Monday, February 28, 2011

Fighting TN hunger

Worth Knowing: Scarecrow Foundation launches in TN to fight hunger. The KNS has it.

TN tax burden

A new study found Tennesseans bore the fourth-lowest tax burden among U.S. states in fiscal year 2009. The only states with lower combined state and local taxes per person were South Dakota, Nevada and Alaska, according to the Tax Foundation.

Amazon taxes

That sales tax issue isn't going away, immediately. The TFP in Chattanooga reports.

UT Bizplan content

The University of Tennessee business plan competition deadline approaches, story here.

NewsBits, Feb. 28

VU's looking for a leader for tech transfer and commercialization.. some TNInvestco fund managers speak out.. Axial Exchange, and open-source health IT player, eyes Nashville.. SimCenter will be marketing its software.. Atiba goes NooYawk.. and much more here.

Lackey abuzz

Passport Health Communications Chairman Jim Lackey is feeling the excitement in Nashville entrepreneur circles, and gettin' way too busy. Read about it here.

Grants leaves Cisco

Longtime Nashville technology presence Frank Grant, Cisco's Nashville-based healthcare lead, has taken on a new challenge at revenue-cycle oriented Adreima, based in Phoenix. Read more.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ingram content group

The Border's bankruptcy and the onlining of content is no death knell for Ingram Book, says spokesman Keel Hunt in this CityPaper/NashPost piece.

Metro investment chief

Metro/Nashville chief investment officer Fadi Bousamra's prior strong performance may have played a role in Metro's tempered response to misstatements he reportedly made on his original Metro employment. The Tennessean reports. Our earlier report on Bousamra's role.

Comdata president

Brentwood-based Comdata (Ceridian), the fleet card, credit card and other e-payment solutions provider, named Steve Stevenson president. He previously led National Processing and US Bankcorp's Elevon unit. The release is here.

VW expansion talk a bit early

Frank Fischer, VW CEO in Chattanooga, says the company's inclined to expand production beyond original plans, but they're mainly focused on launching production of the new VW Passat, slated to begin in the Noog in March. The TFP has it.

Health-Satellite imagery

Satellite imagery of changes in Earth's vegetation, rainfall, etc., can help scientists predict increases in correlated diseases. Space Times News has it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alexia Poe is Haslam com chief

Alexia Poe (left), currently Metro Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's economic-development department head, will in a few weeks begin work as Gov. Bill Haslam's director of communications, the Haslam Administration announced today. Poe has previously served in lead communications roles for then-First Lady Laura Bush, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and former Gov. Don Sundquist, all GOP. She's a UT graduate and a former television news reporter.

Altair in Huntsville

Altair, a Michigan company that provides simulation technology and engineering services, is opening a Huntsville office. Aero Academy offers free training to engineers. The release is here.


Mind2Marketplace holds an IT panel March 3, with execs from Bytes of Knowledge, Bondware, IBM, Microsoft and Rutherford County. Details here.

ClaimTrust RCM bought

Murfreesboro's ClaimTrust, a revenue-cycle player, has been bought by Craneware, a listed company, for $19.5MM. The release is here. A husband-wife team founded ClaimTrust nearly 13 years ago and relocated here from Florida, less than two years ago.

Southtree Digital

Young Chattanooga entrepreneurs in Southtreat Digital Media are making a business of translating families' home movies and VT's to digital storage, the TFP reports.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memphis bioscience

The Memphis bioscience community gathers tomorrow for BioWorks luncheon to discuss the bioscience venture ecosystem, the MDN has it.

ServiceMaster CEO

Memphis-based ServiceMaster named former Walmart EVP Hank Mullany its new CEO. The MDN has it.

Memphis incentives

Memphis Mayor Wharton is on the defensive from a few critics of the Mitsubishi and Electrolux incentives. The CA has it.

TN: Biz Male bias?

More than 91% of board members of publicly traded Tennessee companies are men, according to a CABLE/Lipscomb report. The KNS has it.

TN incubators (more)

The new incubator at Cleveland State near Chattanooga will have some environmental focus, says the TFP. Our earlier report on Hurley Buff's operation there, is right here (scroll down).

Fracking Tennessee

Pumping water and chemicals into the ground to extract natural gas is favored by the oil and gas industry over nitrogen injection, apparently, but it's not liked at all by environmentalists, the KNS reports.

Cellphone Brain Link

You'll hear more about this study of the uncertain consequences of your cellphone antenna being close to your brain, centered around changes in glucose metabolism. JAMA has it.

Austin Powder boom

An Austin Powder subsidiary that makes liquid ammonium nitrate for explosives wants to create 80 jobs in beleaguered Greene County, Tenn. The KNS has it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Venture menagerie

We've got the jackrabbit at JumpStart Foundry, the Bull at Bizen and now the Bullpen Ventures mentoring and incubator program resident at NEC. Check out their release.

ECOtality TN briefings

ECOtality, out of San Francisco, will hold briefings on making your business a charging station for e-cars in Franklin near Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville. The release is here.

Women in STEM

Women who have achievement notice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will be honored in a May ceremony in Chattanooga. The TFP reports.


Puppet Labs is understandably bragging about its systems-management tools being adopted by Oak Ridge National Lab's National Institute for Computational Science.

Haslam's N'ville $$

Gov. Bill Haslam got more contributions from the Nashville area than from Memphis and Knoxville, according to an AP report in the KNS. About $610K was given by 358 donors here.

Wamp works Washington

Former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp and Knoxville Vice Mayor Joe Bailey are teaming in Zach Wamp Consulting, handling government relations and related matters. His recent public comments hint that he may focus on creating public-private partnerships. The KNS has it. MetroPulse points out that Wamp cannot lobby Congress directly for about a year.

Wacker Chem advances

Construction at Wacker Chemical in the Chattanooga area is moving along brisky, the TFP reports.

ORNL: 'Secret City' oral history

DOE has come through with a grant to help support filming about 100 oral histories focused on workers who part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory history. The OakRidger has it.

Memphis EDGE?

One Commercial Appeal writer applauds local leaders' Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE), while another decries government interference in enterprise.

Genera launches TN funds

Genera Energy, led by CEO Kelly Tiller, Ph.D., is launching the first of several new innovation funds, to support biomass energy development and related businesses in Tennessee. VNC's story is here.

NewsBits, 22 Feb '11

TNInvestco clone for entertainment? .. Silicon Ranch update .. UT entrepreneurship program .. Healthcare hotspot in N'ville? .. Bizen .. Jaworski .. Innovation Group .. and more right here.

Parental Health on a roll

Parental Health, the Franklin provider of telemedicine services for seniors, has a strong new board and a new partner in Hewlett Packard. Our update is here.

Google exec visits VU

Google Earth's Chikai Ohazama, a Vanderbilt University School of Engineering alum, comes back to campus this week to discuss his personal and professional journey on the leading edge of global technology. Our notes are here.

NationsLink after-action

Andy Bailey (left), founder of the NationsLink Wireless business that sold six weeks ago to Resource Communications Group, led by Melinda Curran, is looking forward to his next ventures, which maybe interim steps. A few notes here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Med Trade Center's China ties

Nashville Medical Trade Center developers Market Center Management Company (Crow Holdings) said in a release today Beijing-based Huida Investment Management Company will lead development of a "China pavillion" within the trade center, which MCMC still says will openin 2013, and which is to have 1.5 million square feet of space, eventually. NMTC here. The release will eventually be here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cloud around Amazon?

No word yet regarding whether or not Amazon's announced twin distribution facilities in the Chattanooga area are imperiled by the efforts of some Tennessee retailers to resist Amazon being accorded freedom from collecting sales tax. The TFP reports.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

TTDC's Stover's US tech innovation award

James Stover, Ph.D., (left) vice president for operations for Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC), based in Nashville, this week received the U.S. Small Business Administration's Tibbett's Award during an Obama Administration ceremony. Stover is among companies, institutions and individuals recognized for their contributions in advancing the U.S. SBIR/STTR competitive grants-awards programs for small business innovation research and technology transfer. The full release, including statements from Stover, TTDC CEO Leslie Wisner-Lynch and TTDC Chairman Bill Evans, is on the VNC site. The TTDC site explains that prior to joining TTDC, Stover was a life science and technology analyst with Square 1 Bank in San Diego, and a senior research fellow in medicinal chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute. He earned his bachelor's in Biochemistry at the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. More VentureNashville stories here.

FuelFilm Memphis

The Creatives get busy this weekend at FuelFilm Memphis, during which organizers hope they'll see five (5) short films produced. MDN has it.

Music licensing

With Music royalties down, performers have rediscovered music licensing, which this MDN story describes as a veritable Yukon opportunity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Digital Reasoning investment

Digital Reasoning, the advanced data analytics firm based in Brentwood, in a release today announced "a strategic investment, licensing, and development agreement from In-Q-Tel (IQT), the investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The transaction will make Digital Reasoning’s technology available for use within in the U.S. Intelligence Community... In-Q-Tel is the strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Launched in 1999 as a private, independent organization, IQT’s mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community’s critical technology needs, IQT engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and investors to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA and broader U.S. Intelligence Community."

Creativity edges MBA

Consultant Susan Drake writes in Memphis Daily News that an IBM survey shows CEOs value above many other traits in leaders. IN Chattanooga, a U.S. Navy admiral reports to an audience on innovation within Defense, the TFP has it.

Mitsubishi taxfreeze

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products have been awarded a $34MM tax freeze by the Memphis/Shelby County industrial development board. The MDN has it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Regs create enviro jobs

Bert Mathews of Nashville's The Mathews Co. is among those stressing that compliance with environmental regulations to create cleaner power production can produce new jobs. The release is here.

TVA debt ceiling

TVA, by adding more than $900MM to its indebtedness, is fast-approaching its congressionally mandated debt ceiling. The TFP has it.

Entrepreneur inductee

Phil Coop, founder of EnSafe, which helps clients identify and address environmental problems, will in April be inducted into the Memphis Society of Entrepreneurs. The CA has it.

Obama's ORNL budget

Oak Ridge National Laboratory would have a sustained $1.4bn annual budget in the latest Obama Administration budget draft, the KNS reports.

Chattanooga eyes sites

Chattanooga area economic-development officials are prioritizing identifying and developing commercial and industrial sites for further growth. The TFP has it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Regal, AMC in movie pact

Theater operators Regal Entertainment in Knoxville and AMC Entertainment are near a pact to jointly acquire and release movies, countering studios' threat regarding direct release to consumers through video on demand and other means. The KNS reports.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory voluntary separation staff reduction and radioisotope studies cutback in prospect, in anticipation of budget reduction. The KNS reports.

TN plant's nuke waste venture

Erwin, Tenn.-based Studsvik Holding has entered a pact with Utah-based EnergySolutions to provide blended nuclear waste services, Deseret News via KNS here.

'Cloud-bank' challenges

High-performance computing, utility computing, the Cloud... once the rhetorizing is done, there are practical considerations, neglect of which can cost you the RoI you hoped to get through utility computing, R&D magazine lays it out.

e-Scraping: Recycling

Tennesseans' push for recycling electronic waste is having an impact in the state and abroad, the KNS reports.

Harbor development

Cameron Harbor, an $80MM mixed-use development, is the latest initiative enhancing the Chattanooga waterfront. The TFP reports.

General Assembly televised

Tennessee General Assembly television coverage has been expanded. The KNS reports. On-going online coverage of the House and Senate chambers is here.

Innovation cramp

Is your innovation cramped by your history and your references to the past? The New York Times has some views on your failure to break the mold.

LaunchMemphis ready

A LaunchMemphis marketing exec restates the case for startup entrepreneurs seeking help at LaunchMemphis and EmergeMemphis. The CA carried it.

NewsBits Feb. 14, 2011

A compendium today: New leaders at LifeScienceTN, VentureIncite, some staffing it seems at Silicon Ranch, some PE's 'disappear' as Chattanooga firm liquidates, and more right here.

'Content is King": techies

Original content may still be the most important ingredient in scoring well with Google, thanks to further tweaking of the searchmeister's technology. Local techies comment here.

CellJournalist clicks media

Nashville startup CellJournalist, aligned with ConduIT, is knockin' 'em dead, according to the co-founder. Read about it here.

Hydropower TN

The Commercial Appeal publishes an update on a hydropower pilot proposal for some Tennessee rivers, but the clock is ticking on this matter.

Awaiting Mitsubishi

The Commercial Appeal reports Mitsubishi is likely today to announce a $200MM investment in the Memphis area.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pandora IPO filed

Pandora, the customized Internet radio station service, shelf-registered its IPO statement, today. Cnet reports. The S-1 filed with SEC is here.

Nashville 'brain gain'

Nashville fares well in a Forbes columnist Joel Kotkin's latest analysis of urban areas gaining college grads. HT:

HCA tweaks schema

HCA today announced repositioning executives, probably just ahead of its long-awaited IPO going effective. Chairman and CEO Richard Bracken said CFO Milton Johnson adds the title president of HCA. Beverly Wallace, who was president of a shared-services division, becomes president of a new subsidiary for staffing, revenue-cycle management and supply-chain management services. CMO Jonathan Perlin is now also president of a physicians services unit. Sam Hazen, previously heading the Western division, is now president for HCA Ops, including UK. Other changes involve ambulatory surgery and other businesses. The full release is here.

Gov. Haslam: can't legislate jobs

Gov. Bill Haslam told an AP-Tennessee Press Association event he doesn't intend to encourage job-formation via legislation, but will try to reduce excessive regulatory constraints. The TFP has it. Reports of Haslam's remarks do not include any reference to TNInvestco or further rounds, thereof.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

TN e-cars roll out

Knoxville's MetroPulse provides an interesting overview of the challenges facing Nissan and others as they roll-out their Leafs and other e-cars.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Nation eyes Chattanooga?

The cost/value of Volkswagen's presence in the Chattanooga area keeps rising, to the delight of many. The nation is watching, says one official in this TFP report.

TN job gains

More information will be out today from the State Funding Board, but this TFP report on state officials' views indicate we've regained about half the jobs lost in the Recession and it will take a couple more years to pullback even. Comptroller Justin Wilson expresses more confidence. The TFP reports.

Chatta.-Hamilton County taxes

The City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County are agonizing over their sales tax agreement. The TFP reports.

APSU tech programs

Austin Peay State University's programs for medical, radiological and other technicians rise to meet demand, the Leaf Chronicle reports.

NewsBits 7 Feb

Where do we starrrt?! Our most recent collection includes the TTDC Chairman Bill Evans' comments to Gov. Bill Haslam about Tennessee's need for a pro-entrepreneurial and discovery culture.. a note on low-profile Ed Powell's (at left) CEO role with IP-oriented IPX.. Another new incubator.. new Life Sciences initiative.. the human tidal wave from Tennessee that's about to hit HiMSS.. Angel Capital Group news.. and news on Claritas Capital, PureSafety, Heritage Health Innovation Fund.. and more. Take a look at the 7 February edition and other reports here.

Wharton to NAWBO

Memphis Mayor Wharton promises local chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners they'll get more access to competed contracts and he urges them to market beyond Memphis via online and other strategems. The CA reports.

Pigeon Forge online

Pigeon Forge continues to debate whether to commission development of a centralized booking website for Pigeon Forge attractions, lodging and amenities. The KNS reports.

Carbon Fiber center opening

The Carbon Fiber Technology Center for R&D will probably open in October, with a groundbreaking this month in Horizon Center, which is facing its own development challenges. The KNS reports.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Nashville's spot on ReadWriteWeb

Lucas Hendrickson of JumpStart put an oar-in to get Nashville exposure on the ReadWriteStart page of ReadWriteWeb. More on Lucas.

Moontoast A-round?

Nashville-born, but Boston-wed Moontoast is considering an A-round capital raise. Briefly, here.

Tech sector M&A in Nashville

Prominent members of the Nashville technology scene weigh-in on the prospects for mergers and acquisitions in the IT and software sector here. Read the article and comment here, if you have ideas. Thanks, Milt

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Moving Morehouse plea

Producer Spike Lee and US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, speaking at Morehouse College in Atlanta, called Monday for more black men to become teachers, making their plea at the nation's only all-male historically black college. AP via CA.

HCA's loud silence

With an IPO in-the-offing, HCA executives took no analysts' questions following their recitation of 4Q&10 results, during this morning's teleconference. Net income to the parent: $1.2bn, up 14.5% on the year, with A/EBITDA $5.8bn, on 2010 annual revenue of $30.6bn.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

TN Solar Farm green-lighted

Governor Bill Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced today that USDOE has completed its environmental review for the West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County and found the project complies with federal regs. The 200-acre West Tennessee Solar Farm adjoining I-40 in Haywood County will be one of the largest solar installations in the Southeast. The farm will have more than 21,000 silicon-based photovoltaic modules producing more than 7,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Development of the Solar Farm is being managed by the University of Tennessee which has contracted with Chattanooga-based Signal Energy as the project’s design/build firm. The project is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, which uses ARRA dollars to create jobs and provide support to a growing solar industry. Under the VSSI, $31 million in ARRA funds will be used to install the Solar Farm and the Tennessee Solar Institute will use $23.5 million to issue grants from the Solar Opportunity Fund, a program designed to underwrite the installation of next generation energy efficiency systems by Tennessee businesses and to provide training, technology and technical assistance to companies in the solar industry value chain. VSSI also facilitates training of workers in new skills and the sharing of “best business practices” among businesses. Earlier background from VNC.

Murdoch's 'Daily' on i-newstands

Rupert Murdoch's The Daily has hit iPads and other i-newstands, for 99cts per week, $40/year. The New York Times reports. In contrast to The Daily's original reporting, The New York Times' own app will pull-in news being tweeted by people you follow. TechCrunch reports.

Talent key to biz recovery

Author and consultant Jane Applegate told a Memphis gathering that surrounding yourself with really talent people (more affordable in a down economy) is key to long-term economic recovery and growth. The CA reports.

Chu: Solar silicon not clear winner

US DOE Secretary Steven Chu makes clear that silicon and downstream manufacturers need to find cheaper ways to make photovoltaics, to spur adoption of solar power. The MDN reports. Tennessee, of course, has made major plays to attract Hemlock and Wacker, key polySi manufacturers.

Research boosts healthcare ops

Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management faculty research into operations management may help manage and reshape trauma healthcare enterprises. VU release is here.

TrakLok to VCs

The Southeast Venture Conference announced Knoxville-based TrakLok is among presenters. A third round of presenters will soon be issued. KNS reports. Yesterday, we posted Bandbox will also present.

ORNL tech transfer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory won two awards for technology transfer - one centered on photovoltaics, the other on inobtrusively spotting contamination in oil fuel systems.

Nexgen nuclear concerns

From Wired, news of Chinese advances in next-generation nuclear energy that one executive says is a threat to U.S. competitiveness. HT:ORNL.

Health concierge startups

DohiBeWell and Primocare are two healthcare-concierge startups spotlighted by Getahn Ward of The Tennessean in today's edition.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

edoInteractive hires Google veteran

Former Google sales/marketing/agency development director Mark Marinacci is now Chief Revenue Officer for edoInteractive, the gift, loyalty and stored value card provider based here. The release is here.

VU Owen Accelerator update

The Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Accelerator program begins June 3, 2011, and the application deadline is approaching. The OGSM also rose a few pegs in the Financial Times' ranking of MBA programs worldwide, with a particularly good rating on the "career progress" ROI dimension. The Accelerator class produces benefits for local businesses and the community - note this 2009 exercise for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bandbox pitches VCs

Bandbox, the Nashville-area startup that offers the Redrovor application to socialize music retailing, will soon present during the Southeast Venture Conference (SEVC). Brian Peterson, founder (don't you love those LinkedIn photos?) Bandbox here. A NashvillePost blogpost; VNC's earlier update on the company.

e-marketing Summit

Knoxville's Progressive Marketing Summit emphasized mobile applications, among other things, in an effort to orient business newcomers to social media. The KNS reports.

President Obama cites ORNL

President Obama's State of the Union Address noted Oak Ridge National Laboratory work underway to help nuclear-reactor operators simulate operations on supercomputers. The KNS reports. Frost and Jaguar systems play a role. Related ORNL release.

85,000 apply at VW

More than 85,000 persons have applied for 2,000-plus jobs at Volkswagen in Hamilton County-Chattanooga. The Noog's Passats will soon roll out. The TFP reports.

DC's start-up groove

Washington, D.C. and environs are getting a fresh look by entrepreneurs, according to The New York Times.

FedEx LTL streamlines

The Commercial Appeal reports on FedEx's streamlining of less-than-truckload ops.

e-Real Estate apps boom

Social Media and apps are heightening seller-buyer engagement, the Memphis Daily News reports.