Friday, April 29, 2011

Amazon ramps TN hiring

In the Chattanooga area where the behemoth has two facilities under construction, is ramping-up hiring, says the TFP. Amazon announced this week it's dropping plans to create 1,200 jobs in South Carolina, after the legislature and governor opposed tax incentives for the company. Read here.

Fassbender at TN ECD

Paul Fassbender, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN-Chattanooga) is now assistant commissioner of Economic and Community Development under Commissioner Bill Hagerty. Read about it here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chattem expands

Chattem is expanding production and supply-chain operations to new Allegra-based children's medicine, the TFP reports.

DRS DC office

Digital Reasoning Systems has opened a Washington, DC, office. The Brentwood company's business origins are in the intelligence community. Link.

Marriage v. Startups

The Memphis Daily News provides some tips on keeping your mate onboard as your pursue your obsession, or not. Right here.

VU spreads science news

Bill Snyder and David Salisbury had long careers in journalism before their stop of Vanderbilt, but inside the institution, covering science and technology keeps their fires lighted. More on them here.

VU tech transfer chief

Vanderbilt University has reportedly named a new chief of technology transfer and commercialization, our story's here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

NewsBits, April 25, 2011

JumpStart's squadron of mentors.. Haslam-Hagerty prepare to unveil innovation strategy.. Blackstone Group foundation support NC entrepreneurs network and much more here.

Lamp Post Lab incubator

Allies in Chattanooga - the get 'er done city - are rallying to launch a new incubator, The Lamp Post Lab downtown. Read about it.

Healthcare Productivity Automation

Founder-CEOI Sal Novin tells us where he stands with his superangel-backed startup, HPA, which promises to automated all commoditized workflow process functions, with dramatic results. The story's here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jobs4TN via Haslam-Hagerty

Jobs4TN, the economic-development plan crafted by ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty for Gov. Bill Haslam, was announced today in rough outline, including news of a 35% staff reduction at ECD and promise of a new senior leadership team for the agency. The release did not mention any logical ECD allies by name. As signalled earlier by both the governor and Hagerty, ECD's gameplan will rely heavily on leveraging existing sectoral strengths and regionally significant industrial bases, and will post basecamp liaisons across the state to help push urban and rural development, the latter being further boosted by the addition of a new senior post for rural development. No word yet on when details will be provided. Today's release is here.

VU divests drug program to Cumberland Pharma

Through a JV-type development entity, Vanderbilt University has divested to Cumberland Pharmaceutical a program original developed by BMS, which BMS gave to the JV entity, or something like that. Cumberland notes there's no approved treatment yet for Hepatorenal Syndrome, at which the program is aimed. The release is here.

DigiChart names Suiter

Phil Suiter, Nashville entrepreneur, has been named CEO of digiChart, succeeding G. William Bates, M.D., who remains chairman, according to a release today.

RollingStone blesses N'ville

Via Nashville Scene, which says a reader ripped-off and passed-along an RS article, Nashville is now regarded as America's Best Music Scene. Rip it here.

Biz-friendly TN

With weight on taxes, Tennessee ranks among the top-third U.S. States for business friendlieness, the KNS reports.

Gov. Haslam supports Amazon deal

Despite controversy over sales-tax payments and economic-development incentives to Amazon for its Hamilton and Bradley County facilities, Gov. Bill Haslam accepted former Gov. Phil Bredesen's judgment. The TFP reports.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Belmont University announced the winners of its Values and Ventures Business Plan competition, right here.

Chattanooga: 'Smartest City'

Chattanooga is in the running for Smartest City designation, mainly because of its 1Gig standard broadband availability. The jury votes June 3. The TFP reports. No signs, btw, that Nashville Electric Service plans to follow in EPB's footsteps.

TN ECD 'matrix'

'Sounds as though Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty is creating an input-output model of sorts, to project the impact on employment from incentives used to lure businesses to come Tennessee, or to stay put. Details may be out later this week, the TFP reports.

Louisville 'aging' nexus?

More evidence that Louisville is experiencing the daisy-chain economic-development effect with respect to industries serving senior America. The story's here. Or, visit VentureNashville.

ORNL cyberthreat

Oak Ridge National Laboratory had to shut down Internet access last weekend to deal with an advanced persistent threat to information systems security. The KNS reports.

LifeKraze is doin' it

'Live Like it Counts', say the folks at LifeKraze, the social-media startup in Chattanooga, as the ramp-up to a $5MM B-round. Read about it here.

Caveat Google

UVA Prof. Siva Vaidhayanathan, speaking at VU, warns that the Googleization of everything can lead to debased learning and excessive consumerism. VU release here.

Memphis Aerotropolis

The Memphis Aerotropolis concept gets another boost in this MDN piece.

Chattanooga Passat

The first Chattanooga-produced Volkswagen Passat rolled off the assembly line, the TFP reports.

Petra's hospice investment

Petra Capital added to its equity stake in New Century Hospice, according to an SEC filing.
HealthStream and Belmont University are partnering to produce educational content to support manikin-based simulation and debriefing for medical educators (click, then scroll to bottom here). HealthStream is part of a JV with publisher Laerdal.

Freedom Innovations, VU in licensing deal

Freedom Innovations licensed intelligent prosthetic technology from Vanderbilt University, more here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wacker-GE solar in TN

The TFP updates on progress and prospects for Wacker Chemical, GE, TN Solar Institute and others.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

TVA profits and congressional scrutiny are up

TVA's recent decision to idle coal-fired power plants, its unexpected surge in earnings and other issues have put them in the crosshairs of at least one congressman. The TFP reports.

ORNL layoff fears quelled

Recent congressional budget action has alleviated Oak Ridge National Lab's worst fears regarding layoffs, though future such cannot be ruled-out. The KNS has it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

BMI hearts Qriocity

BMI is streaming music via Sony's Qriocity platform, release here.

Bottorff says TVA 'pause' on nukes is timely

Expressing confidence that nuclear remains a TVA power option going forward, Nashville-based Chairman Denny Bottorff said it's a good time for TVA to pause and review its plans. Bottorff is also founder of Council Ventures, the Nashville-based VC. The TFP has it.

VW Chattanooga

Volkswagen needs more trainees for its high-tech apprenticeships, the TFP reports.

Memphis Mitsubishi

A new Mitsubishi operation in Memphis will make a chemical for e-car batteries and is likely to get a PILOT concession, the CA reports.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Entrepreneur Center update

Mentors from the digital music and entertainment sectors are being recruited by Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Nashville Music Council to help e-startups get launched. Read about it here.

Vanderbilt Vc's?

Vanderbilt University is not only reorganizing and staffing-up its tech transfer unit, but has created an advisory committee that includes VC's and entrepreneurs. Read more here.

Cyberportal at VUSE

Vanderbilt University School of Engineering announced: "The new National Science Foundation-funded Cyber-Physical Systems Virtual Organization (CPS-VO) aims to bring together researchers, educators and students working in academics, industry and government agencies in a kind of virtual brain trust to foster progress, develop priorities and quickly distribute information in the rapidly emerging field of cyber-physical systems. Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) has built and will operate the web-based collaboration platform for CPS-VO through a five-year, $1 million NSF grant project, titled VOCYPHER or Virtual Organization for Cyber-Physical Research. The CPS-VO portal debuted this week at CPS Week in Chicago." Read more here.

Woodson SCOREs

State Sen. Jamie Woodson (R-6-Knoxville) will be the new CEO of SCORE, the state's education reform advocacy group. Release here.

Cogent-HMG wed

Cogent, the Brentwood hospitalist company, and Hospitalist Management Group (Canon, Ohio) are to wed, with the consummation expected soon. This should give Knoxville-based TeamHealth something to ponder. has it.

GOBA + Aegis Health

GOBA (get out. be active) and Aegis Health are collaborating to develop and market an app to encourage healthy activities. Goba here, Aegis there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

'Breakout Year' for US economy?

University of Memphis economists say the Memphis and U.S. economies may be poised for a 'break-out' year in 2011. From their lips... the CA has it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Q1 VC up sharply!

Q1 2011 VentureCapital fundraising was up sharply year over year to $7BN from $4BN, or about 76%. Details here.

N'ville's Radiosurgery sold

Burton Hills-based US Radiosurgery has been bought in a transaction valued at about $54 million by the Alliance Oncology division of Newport Beach-based Alliance HealthCare Services. Release here.

3M to Old Hickory in Metro

3M today announced it'll buy a DuPont facility in Old Hickory, Davidson County, to produce products using "coating, film and nonwoven technologies to engineer" for health care and home care markets. It'll mean jobs for 40.

ORNL China ties key

Oak Ridge National Laboratory high-performance computing chief Jeff Nichols says ORNL must find ways to work with China on science and computing. Frank Munger of the KNS reports.

AT&T-T-Mobile deal in TN

Chattanoogans discuss the proposed AT&T-TMobile merger, the TFP reports.

Monday, April 11, 2011

TN Angel Tax Credit?

The idea for a Tennessee Angel Investor Tax Credit has wings, but may or may not have legs. Read about it here.

N'ville PE targets 'orphans'

Lyle Beasley and Bobby Rolfe, long-time friends, have teamed for a new private-equity venture that targets neglected assets within larger companies. The story's here.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Cromwell-Schmisseur update

FirstRoundExchange, the new Eric Cromwell-Dan Schmisseur venture that lets football fans play the draft, has formally launched here. Our earlier alert it was coming was here.

Memphis e-Car grid

Shelby County has identified 69 sites for charging stations for e-autos, says the CA.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

TCRS-Bessemer Ventures

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System's (TCRS) latest private-equity asset commitment puts $25MM on the table for Bessemer Venture Partners to manage. The announcement advances the 18-month-old program, and comes shortly after word of a legislative initiative that could have influenced TCRS investments. Read about it here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Regions targets Defense

Regions announced it's now targeting Technology and Defense sectors for business, under leadership of David Sozio, who built a previous line of business while with Wachovia (First Union). The release is here.

AZUR to Knox

AZUR Solar USA, a South Carolina company, will open a Knox County facility for production of solar coatings and design and installation of solar-energy systems, following a grant from the Tennessee Solar Institute. KNS reports it.

Monday, April 04, 2011


A day after scrutiny of the organization in The Tennessean for possible inappropriate management actions, Soles4Souls announced a brace of business and organizational initiatives. The release is here.

Consultant works for equity

Consultant Rob Harvey (Crown Achievement) helps your biz for a piece o' th' pie, he told Philip Nannie of NCP.

$95MM fund created here

Karen Bruton has a passion for international relief efforts, and she plans to use her earnings from a new $95MM investment fund to support Brentwood-based Just Hope International and related works. The story's here.

Consensus Point TNInvestco?

Consensus Point just may be NEST-TN's next TNInvestco-certified portfolio company. More on this and other funds' investments, right here.

NewsBits, April 4, 2011

Lots to think about: TripRaiser crowd-funding's launch.. a role for Culp's Delegator.. Phil Pfeffer's advice.. university initiatives.. BioHealing's IPO.. Green initiatives and much, much more, right here.

Venture events sked

Venture-oriented events in Metro/Nashville during April and May are listed here.

Bullpen steps up to plate

Bullpen Ventures, launched mainly by VC Stuart McWhorter and Ingram Distribution chief John Ingram, plans to give more than one $15K microgrant, when warranted, to ensure success for worthwhile startups. More details here.