Tennessee Innovation in the News
UTK Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Five student teams will present their best business ideas as they vie for the $1,000 prize tomorrownight in the Fall 2014 Vol Court Pitch Competition. The competition will be held at 5:15 p.m. in Stokely Management Center, Room G2. In addition to the cash prize, the winning team will also receive one year free rent in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator as well as various professional services.
One thing is blindingly obvious to anyone who has attended a few accelerator demo days: the dearth of women pitching startup companies. And this is not just an anecdotal observation: Fewer than 10 percent of venture-backed startup companies are led by women. One reason for this disparity is the low number of women with a technology-related education, as many new ventures are technology focused.
Nashville Business Journal
Marcus Whitney, a mainstay of the Nashville tech scene who has co-founded several Nashville-area startups, is leaving social media marketing company Moontoast to become president of Jumpstart Foundry, a business accelerator he helped launch five years ago. Whitney, co-founder and previously chief marketing officer of Jumpstart, will be in charge of marketing and operations for both the accelerator program and corporate innovation services, as well as new ventures, including the upcoming Charge conference, according to a news release.
Moontoast, a Nashville social media marketing company, is changing its name, business model and leadership five months after buying loyalty rewards company Spendship, with co-founder Marcus Whitney leaving his chief technology officer position at the company he helped build seven years ago. Jason Weaver, founder of Spendship, will replace Blair Heavey as CEO and lead the company as it focuses on mobile technology and rewarding consumers for brand advocacy on social media.
SIGNiX, a company that provides secure and simple digital signature services announced the hiring of its new Vice President of Partner Development, Leonora Zilkha Williamson. Ms. Williamson will work to identify and target potential partners in a variety of industries. SIGNiX has long been a partner-centric company that focuses on providing total solutions to software companies looking to add electronic signatures to their service offerings.
Memphis Bioworks Foundation
The Tennessee AgriTech Challenge will feature presentations from agricultural technology startups, established companies, venture capitalists and thought leaders in support of Governor Haslam’s Rural Challenge: A 10-Year Strategic Plan. Hear from Tennessee’s agricultural leadership on the importance of agricultural innovation in growing a strong rural economy.
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