Thursday, December 30, 2010
British promoters of unsigned performers are planting their flag in Nashville: Ditto Music, based in Birmingham, England, is making the move, according to the B'ham Post online. Entrepreneurs Lee and Matt Parsons (left) are behind Ditto. HT: Nashville Bus. Journal. Ditto's site is here (change the USA to UK in the link, for prices in B'Pounds).
The KNS reports the passing of James Hung (at left), a retired University of Tennessee engineering professor who mentored dozens of graduate students, including Min Kao, CEO of GPS manufacturer Garmin. Guided by Hung, Kao donated $17.5MM to support building a new engineering building on the UT campus, and it is nearing completion.
Tennessee legislators' re-districting sausage-making will soon begin, but for the moment we can just absorb the fact that Tennessee's population is up 11.5% over the past decade, to 6.34 million persons. More here.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
National Geographic offers updates on scientists' thinking on 10 major cosmological ideas... and a recent issue of New York Times Magazine celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the annual December "Year in Ideas" compilation.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Brentwood-based Industrial Strength Marketing CEO James Soto says his company will soon offer a toolset that allows overworked marketers to employee easily social media and convergence tools. William Williams of the City Paper reports it.
The Times Free Press does yeoman's work in providing a rundown on what it was like behind the scenes during Hamilton and Bradley Counties' successful recruitment of two new facilities for Amazon.com.
[Updated] Federal inspectors gave the B&W Y-12 management team a rating of excellent in the latest assessment. The Uranium Processing Facility being built for the Babcock & Wilcox and Bechtel team is highlighted as a strategically important element in the organization's transformation to its evolving security mission. The KNS has it. Subsequently, KNS reported activists are criticizing Y-12 plans as a costly bomb plant.
A University of Tennessee team, augmented by expertise from TVAs, is creating an energy-efficient home that will be on display on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The KNS reports.
Communities worldwide are creating communities for research and technology development, and Starkville, Miss., has the newest entrant, driven by Mississippi State University and already attracting real businesses. The CA has it.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Frank Munger of the KNS provides further perspective on U.S. Senators Alexander and Corker's support for a new Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (START) Treaty, recently ratified by Congress, and its benefits for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the nation. The photo of Sens. Corker (L) and Alexander was taken during their 2009 tour of tornado-damaged areas of Rutherford County, according to material online.
ATC-Nuclear, a company that tests commercial products for use in the nuclear environment, said it's moving its Chicago logistics operation to Oak Ridge, expanding its long-standing presence in Tennessee. ATC-Nuclear's parent HQs in New Jersey. The KNS reports.
Chattanooga has created a new Sustainability office and the local Chamber is assessing whether or not there's support within Chamber ranks for a formal sustainability initiative. The TFP reports.
Physicians are seeking a haven from the rising demands on private practice, and hospitals see opportunities to capture or recapture revenue. The insurance industry sees industry consolidation that could cause problems. The TFP reports.
Bartlett High in the Memphis area may launch a STEM academy within its borders, part of the statewide STEM emphasis. The CA reports.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Signs of the epochal Great Recession remain, but Chattanooga and Cleveland and environs have reason to smile, with The Noog recording more that 7,000 net jobs growth in the past year, thanks in part to newly announced investments. Read the Times Free Press' summary. (Related story on local consumer restaurant spending.) Meanwhile, nationally analysts see signs of traction, bullishness for 2011, says The New York Times (free registration). Of course, if you're unemployed, you see prospects quite differently, says the NYT, reporting results from Rutgers, full report here. NBJ reports on Tennessee joblessness - it remains a mottled picture statewide, but at least "mass layoffs" have abated, a bit.
VUMC Reporter shares a glimpse of a potential ethical dilemma in conducting randomized trials, in which some patients benefit and live, and others are dealt a different card. Elsewhere, VU reports Nita Farahany (left) is a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Andrew McLaughlin, a former Google exec who's been serving as deputy CTO for The White House, announced his departure to create one nonprofit and one for-profit start-up venture, which he says will address needs of state and local governments, and developing nations. The Washington Post reports it. A related blurb on McLaughlin's influence.
The Times Free Press is glad Chattanooga got the Amazon.com logistics investment, but urges State officials to be more forthright in dealing with the awkward Internet sales tax issue.
Sony's Qriocity entertainment division launched music streaming in Europe a month ago, and the service will debut in the US in 2011. The AP reports via the CA.
AccentCare and Oak Hill Capital Partners announced their acquisition of Guardian, a Brentwood-based home health care provider.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
In what may be a final cleanup prior to HCA's estimated $4.6bn IPO going effective, HCA filed a fresh S-1 and withdrew its May 2010 filing, saying the move was made in part because of the company's recent reoganization. HCA is a bellwether in many ways, and its offering and the market response, thereto, may yield benchmarks for the sector, with valuation subsequently affecting young ventures looking for capital. Here's The Deal's take on the filing (23 Dec).
Always something interesting going on in Jeff Cornwall's Belmont corner of the world. Here, a few words for young entrepreneurs with their caps set on the Music industry.
Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, the Nashville-based company that IPO'd 16 months ago, today announced an adverse FDA response to its requested sNDA. CP says it plans to seek a meeting. The news follows discord among some of the stock's analysts.
Knoxville News Sentinel ORNL-watcher Frank Munger spells-out how a new START treaty could benefit Oak Ridge National Laboratory, right here. US Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander have come out in support.
Burton Hills-based Claritas Capital has gone back for seconds in CanopyHR, which announced its B-round results. Claritas exited twice earlier this year: Bigtime with StudioNow's sale to AOL and who knows with ExpensAble.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Corporate Board Member, a wholly owned subsidiary of NYSE Euronext (NYX) that serves corporate directors and senior officers, has named Deborah Scally (left) as the editor of Corporate Board Member magazine. CBM President TK Kerstetter made the announcement. Prior to CBM's acquisition by NYSE Euronext in September, Scally was managing editor.Kerstetter signaled growing globalization of the business, in a release.
Memphis Business Academy will be the first charter school in the state to offer full K-through-12 education. The Commercial Appeal tells about it and other charters faring well, or not so well.
Chattanooga has been chosen to test community-sustainability software provided by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, which has created the Star Community Index for communities, which corresponds to LEED certification for buildings and other development. The TFP has it.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Okay, so they probably don't call it an online flea market. That's just what struck us. Still, Keepio.com, a Louisville startup, lets you inventory everything you own and share or trade items with people whom you trust. Here's the (sub required) BusinessFirst story.
eTransX, the Nashville business run by P. Mohan, has announced v.6 of its HEMI health enterprise messaging and integration engine, which supports HL7 integration of software applications. A release is here.
Bill Stead, M.D., Vanderbilt University vice chancellor for health affairs and chief strategy and information officer within VU Medical Center, was recently appointed to a full term on the Council of the Institute of Medicine. VU has it.
Vanderbilt scientists and engineers are developing TriageBot systems to help nurses deal with patients who aren't as desperately ill as others, to increase productivity and improve care. VU news promotes it.
The IT worker shortage is scarey enough to prompt Unum executives to spend time in schools trying to convince kids to aim for computers. The TFP reports it.
Knoxville Business Journal provides a list of Forty under 40, as well as an update on those who graced the list in previous years. How many do you know? About the same time, Traklok's Eric Dobson was named Entrepreneur of the Year amid the Navigator Awards.
Vanderbilt neurosurgeon Robert Singer's (left) six-year-old Waterstone Music Instruments produces a well-regarded line of guitars, even though Singer's keeping his dayjob. That bit, plus notes on NCN, Amazon, Volkswagen, Noro-Moseley and other players are all right here.
Jason Moore's (at left) lined-up, possibly with the help of Tod Fetherington and other investors, a smashing-looking advisory board for his healthcare marketing data sourcing technology and services company. Read about it here.
Eastate entrepreneur Ray Slatton is making progress in launching SecureWaters, a startup that leverage Oak Ridge National Laboratory technology to create security networks that rely on photochemical activity of algae. Now, he's looking for what seems a modest amount of funding. Here it is.
Lauren Templeton, 34, is carrying-on, it seems, the tradition of financial savvy associated with her late and much admired grand-uncle, Sir John Templeton. With the backing of a world-class woman hedge-fund operator, Templeton the younger has a few ideas for young women and men regarding neuro-determinants of success in finance and trading. The story's here.
Songness, the artist-rating and song-recommending online platform created by Tennessee entrepreneur Bill Geissler, has been in the works a while, but has fresh capital and, apparently, perseverance. Several years after Geissler co-owned United Press International, I worked in UPI's headquarters in corporate affairs. Our paths didn't cross, however, until recently. Here's the rundown.
MyWerx, the Nashville startup focused on helping artists document, protect and defend their copyrights using MyWerx's service as software suite, has added key partners, and will be looking at a capital raise, probably in 2011. Tim Smith (at left) tells it.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports on the awakening within Scripps Interactive to the rate of adoption of Mobile apps and their need to employ the new tools for Jewelry Television and other products.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Showing it can attract talent even when some observers think parent Regions is in play, Morgan Keegan announced hiring oil-services and general equities analysts. Releases are here.
After reportedly a decade of tensions, Knox County has essentially voted to kill the proposed Midway Business Park, but community officials recognize that leaves moot the issue of jobs creation for the county. The KNS reports.
The KNS reports the L&N Station edifice is the likely site of a new science, technology, engineering and math-oriented school. Knoxville-Oak Ridge are relatively committed, compared to some communities.
The CA reports Quebec residents are concerned about jobs competition with Memphis, which recently won an Electrolux expansion that might've gone to the province. A related City Paper story on Electrolux's significance for Mid-Tenn is here.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Chattanooga's WRCB 3 (NBC) offers possibly the best interview yet with outgoing Gov. Phil Bredesen about his intentions regarding the future, his views of governing and of his successor, Bill Haslam. Nice read, right here. With his book, Fresh Medicine, a virtual roadmap for the next phase of healthcare reform, it's hard to imagine him abandoning the issue.
BioMimetic Therapeutics, led by Sam Lynch (left), got a boost from Canada, where a key element in the Cool Springs-based firm's Augment product gets 15-year patent protection. The release here. Related VNC coverage here.
Plasan still has armor-manufacturing resources in Tennessee, but its carbon-oriented R&D unit has been lured to Michigan by incentives, leaving some workers in Bennington, Tenn., uncertain of their status. The Banner nicely reports it. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen hubbub in the Chattanooga area has lured 150 jobs from Sterling Heights, Mich.-based Atco, says the TFP.
There'll be a second round of grants from the Tennessee Solar Institute, as this interesting Knoxville News Sentinel piece explains. DOE yesterday announced its intent to issue another $50MM in grants for Solar projects.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
[Updated] Turns out it was Asurion's plans to add 500 jobs in Nashville that prompted Metro Nashville Karl Dean and State ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber to call a presser for this morning. The NBJ has the update. MEANwhile, we recently noted that Embraer is reported to have been considering Nashville, as well as Jacksonville and Hartford, Conn., as possible sites for assembly of Embraer's acclaimed Tucano prop-powered, close air support military aircraft. Nashville is already home to an Embraer aircraft avionics maintenance operation and home to Triumph Aerostructures Vought division.
Knoxville College, long un-accredited, has a strategy for leveraging science, technology, engineering, math and science education to win accreditation. Accreditation pressures also currently beset TSU, Fisk and some other institutions in the state. The KNS story's here.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The Memphis Society of Entrepreneurs named inductees Phil Coop, CEO and president of EnSafe; Mary McDonald, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Memphis; Charles D. McVean, CEO and chairman of McVean Trading & Investments; and Bob Wilson, president of Wilson Air Center and vice president of Kemmons Wilson Companies. The CA reports.
Memphis Daily News says Electrolux, with closure of a Canadian plant underway, will announce today it's putting a 1,200-worker facility in the Memphis area. Related Commercial Appeal.
Gov. Phil Bredesen told West Tennesseans (Commercial Appeal) the Solar Farm and industrial park he drove to completion are in-train for completion, and praised Chattanoogans' (Times Free Press) ability to leverage their region's assets and maintain strong state-local partnerships.
The multiplier effect, that economic development chestnut, could mean up to 75% indirect multiplier effect from Amazon.com's anticipated payroll at two sites in the Chattanooga area, translating in up to $75MM annual economic impact in the region.
US Department of Energy announced yesterday it has up to $30MM to fund biomass-biofuel related projects over the next few years. Five projects are expected to receive funding. Release here.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory communications and external affairs chief Billy Stair (at left) comments on the response from ORNL and its supporters to ORNL's Jaguar losing the supercomputing lead to a new Chinese entrant. Related: ORNL release on drug discovery and computing.
Joe Cook Jr., (left) Life Science Tennessee board member, former pharma CEO and principal of Mountain Group Capital in Nashville, says the state must mobilize schools and other agencies to make life sciences development a focal point, and not rely entirely on TNInvestco funding. NBJ reports the panel discussion.
Florida-based Harland, the bank check guys, bought Memphis-based uMonitor, which provides tech and services that, according to a release, allow "financial institutions to provide services online, in branches and at call centers, from new account opening and funding to account-to-account (A2A) money transfers, person-to-person (P2P) payments, account and advisor-client relationship management," etc.
State Sen. Bill Ketron, left, (R-Murfreesboro), who serves as chair of the legislature's GOP caucus and deputy speaker, says he wants to see jobs flow from the State's TNInvestco capital-formation program. This edition of NewsBits includes other stories from city and state. Read them here.
Leveraging decades of experience in other ortho-devices companies, ANOVA Implant Solutions CEO Walter Spires is making the rounds among Tennessee VCs, in hope of raising early-stage funding. The story's here.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Cogent Healthcare, the hospitalist company based here, announced its acquisition of Endion Hospitalist Systems in western NY State. Brentwood-based Cogent's revenues are believed greater than $100MM, annually.
Nashvillians are closely watching progress at Cleveland's proposed medical mart within a convention center. Financing there has long been virtually assured, even though community doubts remain regarding the sheer prudence of the project, as The Tennessean and NP.com report. VNC's previous Mart coverage on this blog is here, and newsite coverage here.
Co-founder and CEO Michael Reader (left) updates us on partnerships, products and profits at StyleNet, the Franklin, Tenn.-based e-commerce startups that's been targeting hair-salon operators for several years. The VNC story is here.
Exec-search pro's Dan Ryan and Rick Kloete have each left Human Capital Group to form their own search firms. Dan's particularly interested in the life-sciences area. All three are now based in Franklin. More on that, here.
Here's our December 7th roundup of tech, science, policy and startups newsbits from around the region. This batch includes notes on the governors, TTDC, TNInvestco, MusicRow online, and more.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
The excitement is growing about Amazon.com's likely $165MM investment and 1,000-plus year-round jobs that may land in Hamilton and Bradley Counties, the TFP reports today, although key negotiables remain. More details on local incentives here. Gov. Phil Bredesen and ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber, plus Chattanooga and county officials On Nov. 29 confirmed state and county officials are negotiating with Amazon.com regarding fulfillment-center sites in Bradley and Hamilton Counties. The TFP reports. Related TN ECD site is here. The Noog's City Council approved needed incentives, TFP has details here.
Take a look at this piece about the latest annual Oak Ridge High School entry in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and you'll probably smile at what dedicated schools and perseverant students can achieve, or even contemplate. The KNS reports.
The Shareware Industry Awards Foundation (SIAF), based in Ashland, Ky., has not announced plans for its 2011 conference, which was held in Dallas this year, partly due to embezzlement charges lodged against the group's former chairman, Gallatin, Tenn.-based Michael Callahan, local Gannett papers report. The Tennessean's link is here.
Chattanooga State Community College is expanding by 15 acres its campus, thanks in part to a $3MM contribution from Wacker Chemie, which is building a presence in the Noog, the TFP reports.
Emma, the e-mail campaign and surveying SaaS company based in Nashville, announced its latest crop of 25 nonprofit awardees for free services ad infinitum. Our earlier Emma story. Emma revenue has been reported as greater than $10MM annually and the company said six months ago it employs about 100.
Monday, November 29, 2010
The Tennessean, Nashville Business Journal and CityPaper/NashvillePost.com recently profiled local startups and high-growth mature companies. If the link has been killed by the time you get there, try the outlet's archive search function. Location-based technology and social media enable Carazel, echomusic co-founder Pinky Gonzales' (at left) latest venture (TSN) ... Leveraging brands and social media, Moontoast will soon launch a Facebook-specific application (TSN), says co-founder and CTO Marcus Whitney ... Vanderbilt prof Alan Peters is the brains behind Universal Robotics, its humanoid robotics and its Spatial Vision software, currently working its way into warehousing and logistics environments (TSN) ... Jason Moore is founder of HealthDataSource, which helps local government and smaller healthcare providers affordably gather market data (TSN) ... Chris Thompson hopes his SplitSecnd will compete affordably with OnStar for crash notification (TSN) ... New software from Jackson Miller's Bizen helps smaller retailers track their store's performance (TSN) ... George Sibble's Iridium Development is pushing SmartFuel app to help motorists find the cheapest gasoline (TSN) ... The City Paper chronicled mature businesses and Williamson County officials' frustration at lack of proximity to a university spawning software engineers (how close do they need to be to VUSE, TSU, MTSU, APSU, et al, anyway?): Cybera, Comdata, C3 Consulting, Passport Health, Vaco. NP.com also recently looked into Griffin Technology and fashion portal Taigan. NBJ's latest include takes on HealthTech (formerly Brim) and the health IT sector; and, TNInvestco execs talking-up biotech.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Clean Line Energy Partners is proposing TVA buy wind-generated direct current electricity from wind farms in Texas and Oklahoma. TVA previously committed to buying wind energy from five other states. The TFP reports. Lest it go overlooked: Former FCC Commissioner Reed Hundt recommends selling TVA, story here.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists have found a new use for an old drug for treating pinworms in studying signaling pathways important to human early development and the onset of cancer. The Reporter has it.
Smith & Nephew President Joseph DeVivo tells Memphis executives the City should 'Stop the insanity' and do more to engage minorities in economic expansion, the CA reports. Meanwhile, over in the Chattanooga region, Gary Davis of Bradley County will lead the regional economic development agency, the TFP reports. Volkswagen workers' children need better German education in Chattanooga schools, and the city works to improve a special program, the TFP reports.
Despite the recent ascendancy of a Chinese supercomputing system, Oak Ridge National Laboratory supercomputing chief Jeff Nichols (left) argues several of its systems, with a total 3.3 petaflop capacity, are preeminent in scientific applications. The KNS reports.
Erin Lawley's highly readable piece in The City Paper on stealthy Griffin Technology doesn't add a lot to the empirical record, but seems to provide some insight into the culture around equally stealthy Paul Griffin, just as he's apparently moving to the passenger seat.
The Taigan upscale web portal is making progress and raising more capital, according to CEO Elizabeth Nichols. William Williams of The City Paper reports. Earlier Taigan squib about fundraising, on VNC.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Scientists at Vanderbilt University, and academic and industry partners including Lockheed and Texas Instruments, are advancing development of neurophotonic links to help patients control and feel prosthetics. The VU release is here. Two earlier related stories are here and here.
Austin was No. 1 and Nashville No. 10 (with Memphis unlisted) in Songkick's latest ranking of cities with the most live Rock performances. And, here's an update from StubHub on Garth Brooks' Nashville flood-relief concerts proceeds commitment.
Nobody's really sure, but a stealthy e-commerce distribution player may be eyeing a Chattanooga site for a large logistics and ordering center, potentially bringing 2,000 jobs, the TFP reports.
Square 1 Bank founder Richard Casey's recently died unexpectedly, and the board is searching for his successor as CEO. The release is here.
Entrepreneur Week has spawned a monthly entrepreneurs panel discussion in Memphis, according to Memphis Daily News. Related story on Innova event in the CA, here.
MTSU's long-awaited science building still struggles for funding, but university officials and the state legislative delegation will probably ask for less than $100MM from the state, hoping to scale-back plans or makeup the difference in other ways. The DNJ link is here.
ORNL deputy director Thomas Zacharia congratulates the Chinese for their ascendancy in supercomputing, but extols the achievements of ORNL's Jaguar, and accepts the reminder the US must not rest on its laurels. Frank Munger reports for the KNS.
A Siemens-backed innovations website reports on how scientists, including one at ORNL, are helping search engines learn from dialect, slang and other imprecise consumer queries.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
eGovernment Solutions founder CEO Mark Padgett has offered for mayor in Knoxville. The KNS has it. Padgett notes he served in the Bredesen Administration in a role in which he sought improved government efficiency.
Midway Business Park remains an idea embroiled in debate over conservation, money and economic development. A grassroots group wants the county to choose a different site, in a proposal that relies on federal funding. The KNS has it.
State ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber's involvement in the Silicon Ranch solar venture, about few details are known, apparently does not pass the threshold of magnitude that would necessitate his amending his personal state ethics filing. The TFP's Andy Sher reports.
University of Tennessee Health Science Center scientists who commercialized technology they invented were honored recently. At least two new ventures resulted. The CA reports it.
Dave Waddell of Memphis offers an amusing, and possibly insightful view of the cracks in the world economy. The MDN has it.
The heavy lifting at Volkswagen's new $1BN plant at Chattanooga is nearly done, and finish work will begin for April 2011 completion. The TFP has it.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
San Jose-based Vocera Communications has gotten a fresh foothold in Tennessee for its healthcare communications technologies by buying companies with Knoxville and Chattanooga operations: Clinical Health Communications and White Stone Group. The MDN reports.
The KNS reports that some Tennessee solar-energy industry execs worry that the Tennessee Solar Institute's parceling-out of $9MM in three months was too hasty, and lasting benefits are uncertain.
Pathfinder Therapeutics, the Nashville-based VU spinoff that focuses on open and minimally invasive surgery using image-guided technologies, announced Sloan-Kettering and other universities are participating in clinical trials. The release is here. Related stories here.
Gov. Phil Bredesen has updated his disclosure of personal holdings to include a stake in Silicon Ranch, a startup venture in development by former Cabinet member Reagan Farr, erstwhile Revenue commissioner, with some involvement by ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber. The TFP has it.
Memphis-based Asentinel, the telecom-expense management company, has expanded its business with partnerships in Mexico, India, Belgium and Germany. The release is here.
Sheng Dai, a researcher in chemical sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was cited for his outstanding achievements in science and technology, with focus on porous materials, nanomaterials and ionic liquids in the context of energy. The ORNL release.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The TVA's economic-development team says there are at leat eight prime locations in the Volunteer State for data centers. Related stories by the KNS here and TFP here. Meanwhile, Facebook joins a small parade of techies with data centers in North Carolina.
The United States is working on a 20 petaflop supercomputing system for delivery by 2012 that will leapfrog the latest Chinese entry, which surpassed Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Computerworld has it. HPC brags on recent Jaguar contributions.
Memphis-based Sharp Manufacturing Company of America, which makes photovoltaic modules for solar panels to produce clean energy, is maxing-out its production capacity, according to Memphis Daily News. The company made its Two-millionth solar panel last summer.
Clinton, Tenn.-based Remotec, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman since 1996, has won a multi-year contract to provide upgraded robots to help military combat improvised explosive devices. The release is here. A Remotec device played a cameo in "The Hurt Locker."