to complete this round of individual investor financing by the end of the third quarter, according to a news release.
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