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September 30th, 2015

September 30th, 2015


Apple, NASA, Southwest Headed to Nashville for iBooks Author Conference
iBooks, Apple’s ebook application, was first introduced to the public in 2010 as part of the iOS 4 update.  And iBook Author, its free-to-download ebooks creation software, made its debut in 2012. They’ve since made major updates that added significant new features over the last 12 months, but there’s never been a formal gathering to discuss the current state and future of the application that is on well over 200 million devices worldwide. But the Nashville-based company Score Publishing is changing that by organizing the first-ever iBooks Author Conference, on Oct. 8-9 at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The schedule features speakers on a wide variety of topics related to iBooks, from marketing advice, content creation tips, to the fair use doctrine in digital publishing.

From Music to Health Care, Nashville’s Thriving Start-Up Scene
Nashville is world famous for its music industry, which boasts an economic impact of some $10 billion on the city and its surrounding region each year. But perhaps what’s even more impressive is its thriving health-care scene, which nearly quadruples that stat. Health care is a major part of the Nashville ecosystem, with a $38.8 billion impact on the regional economy in 2014 and a slew of publicly traded health-care companies operating out of the city, including the Hospital Corporation of America, according to the Nashville Health Care Council. However, newer start-ups are also laying down roots in the music city. Vic Gatto runs Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry, a health care–focused investment platform that graduates 10 start-ups from its 14-week accelerator program each summer. Gatto, founder and CEO, comes from a venture capital background and wants to take his participating classes to 100 percent success rates — right now he is at about 70 percent. Jumpstart has graduated 48 companies that have raised more than $31 million in funding over the past six years.

Israel Trade Mission Offers Lessons in Start-Up Culture
The Tennessean
Recently I was privileged to be included in Governor Haslam’s trade mission to Israel, along with other business leaders from across the state. It was a remarkable trip for many reasons, and the country has certainly earned its moniker, Start-up Nation, as coined in the 2010 book of the same title by authors Saul Singer and Dan Senor. I’d like to offer some takeaways from the week that might be constructive to entrepreneurs in Tennessee. For starters, I might note that there are several parallels between the Volunteer State and Israel, including relatively similar populations (Tennessee’s is 6.5 million, Israel’s 8 million) and annual gross domestic products of approximately $300 billion. One distinct difference, though, as it relates to early stage capital formation — whereas 2014 was a record year in Tennessee for venture capital investment with a total of $262 million (includes deals under $25 million), Israel had a record year of $3 billion invested, along with 19 initial public offerings that accounted for $2.1 billion. Needless to say, they have set the bar very high!

Knoxville-Based Innovasan Pitching Twice Next Week in Atlanta
Next Wednesday, October 7, is going to be a big day for Knoxville-based Innovasan. The local start-up will be pitching at two different venues that day – the “Cleantech Open Southeast Innovation Summit” and “Piranha Tank.” Both events are being held in Atlanta. In 2013, local start-up Fiveworx made it to the national finals, a goal that is at the top of the wish list for Jeff Hubrig, Jr., Innovasan’s Director of Business Development. It’s ironic that “Piranha Tank” is holding is competition in the same city on the same day. Hubrig said that “Piranha Tank” is similar in format to the television show “Shark Tank.” Participating companies will have 30 minutes to pitch to an investor panel and negotiate a deal. Innovasan is developing Med-San®, a four-step modular process to treat biological and pharmaceutical wastes for safe and immediate disposal into municipal sewer systems. The company won last year’s Life Science TN Venture Forum among other regional pitch competitions.

Southtree Announces New Production Headquarters
Southtree announced a new 38,000-square-foot production headquarters on Holtzclaw Avenue near Third Street. “It’s incredibly humbling walking through this new facility in light of where it all began,” co-founder Nick Macco said in a prepared statement. Macco and his business partner, Adam Boeselager, founded the company in 2009 from their garage when they were Lee University students. Since then, the company, a local startup that digitally preserves analog home movies and photos, has experienced continued growth. The new facility is twice as large as the company’s current space. Company leaders have plans to invest more than $500,000 for improvements and expanding the production capacity at the new facility, where they will be able to digitize more than 5,000 home movies and ship about 1,000 orders per day.

Tech Goes Home Chattanooga
Tech Goes Home Chattanooga is The Enterprise Center’s new digital equity program for residents across Hamilton County. TGH CHA is modeled after the national, award-winning Tech Goes Home program. Founded in Boston, Tech Goes Home has successfully provided participants with the tools, education and access required for 21st century skills development since 1999. We’re partnering with schools, public libraries, churches, nonprofits, and other organizations across Hamilton County to offer free courses designed to help residents develop skills and habits required for smart technology and Internet use. Participants receive fifteen hours of classroom training to help them understand why the Internet is relevant in their daily lives, have the option to purchase a new Chromebook for only $50, and receive assistance in obtaining access to low-cost home Internet. Supoort their crowd funding campaign which launches next Tuesday, October 6th!

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