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November 17th, 2015

November 17th, 2015


LISTEN: 2015 NEXT Awards Finalists Share Their Stories
The Tennessean
Hear from the six finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year for the 2015 NEXT Awards. Each finalist had their own take on how they’ve been influenced by the kindness of the Nashville business community. Enjoy their stories in the full mashup below or follow along the post to listen to their individual stories. The NEXT Awards are an annual event developed by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to spotlight companies and entrepreneurs who are making a significant impact on the region’s economy. This year’s awards are taking place on Nov. 19 at the Nashville Renaissance Hotel.

California Dreaming: Nashville Among Top Cities for Firms Pulling Out of the Golden State
Nashville Business Journal
How interested are California companies in Nashville? A new report suggests this answer: Extremely. Just look at Google Fiber’s plan to roll out its ultra-fast Internet in Nashville, an investment that is expected to put additional wind behind the city’s budding technology scene. Or look at Lyft’s recent decision to establish its new customer service headquarters in Nashville, which includes a $5.1 million investment and nearly 400 new jobs. These investments from two of the Valley’s most high-profile tech darlings have the potential to further bridge ties between Music City and the San Francisco– whether in the form of venture capital dollars for entrepreneurs or additional West Coast tech firms eyeing operations in Nashville.

Chattanooga Chamber Spirit of Innovation Awards is Wednesday
The Chattanoogan
The Chattanooga Chamber celebrates Chattanooga’s most innovative companies and announces the recipient of the 2015 Spirit of Innovation Award on Wednesday at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Finalist companies are Ambition, Learning Blade and RootsRated. Futurist and best-selling author Jack Uldrich keynotes the luncheon. The Chattanooga Technology Council will also recognize Early Innovator Award honorees. Use #innovateCHA to post about the event!

Startup Ideas Sought for Annual ‘Will This Float?’ Competition
The annual Will This Float? competition returns this year to showcase up-and-coming startup ideas in Southeast Tennessee. Applications are now being accepted for the Dec. 10 competition at the Revelry Room. The deadline for consideration is Dec. 1. This year’s event will place a specific emphasis on startups that focus on music and entertainment, according to a release from The Company Lab. “Applications involving streaming, 3-D projection, augmented reality and other technologies that enhance the entertainment experience or could potentially utilize ultra-high-speed networks will receive careful consideration from the … selection committee,” the release said.

UTRF Launching a New “Tennessee Venture Challenge” Initiative
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has just announced details for its second “Tennessee Venture Challenge” (TVC). The business plan competition, first held in 2014, is designed to encourage students, researchers and those from the community to create new, high growth businesses that are based in whole or in part of intellectual property created within the UT system. “UTRF exists to help ensure that the inventions of UT faculty, staff and students have a strong commercial pathway,” Stacey Patterson, UTRF Vice President, said. “The ‘Tennessee Venture Challenge’ is one of the tools we are using to not only make that happen, but also accelerate the time to market for these technologies.” Companies can register to be part of the TVC throughDecember 10 by completing the Intent to Compete Form and the TVC Participant Form. Before doing so, Patterson advises individuals to carefully review the eligibility criteria.

Memphis Daily News
When Kyle Wagenschutz took over as the bicycle and pedestrian program manager for the city of Memphis in 2010, there was all of one mile of bike lanes to manage. In some ways, being the first person charged with developing a bicycle network with only one mile probably had its challenges. On the other hand, the bar was pretty low, giving Wagenschutz the opportunity to create something the city and its bicycle community can take pride in seeing develop. In just five years, the city has grown from that one mile to 200, and Memphis now is seen as a leader in some ways, a city to emulate. That leadership was seen in October when Wagenschutz was named one of the White House’s 2015 Transportation Champions of Change.

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