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September 15th, 2015

September 15th, 2015

409 BioTech Secures Phase II SBIR from National Institutes of Health
Like many new ventures in the life science space, grant funding is extremely critical to its success. When we recently talked with Chief Scientific Officer Dan Close, we heard some really positive news on the funding front with two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “The NIH has officially announced that they will be funding our Phase II effort in the amount of one million dollars over the next two years,” he said. “This enables our R&D to move forward with the continued development of Tier 1 screening assays for the detection of endocrine disruptor chemicals.” In addition, NIH also awarded a Phase I SBIR grant to 490 BioTech to apply its technology toward developing autonomously bioluminescent stem cells. The Phase II grant will address a significant global need.

Delta Challenge Pitch Competition Launches in Memphis This Week
Memphis Business Journal
The first of six regional startup pitch competitions will take place this week. Delta Challenge, a pitch competition series developed by the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, which is affiliated with the Delta Regional Authority, will kick off its first event attracting entrepreneurs from across the Mid-South to pitch their ideas for a fellowship. Registration for the competition is still ongoing. The Memphis pitch competition will held at the Kress Conference Center at 85 W. Court Avenue, and will identify three entrepreneurs who will receive a DEN fellowship that includes future training workshops and participation in a special segment of the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March 2016.

Knoxville’s Info-Graphics Celebrates 20 Years in Business
Initially, he was a customer. Now, for the past 12 years, he’s been an employee and, more recently, the President. As Knoxville-based Info-Graphics prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Rob Eddy says that a great deal has changed in the market since Eddie Hopps founded what was then known as Hopps Communications. “He was a graphic designer and illustrator with local and regional clients like DeRoyal and Sea Ray,” Eddy says. “I engaged them when I was at Rubbermaid.” During several career moves in corporate marketing roles, Eddy kept coming back to Hopps Communications for technical illustration and document development work before joining the firm in 2003. At that time, the name also changed to Infographics, which was more descriptive of their work. The brand has been tweaked slightly to the current Info-Graphics.

Task Force Will Help Bridge Tech Gap in Rural TN Communities
The Tennessean 
The state of Tennessee continues to be a strong advocate for rural entrepreneurs and start-ups. LaunchTN is proud to be involved in efforts to create jobs and expand economic opportunities in all of our rural communities. One of the most encouraging developments for our Tennessee economy is the recent announcement of a new task force created to improve rural development throughout the state. The Rural Development Task Force will help rural areas of Tennessee achieve economic success by supporting rural entrepreneurship as well as education and training programs. The task force will use the successful ThreeStar program as a guidepost for identifying opportunities and areas of concern. Their mission: to launch sustainable companies that will increase local employment and have a positive impact on rural communities.

Tennessee’s Newest Accelerator Program is Exclusively for Coders
The deadline is fast approaching for applying to the newest accelerator program in the state of Tennessee.  And this time, this accelerator is open only to software developers. CodeWorks, based out of Knoxville, is a 12-week accelerator program that will kick-off on October 8. They plan to take six teams for the first cohort, where they, according to the KEC site, will “spend 50+ hours over 12 weeks focused on pushing code, developing customers, attracting users, and creating an investable story with the help of local industry experts, business mentors, and thought leaders in the space of startups and digital business.” While Knoxville Entrepreneurship Center will lead the program, it is really a collaborative effort among other organizations, including CodeStock, KnoxDevs, Launch Tennessee, and BSides Knoxville. Among many programs available at the Knoxville Entrepreneurship Center, KEC is home to the MediaWorks digital media accelerator.

UTRF Announces the Launch of I.D.E.A.
IDEA is the new, secure, online portal for invention disclosures at the University of Tennessee. IDEA offers a faster, easier way to submit invention disclosures.

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