Thursday, December 30, 2010

UK's Ditto Music targets Nashville

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).

UT Engineering mentor James Hung dies

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.

Census shows 6.34MM Tennesseans

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.

Top 10 Personal Tech Ideas (NYTx)

Here are David Pogue's Top 10 Tech ideas for the early adopter. The New York Times has it.

Start-up needs a lawyer? Tips to consider

The New York Times reports tips for entrepreneurs considering hiring, and paying for legal services.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ideas 2010: National Geo, NY Times

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

Industrial Strength Marketing to offer marketing toolset

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.

'Inside' recruiting to Chattanooga

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

Y-12 applauded by Feds, decried by peace activists

[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.

UT leverages TVA for energy-efficient home contest

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.

Another tech competitor, this time in Starkville

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.

Thoughts on Memphis financial sector, 2010

Andy Meek of Memphis Daily News offers a review of 2010 highlights of the Memphis finance sector.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

START treaty benefits to ORNL (more)

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 expands Oak Ridge presence

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.

'Sustainability' may be Chatta. Chamber focus

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.

Docs flocking to hospitals viewed warily by some

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 STEM academy discussed

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

Chattanooga allowed to smile on Jobs growth

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.

Ethics: VUMC leads on Bioethics, randomized trials

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

MEDSEEK, Bay Health e-health alliance

Birmingham-based MEDSEEK announced an alliance with Tampa-based EHR provider Bay Health System to push an integrated e-health and EHR solution.

White House exec departs for start-ups

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.

TN officials should honor 'transparency' re: Internet taxation

The Times Free Press is glad Chattanooga got the logistics investment, but urges State officials to be more forthright in dealing with the awkward Internet sales tax issue.

Qriocity music-streaming in US in 2011

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.

Knox County career education steps-up

Knox County schools are pushing harder on career and technical education that could spur students onward to college. The KNS reports.

Brentwood home health company acquired

AccentCare and Oak Hill Capital Partners announced their acquisition of Guardian, a Brentwood-based home health care provider.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HCA substitute S-1 for estimated $4.6BN IPO

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).

Cornwall finds hope for Music entrepreneurs

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.

Not easy some days being Cumberland Pharma

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.

Russia-US START talks a boon for Oak Ridge NL, says Munger

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.

Claritas Capital in CanopyHR's 2nd round

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

Scally new Corporate Board Member editor

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 scores first

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 tests sustainability software

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 adds 'trust' to online flea market

Okay, so they probably don't call it an online flea market. That's just what struck us. Still,, 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 engine unveiled for healthcare

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 appointed to prestigious Council

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.

TriageBot: VU sees more robots in ER

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.

Unum on IT worker shortage

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's 40 under 40+

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.

Newsbits: Waterstone guitars apparently Rock

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.

HealthDataSource unveils key advisors

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.

Entrepreneur harnesses science for SecureWaters

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.

Sir John Templeton's family tradition manifests in Chattanooga

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 not songless: e-music startup

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 adds partners, preps for 2.0

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.

TVA greening

TVA's recent moves on the clean-energy front are partly motivated by renewable energy credits, the KNS reports.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scripps Interactive execs astonished at pace of Mobile app adoption

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

Morgan Keegan hiring

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.

Knox jobs debate continues, as bizpark plan dies

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.

STEM push in Knox schools

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.

Quebecois concerns about Tennessee

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

Quo vadis? Bredesen comments on his future

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 gets boost from Canada

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.

Tennessee, Michigan create jobs for each other

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.

Tennessee Solar Institute grants update`

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.

Reuters: Global M&A cycle ramping further

With deal volume greater than since 2007, we could be in the 'foothills' of a major new ascent on the M&A front, according to this Reuters story.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Asurion expands - Embraer expanding in Nashville?

[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 may bet on STEM

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

Memphis entrepreneurs honored

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.

Electrolux announcement today?

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.

Bredesen views Solar, industrial investments with pleasure

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. jobs could bring 1.75X economic impact

The multiplier effect, that economic development chestnut, could mean up to 75% indirect multiplier effect from's anticipated payroll at two sites in the Chattanooga area, translating in up to $75MM annual economic impact in the region.

DOE has $30MM for biofuels grants

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.

ORNL mounts 'aggressive' supercomputing advocacy effort

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.

Cook: Life Sciences must be Tennessee 'imperative'

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.

Harland buys uMonitor

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.

Airplay Direct boosts Doyal

Cliff Doyal, who wears a lot of hats at Airplay Direct, is now executive vice president for the startup. Our earlier Airplay story.

Solar: U.S. taxation decisions will shape industry

Larisa Brass of the Knoxville News Sentinel reports on the current congressional tax debate's influence on the fledgling Solar industry.

Biopharma: GTx, Provectus report progress

Memphis-based GTx and Knoxville-based Provectus reported gains toward development of key products.

Tennessee Solar Institute grants awarded

Tennessee Solar Institute awarded $7MM for 37 projects run by 21 businesses in eight of the state's nine congressional districts. Read about it.

State Sen. Ketron wants to see TNInvestco results

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.

ANOVA Implant Solutions stakes its claim

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 buys Endion

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.

Battle of the Med Marts

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 report. VNC's previous Mart coverage on this blog is here, and newsite coverage here.

StyleNet e-commerce startup closer to profits

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.

Recruiters set-off from Human Capital Group

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.

NewsBits: Bredesen exit, Haslam priorities, MusicRow ownership and more...

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

Excitement grows around TN plans

The excitement is growing about'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 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.

Siemens Competition again draws best from Oak Ridge High School

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.

EdTech conference underway in Nashville

The 28th annual Tennessee Educational Technology Conference runs through tomorrow in Nashville. Details here.

Shareware conference in doubt?

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.

Wacker investment drives Chatta. Community College expansion

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's annual 25 gifts to nonprofits

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.