The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
A student startup company focused on developing innovative high-performance plastic and rubber materials has won this semester’s Vol Court competition. Grow Bioplastics and its lignin-based plastic and rubber products took first place at the fall 2014 Vol Court Pitch Competition this week, beating out four other potential startups for the top prize.
The UpDesk’s Director of Community Relations, Kamron Kunce, sees the young company’s rapid growth as a direct result of the power of social listening. Kamron relates his proven strategy for identifying multiple ways to influence consumers through smart social media marketing. While UpDesk is a 2 year startup, their parent company has existed in Nashville for the last four decades.
On my visit to the Nashville Business Incubation Center, Executive Director Angela Crane-Jones walked me through a 30-year-old Tennessee State University building that has a loading dock in the back, long bare hallways and very few windows. “We’re not sexy,” she said matter-of-factly. It’s true.
Local 24 Memphis
Startup accelerators have been around for almost 10 years now, and the landscape is starting to change. We’re seeing more and more international accelerators, as well as programs for niche industries and niche demographics. In Accelerate: Founder Insights into Accelerator Programs, authors Luke Deering, Matt Cartagena, and Chris Dowdeswell list over 200 programs – and provide a startup accelerator ranking of the top 30.
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