Monday, November 29, 2010

Startups, Leaders in Nashville Spotlight

The Tennessean, Nashville Business Journal and CityPaper/ 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. 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

TVA and Clean Line wind-energy partnership?

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 scientists seen potential cancer therapy gains

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.

Economic Development Bits

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.

ORNL asserts supercomputing leadership

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.

Griffin Technology says little, makes repeated splashes

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.

Taigan update: on-line upscale retailing

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.

Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club for business execs

The largest regular gathering of business executives in Memphis is the Lipscomb & Pitts' L&P Breakfast Club. The CA story's here.

Memphis buoyed by life sciences sector

The Memphis Daily News reports on the economic uplift Memphis enjoys from its life sciences, healthcare and related industries.

Incubator adjacent Cleveland State

Another business incubator grows in the Chattanooga region, this one adjacent Cleveland State Community College. The TFP reports.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vanderbilt, Lockheed use neurophotonics for prosthetic controls

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.

Nashville No. 10 in Live Rockin' Cities ranking

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.

E-commerce distribution center rumored for Chattanooga

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.

Venture banking: Square 1 seeks CEO after founder's demise

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 panel to meet monthly in Memphis

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 science building budget woes

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.

Oak Ridge's 'Jaguar' supercomputer can't rest on laurels

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.

Medical search engines learn from consumer slang

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

Tech exec vies for Knoxville mayor

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.

Dispute continues over Knox business park plan

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.

Kisber investment in Silicon Ranch may not require disclosure filing

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.

UT Health Science Center commercialization applauded

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.

Waddell on global economy, investments, competition

Dave Waddell of Memphis offers an amusing, and possibly insightful view of the cracks in the world economy. The MDN has it.

Volkswagen's core facility nears completion in Chattanooga

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

Health IT: Cali firm gets Eastate foothold

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.

Some TN solar execs fret about Institute's grant impact

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.

Tech incubator in Rossville?

The founder of Westrex has bought property in Rossville that some think will provide the Chattanooga area another tech incubator. The TFP reports it.

Pathfinder Therapeutics update

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.

Governor updates investment disclosure

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.

Asentinel expands cross-border business

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 named ORNL distinguished scientist

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.

Ingram Micro adds labor for holiday surge

Ingram Micro, which has a logistics center in the Memphis area, is ramping-up hiring for the holiday season, the CA reports.

Entrepreneurship Memphis

The CA updates this week's entrepreneurship events in Memphis, details here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tennessee data-center sites touted by TVA

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.

US won't take Chinese supercomputer challenge lying down

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.

Sharp Memphis rides Solar growth

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.

Remotec wins military robotics contract

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."

Nobel Laureate in Chattanooga

Elinor Ostrom Ph.D., the first woman to win the Nobel in Economic Sciences, will speak Nov. 17 at University of Tennessee -Chattanooga. The TFP reports.

Memphis Biofuels entrepreneurs faces challenges

BioEnergy Development Group faces challenges as it seeks to recapitalize, but AgBioworks, an initiative of Memphis Bioworks is helping develop the sector. The MDN reports.

Tech2020's Navigator Awards

At Tech2020, the annual Navigator awards produced Kudos! for TrakLok, MS Technology and Materials and Chemistry Laboratory. The KNS has it.

UT wins tech transfer grant

The University of Tennessee received a $100,000 grant from the Federal and State Technology (FAST) program, to support firms seeking SBIR-STTR funding. Details are hard to come by for this small, but potentially significant award.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jackson leaves Avondale for teaching, coaching

Following a long-standing passion, Sean Jackson, who won many laurels during his nine years at Avondale Partners as a senior analyst in healthcare technology and other equities, has joined the faculty and coaching staff at Montgomery Bell Academy, where he'll teach mathematics and coach basketball. He was a stand-out Princeton roundball player -- at graduation in '92, he was Princeton's leading 3-point hitter with 235 treys (.469). Prior to joining Avondale in 2001, he was director and analyst with SunTrust Equitable and a decade ago (2000) he published the securities industries' first comprehensive research piece on Internet security. He several times won The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Street award, and was repeatedly highly ranked among software-sector analysts. Before SunTrust Equitable, Sean worked for Thornthwaite, the actuarial consultant. He earned his MBA at Kellogg, Northwestern; and, an engineering degree at Princeton, where he was team captain and Ivy League Player of the Year (after transferring from Ohio). In a nearly decade-old interview on a Princeton Tigers fan website, he was asked why he transferred from Ohio to Princeton. He explained he had asked himself, “I wonder what it would be like to be involved in a setting that prioritized academics.”

Nick, Jax terminate GPS Assassins biz

Nick Holland and Jackson Miller (L-R, at left) pulled the plug on their local effort around GPS Assassins, their location-driven games play, according to NashvillePost. GPS Assassins had been approved by the iPhone Apps Store in June 2009. They sold the property for an undisclosed amount to games startup Worldblender. Holland told the Post they'd reached their limits, given other obligations and the fact there's not much ecosystem here for the games sector. Our earlier story on the Holland-Jackson venture. "Big Cheese" Holland's unwavering focus remains on CentreSource, while Miller, a retail franchisee himself, as well as a Geek, is launching a franchisee-oriented BI platform, which he's incubating in the Entrepreneur Center.

VUSE's Cummings honored for advancing engineering

Peter Cummings (left), professor with Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, recently received the annual Founders Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), for advancing the profession. A related VU story on Cummings' work is here. Much of Cummings work is aligned with the FIRST program at ORNL. His work spans designing lubricants, fighting cancer invasion, electronic devices made from single molecules.

VW Chattanooga headcount could hit 2,500

Volkswagen in Hamilton County has hired more than 1,100 for a workforce that could hit 2,500 workers by 2012. The TFP reports. Talk of recreating vocational education in Hamilton County to feed manufacturing requirements gains momentum, the TFP has it.

Sumner County's first University resource

Union University in Jackson, Tenn., is opening a campus in Hendersonville, marking Sumner County's first university facility. The release is here.

e-Commerce adds to FedEx peak shipping on Dec. 13

Increased online sales are among the factors cited in FedEx's projected new-record shipments peaking December 13, just ahead of the holidays. The CA reports.

Columnist: STEM needed in Knox, but what about drop-outs?

KNS Columnist Pam Strickland applauds Knox County Schools' move to work with UT and ORNL to create a STEM magnet high school, but asks what more could be done to help the 19% of county students who drop out. The piece is here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vanguard adopts technology from Martin Cos. portfolio company

Vanguard Health Systems, founded by entrepreneur Charlie Martin and now owned by private equity, adopted technology from Skokie, Ill.-based Care Connect, for which Martin's The Martin Companies recently led a $2.7MM financing round.

British software firm tapped by ORNL again

Allinea, which develops software tools for use in supercomputing, has been tapped again as a partner by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Warwick, England-based Allinea has an office in San Jose. The 'DDT' tools mentioned are for fixing bugs in supercomputing.

UT Research Foundation challenges student entrepreneurs

Nine teams of student entrepreneurs are competing for a bit of cash and access to resources at University of Tennessee Research Foundation. KNS has a blurb.

ORNL courts new TN congressional delegates

U.S. Reps.-Elect (R-3rd) Chuck Fleischmann (left, succeeded Wamp) and (R-4th) Scott DesJarlais toured Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which aims to enlist them in supporting the lab. The KNS reports.

TVA begins mini-nuclear plant work, workers get safety training

TVA plans to develop new mini-nuclear plants on an existing site, the TFP reports. Meanwhile, a TVA grant and some help from Unum allow a Chattanooga painters-trades union to help workers attain safety certification to work in nuclear facilities. The TFP reports.

Earlier: REACH Call gets Council Ventures money

Augusta, Ga.-based REACH Call announced completion of a $5MM A round, led by Nashville-based Council Ventures. The startup is in telemedicine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Informatics Corp strengthens VU ties, aligns team

Informatics Corporation of America (ICA), the VU spinoff led by CEO Gary Zgiestowsky, today announced adding several board members and realigning executive staff. While former VU Medical Center vice chancellor Harry Jacobson was an advisor to the company, there were no VU members on the board, apparently. The VU additions to the board include Brett Sweet, CFO at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; John F. Manning, VUMC chief administration officer and senior associate dean for Operations and Administration; and Gordon R. Bernard, M.D., associate vice-chancellor for research and senior associate dean for clinical sciences, VUMC School of Medicine. Sandra H. Lillie, formerly vice president in sales with TeraMedica Healthcare Technology (HQ:Milwaukee), has joined as VP sales and development. Brian Higdon joined from Affinion Group (Stanford, Conn., direct marketing) and now heads ICA client services. John Tempesco becomes chief marketing officer.

edo Interactive names Jim Kever chairman

edo Interactive, long led by CEO Ed Braswell (left) and backed by VC Claritas and others, has named Envoy founder, entrepreneur and superangel (with Fred Goad in Voyent Partners) Jim Kever chairman of its board. The release is here. The company recently named Clay Whitson, former as iPayment, as its CFO.

Metro Nashville Alliance for Science & Technology

Metro Nashville Alliance for Science & Technology, celebrating innovation, discovery on 502.26 square miles we call home. The Alliance: It's an idea. Davidson County: The Place.

Nashville Medical Trade Center updated

Bill Winsor, point man for Crow Holdings Nashville Medical Trade Center, provides a bit of an update on the project in this SmartPlanet story, Nov. 8th.

UT Med Center, ContinuumRx form JV for pharmacy, infusion

ContinuumRx and the University of Tennessee Medical Center announced a joint venture in East Tennessee for infusion therapy and specialty pharmaceuticals. The release is here.

TA invests in MedSolutions

TA Associates, a Boston private-equity firm, announced an investment of undisclosed scale in Franklin-based MedSolutions, the radiology management services provider. A TA fund in 2009 got a $50MM allocation from the alternative assets fund of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS).

Entrepreneurship Week begins Monday, 15 November

Tennessee has a big footprint during Global Entrepreneurship Week, with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, LaunchMemphis and a soon-to-debut WilliamsonInnovate website among highlights.

Nashville Chamber's 'Walkabout 180' for small biz

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce on December 7th convenes "Walkabout180," a tutorial on some business basics for entrepreneurs, small-business owners and others. Details are here.

'Science without insight'? 10 predictions for 10 years

Ten scientists comment on what they'll be discovering ten years from now. One suggests we'll learn to live with knowledge that is predictive, but mysterious. The New York Times reports.

Pitt Hyde invests more in GTx in Memphis

GTx, the Memphis biopharma development company, not only raised $37.6m in a stock offering yesterday, but got more help from AutoZone founder-entrepreneur-investor Pitt Hyde (at left), who invested $15.3m in the company, reports MDN. MBJ reports on GTX's 3Q results.

NASA should have big 2011

The New York Times reports on scheduled missions centered on Mercury and Mars. New rovers, more hopes of water in the shadows of Mercury's crater rims and the International Space Station finally whole. The story's here.

NYT dissects Kaplan, a Washington Post unit

The New York Times this week did the story we would have been surprised to see in The Washington Post: An update on lawsuits and investigations into the Post Co.'s Kaplan subsidiary business, which provides postsecondary education. Article here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Bredesen F&A Commis. Goetz departs for Ingenix

Second-term Gov. Phil Bredesen's F&A Commissioner Dave Goetz announced his departure for as-yet undisclosed responsibilities within Ingenix, the healthcare technology subsidiary of insurer UnitedHealth Group that bought Franklin-based AIM Healthcare a few years ago. Goetz has overseen the Bredesen-charter e-Health Council of state government in recent years. That group partnered with AT&T on connectivity, handled physician-office IT initiatives, had a stake in a regional health information exchange in the Memphis area, spawned a new public-private partnership, and more. Online news indicates Ingenix has been battling class-action lawsuits regarding an allegedly faulty database that petitioners say led to reimbursement errors. Prior to serving nearly eight years with Bredesen, Goetz led both the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Tennessee Business Roundtable. Earlier, he was a Capitol Hill reporter for Nashville's WTVF Channel 5 (CBS). Former Bredesen Revenue Commis. Reagan Farr and ECD Commis. Matt Kisber recently signalled their involvement in Silicon Ranch, a Solar-oriented venture, details of which have not been released.

Janos Sztipanovits receives USAF honor

Janos Sztipanovits recently received the US Air Force's Meritorious Civilian Service Award for, among other things, chairing a study on defending and operating in a contested cyber-domain. He is director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. VUSE's release is here. VentureNashville's previous story on ISIS.

Reality of Green Jobs in Tennessee

At the MTSU Business & Economic Research Center (BERC), Assoc. Director Murat Arik, Ph.D. (at left), said yesterday he's studying Green Jobs' economic impact, in the wake of the state's receipt of a federal grant. Tennessee Business covered related issues, and the US Labor Department continues trying to define and measure the impact of Green Jobs.

TN: Computer Science education, Innovation

The 2nd annual US Computer Science Education Week is Dec. 5-11, more here. No word on NV/TN activities. The Nashville Technology Council has a related T3 initiative, which we believe is still active. Meanwhile, if "Innovation" is your thing, some Unum executives are presenting their corporate innovation program, in an event sponsored by the Chattanooga Technology Council, Nov. 17. Details here.

Vanderbilt Health Information Privacy Lab director honored

VU HIPL Director Bradley Malin (Steelers fan) was named among 85 researchers honored with a with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He's an assistant professor of biomedical informatics in the School of Medicine at VU. The White House release.

R&D Magazine applauds ORNL scientist

R&D Magazine named Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Amit Goyal (left), a leader in high-temperature superconductivity, as "Innovator of the Year." Goyal is a Battelle Distinguished Inventor and a repeat winner of R&D's "Oscar-like" awards for contributions related to flexible electronic devices. The ORNL release is here.

Fighting for America COMPETES

A wide coalition of industry and academe is pressing Congress this week to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act, before a freshly divided Congress is seated. The AIP bulletin here. Related innovation coalition.

Vanderbilt Owen profs again eye NASDAQ trading

Owen Profs. Jacob Sagi and Robert Whaley created new Alpha Indexes derivative products that help investors cope with market volatility and price swings in highly liquid stocks or exchange traded funds. The Nasdaq release is here. Both men are at Owen's Financial Markets Research Center, where faculty have periodically influenced the markets' innovation, led by Director Hans Stoll. (The FMRC convenes a conference on human capital and finance, today at VU.)

Atiba's JJ adds JB from SkyP for IT

Atiba Software founder-CEO JJ Rosen recently announced he's finally landed Joe Baltimore (left), who owned SkyPeak consultancy in the Research Triangle Park area that specializes in the Microsoft applications and products stack. SkyP customers are now with Atiba.

Wunderlich adds Med-devices stock analyst

Memphis-based Wunderlich Securities added medical-devices and tech analyst Gregory
, working from St. Louis. He was co-head of the healthcare group at Stifel Nicolaus. Earlier this month, the firm named analyst Brian Freed to follow enterprise services, with emphasis on storage and security. Freed was with Morgan Keegan.

Congressional turnover and Tennessee influence

The folks at Oak Ridge National Laboratory say that despite turnover among the Tennessee congressional delegation, the support of US Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander should stand them well. The KNS reports. UT's new President Joe Pietro will have a key ORNL role. A related KNS story on Tennessee influence in Congress, post Election Day.

Chattanooga-Atlanta high-speed rail idea chugs along

The Times Free Press reports the idea of high-speed rail transportation between Chattanooga and Atlanta International Airport lives on, and greater detail is expected by mid-2012. Supposedly, the concept is advancing at least as well as competing rail ideas around the nation.

Pedley now partner in B2B CFO

Daniel Pedley, former with CB Richard Ellis, Brookfield Homes and other companies, is now a partner in the B2B CFO network's Nashville territory, providing outsourced CFO services.

3-D View of Tennessee Economy

In Knoxville, Steve McMurry's Wow 3D Group wades into 3-D imaging without 3-D glasses, the KNS reports. A PCworld video report on related commercialization. Meanwhile, over in the Memphis area, American Paper Optics has been doing land-office business manufacturing traditional 3-D glasses to support the new wave of 3-D cinema.

Business colleges' quality scrutinized

UT College of Bus. Administration Dean Jan Williams is on a committee appraising the quality and relevance of business school education, launched yesterday by AACSB International. The release is here.

Memphis seeks livability, competitiveness

The Commercial Appeal reports on a presentation by a Vancouver, Canada leader regarding the importance of livability in attracting jobs. Memphis Daily News reports on new leadership for Memphis's Aerotropolis project.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Gov. Bredesen meets with Gates Foundation

Governor Phil Bredesen (left) and Gov.-Elect Bill Haslam will meet this afternoon with representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss education issues, according to a gubernatorial press release this morning. The foundation is deeply involved ($90MM) in Memphis City Schools; and, recently made a smaller grant to the Tennessee Chamber (NBJ had it). and Earbits collaborating on Music

Earbits, a California startup providing online indie-artists music, has partnered with Castello Cities Internet Network, based in Palm Springs, Calif., to add a newly developed music app to Castello-owned Entrepreneur Joey Flores, based in Venice, California, says Earbits is looking to raise $750K for the overall company, which is developing a batch of high-traffic sites with visitors with affinity for independent artists' offerings. More on this to come. He says the company will be in touch with Tennessee investors. They've raised about $90K, thus far, mainly from West Coast and Boston, he said.

Bredesen, Farr Silicon Ranch branding begins

Silicon Ranch Corp. is a new solar-energy-related startup involving Gov. Phil Bredesen, who is, according to The Tennessean today, backing his former State Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr, who is SRC's sole employee, and who is exploring a niche in the solar-arrays sector. Could there be a Solar REIT in the offing? The company is a Delaware company, according to the Secretary of State's online data. The agent for its registration is, the State says, Tom Trent, a partner in Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. Trent's a real-estate, finance and economic-development attorney, according to the BABC website. ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber is mentioned as also involved, somehow. The Tennessean recounts the strong push the Bredesen Administration has given Solar during the Bredesen years, and notes Farr has an office adjacent Pathway Lending, a financial institution with strong ties to state economic-development programs. The Tennessean notes Bredesen and Farr also traveled to Spain on a state mission, to discuss clean energy. Spain has one of the world's largest solar-array ranches. Months ago, Columnist Gail Kerr spotted Gov. Bredesen's interest in things Solar, in her widely read column. Kisber and Farr (L-R, at left) have been widely credited as key in the Bredesen Administrations' recruitment of investment by Hemlock, Volkswagen and other majors, as well as in passage of the TNInvestco investment program. More recent commentary, from KNS columnist Greg Johnson (Nov. 12).

AT&T goes vertical: ForHealth strategy unveiled

AT&T today announced its ForHealth strategy for the healthcare vertical, touting wireless, networked and cloud-based solutions to support all manner of health IT connectivity. The release is here. Related story from UnwiredView, whence came the pill bottle art.

JumpStart Foundry at Entrepreneur Center

JumpStart Foundry and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center collaborated on First Pitch, where 13 entrepreneurs pitched their ideas. Erin Lawley at NashvillePost blogs it here.

SuperAngels in new seed/VC fund

Mark Andreesen (left, Netscape) and Ben Horowitz (Opsware) have founded a 'new breed' SuperAngels seed/vc fund in which they actually try grow entrepreneurs into CEOs worthy of the name in a scaling enterprise. The NYT reports.

Fogelman B-School gets high marks

Fogelman College of Business & Economics (FCBE) at the University of Memphis boasts higher standards and better branding, to alumni applause. The CA reports.

Entrepreneurs: Wow 3D Group

In Knoxville, Steve McMurry's Wow 3D Group wades into 3-D imaging without 3-D glasses, the KNS reports. A PCworld video report on related commercialization. Meanwhile, over in the Memphis area, American Paper Optics has been doing land-office business manufacturing traditional 3-D glasses to support the new wave of 3-D cinema.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Health IT: TN Angel fund says Shareable Ink relocating to Nashville

Nashville Capital Network's Tennessee Angel Fund, a TNInvestco-funded group, announced today it's investing in Shareable Ink, which has technology that uses digital pen and paper to translate clinicians' handwriting into digital content for injection into electronic medical records. The Martin Companies and Heritage Group Holdings are among investors, according to a release today. Boston-based Shareable Ink will relocate to Nashville. The round is a $4.5MM series A.

Miller Energy: TN's most-overlooked business story?

Huntsville, Tenn.-based Miller Energy Resources (oil and gas) has gotten coverage, but the company continues to quietly press ahead and is showing a $154MM market cap on the nasdaq, this morning. Their release about a license extension, and another about rigs being deployed. The KNS reported their 'luck plus pluck' move in Alaska, months ago.

New healthcare Venture fund

Provident Healthcare Ventures in Boston has launched a $25MM healthcare services fund ($250K-$3MM), allied with Provident Healthcare Partners, investment bankers. The release is here.

The Med's $21MM EMR spend

The Med will spend $21 million on electronic medical record and related, with $6.3MM budgeted for the first of three tranches. The CA reports it.

Goldman Sachs scouts on VU campus

Goldman Sachs investment bankers will be on the Vanderbilt University campus for a career information session, Nov. 17, according to the VU Career Center calendar. VUSE, the Engineering School, recently held an Engineering and Information Technology industry day, reported here. Thirty-seven employers, including 15 from Tennessee (including 12 from the Nashville area), participated in the VUSE event.

Chaput invites COOs

The ubiquitous Bob Chaput has announced forming a Nashville chapter of the Chief Operating Officer Business Forum. Here's the rundown. Now with Datamountain, he was long associated with Healthways.

VU Med Center couples EMR, genetics

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's PREDICT program detects a genotype that could foul-up patients' treatment and provides an electronic medical record alert. VUMC Reporter here. Related story on Grand Opportunities funding, here.

E|spaces opens for execs in Belle Meade

Phil Gibbs has opened Espaces, an executive short-interval work and conference space, in the Hill Center at Belle Meade. The TSN reports.

VU research on keyboarding Errrrors

Wait'll iPhone hears it's struggling with our hands, not our brains when it audaciously changes our spelling. The story on Vanderbilt research on intelligence buried in our hands is here. There's a business idea in this somewhere.

Alt Fuels: E-car recharging - We're on it

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working on wireless charging for electric cars, for those forgetful owners. The KNS reports. Meanwhile, Nissan recently announced progress in setting-up those LEAF recharging stations, including some in Tennessee. Meanwhile, an MTSU professor's car runs on hydrogen, the KNS reports.

Monday, November 01, 2010

MyWerx founder 'Innovator of the Year'

MyWerx, the copyright-management solutions company founded and led by CEO Tim Smith (left), must be doing something important: Smith has just been named 'Innovator of the Year' by Nashville Technology Council. Here's the full NTC listing of honorees. Before founding MyWerx two years ago, Smith was, among other roles, CIO of Simplex, the local diabetics supply company; director, business systems, LBMC; SVP at Copyright Management, and more.

Tennessee 2nd nationally in business climate

Site Selection magazine says Tennessee is second only to North Carolina in Business Climate. The state's release is here.