Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PureSafety relocation

PureSafety, the Nashville provider of training, safety, occupational health and medical management software, announced it's moving from Murfreesboro Road in Nashville to Cool Springs II. The company was launched a decade ago, and largely bankrolled by the family owning 65-year-old Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation, a dealer in heavy equipment. Thompson Machinery, itself, long maintained a presence on Murfreesboro Road. PureSafety came in at 402 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, published in January.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fedex chief on Energy

FedEx CEO Fred Smith urges U.S. energy independence during speech in Green Transportation conference at U. Memphis, report by CA.

Some business just not worth having

Memphis pension-fund manager Consulting Services Group has close brush with SEC and New York litigants, according to today's Commercial Appeal. At the core: whether CSG paid a legitimate finder's fee or an illegal kickback that benefited NY officials. CSG is not accused of any crime and tells the CA of its quick response to the SEC investigation, its restitution of injured parties and its own attempts at remedial action.

HealthCamp Nashville May 30

Lipscomb University will be host for HealthCamp Nashville, May 30. The event is a knockoff of similar successful events here, including BarCamp. Details here.

Avondale adds former Stanford execs

They must be good. Avondale Partners announced it has added a couple former execs from the beleaguered Stanford firm to head its new private-client wealth-management group. The release is here.

e-Zigs? Smokeless venture claims progress

In Nashville, a couple of Euro entrepreneurs (left) are persevering, it seems, in their quest to launch a smokeless electronic 'cigarette' into the voluminous global market of smokers. And, they're looking for capital. Here's the story.

TTDC, Mind2Marketplace eye demo project

Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) and Mind2Marketplace are in talks over a possible M2M assignment to help advance high-growth startups with a proof of concept initiative, funded by TTDC. The story's here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

1.3 Billion hours of answering

Brain-teaser? Oak Ridge NL announced it's allocating 1.3 billion hours of supercomputing through 2010 for your gnarliest problems.

Emma plants flag in NZ

A 33-year-old New Zealander, Ben Northrop (left) and his partner in a Wellington-based tech firm are now allied with Nashville-based Emma Inc., the e-mail campaign technology provider that's branching out. Here's our story.

NEWSBITS April 20, 2009

Innova, Petra Capital, Fred Goad (Voyent), Al Gore, health IT, BioFuels startup, echo down celljournalist up, tech-transfer event, VCs on VCs... you get the picture, so here are the words.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tuke: TVA should 'empower' region

There's a slew of candidates' names in the wind for appointment to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority. One candidate, Nashville attorney and Democrat stalwart Bob Tuke, told VNC this morning the job "does appeal to me." Why? Apart from the fact that in the wake of the infamous coal-ash spill and other problems that may suggest a need for tighter oversight of management, Tuke said he believes the TVA has a "wonderful legacy" and it's not just "a big utility," but an institution that has historically "empowered" the Tennessee Valley region it serves. TVA should "reclaim its legacy," he said. With Energy and Environment once again at the fore of U.S. policy-making, Tuke indicated he believes that while dealing with TVA's challenges, TVA should also move aggressively to realize the economic-development potential of Gov. Phil Bredesen's proposed Solar Institute, the R&D resources of Oak Ridge National Lab and other assets within the state. Other reported candidates for the TVA job (many others have reportedly inquired about the posts, without going public) include Nashville real-state investor and environmentalist John Noel (associated with Tennessee Conservation Voters, among other groups); former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice A.A. Birch; Nashville attorney Will Martin (a founder and formerly an attorney with what is now the H3GM law firm, a longtime environmentalist and former Clinton Administration NOAA executive); State Rep. Mike McDonald (D-Portland); Chattanooga attorney Jim Hall, former head of the National Transportation Safety Board; MTSU Business Dean Barbara Haskew; and, among untold others, Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of the Knoxville-based Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Tuke said his candidacy was solicited by Democrat members of the state's congressional delegation. The Obama Administration has given no signals regarding when they will announce their decisions regarding a total four TVA board seats in question this spring, or who might get the nod. Nashvillian Denny Bottorff, longtime banking CEO, member of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust and founder of Council Ventures, a VC, currently serves on the TVA board.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

AT&T, Verizon execs claim podiums

It's probably a coincidence, but since Mind-2-Marketplace announced senior AT&T innovation executive Scott Frank (on the right) would speak at the Batman Building April 16, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has announced Verizon President for the Carolinas and Tennessee Jerald Fountain (on the left) will speak here April 9, at the Renaissance Hotel. Verizon leads AT&T in the wireless sector.


Tennessee's Cyber ranking, U.S. Rep. Cohen's tech earmarks and more are among these squibs.

Monday, April 06, 2009

BioMimetic stock placement

BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: BMTI) announced today that on April 3 "the Company entered into a definitive purchase agreement with InterWest Partners X, LP, an affiliate of InterWest Partners, one of the Company's existing stockholders, for the private placement of 941,177 shares of its common stock at a price of $8.50 per share. The purchase price represents a significant premium to the market price ($7.45 per share) of the Common Stock on the date of execution of the purchase agreement. The transaction is expected to raise approximately $8.0 million in gross proceeds."


Nashville-based Petra Capital Partners invested $5MM in a Massachusetts software firm... Entrepreneur and retired HCA senior exec Clayton McWhorter is sponsoring the launch of another healthcare reform group... Jim Lackey (at left) calls it a day in the CEO office of Passport Health, handing the reins to former McKesson, Cerner, AT&T executive Scott MacKenzie.

T. Boone Pickens at Sewanee

T. Boone Pickens, oilman, entrepreneur and creator of the Pickens Plan for building a sustainable U.S. energy future, will speak at 4:30 p.m., April 15, at the University of the South. Addressing the economy, the environment and our national security. The Pickens Plan proposes using wind and natural gas to smooth the nation's transition toward new energy technologies. His talk, “The Pickens Plan: Mobilizing a new energy army,” is open to the public. Sewanee says Pickens, the founder of Mesa Petroleum and BP Capital, will discuss his perspective on energy issues in an informal conversation with David Johnson C'71, a 35-year Wall Street veteran and long-time contributor to public radio’s “Marketplace.” Sewanee's full release is here.

Delek CFO drops out

Brentwood-based Delek US Holdings rather suddenly announced this morning Edward Morgan, who'd been with the company nearly seven years, has resigned and a search for his replacement is underway. The news came just three days after a Delek SEC filing in which Morgan is described as CFO. He'd been in the role, also handling IT leadership, three long years. Earlier, Morgan was in management with American HomePatient, Inc., a provider of home health care services and products. Prior to that, he was a CPA with Deloitte and Touche, LLP.

General Assembly focus on TN venture capital

The General Assembly and instate VCs and pro-venture allies are grappling with new legislation to provide new sources of funding for Tennessee ventures. A meeting last week in Nashville brought some ray sof sunshine and some awkward moments. Read about it here.

VU Top Brass promise MedCenter continuity

Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos and Vice Chancellor Health Affairs-designate Jeff Balser met last week with Med Center staff to assure them the Main Campus and Med Center will remain fast allies and will undertake a smooth transition following the recently announcement retirement of Harry Jacobson. VU's release is here.

R&D Spending holding its own, says WSJ

Although there may be a slump in 2010, The Wall Street Journal reports today that corporate R&D spending is holding-up, nicely. The piece reminds readers that many of corporate America's recent product successes were spawned by R&D that continued unabated during previous recessions. The story's here.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

VCs let venture CEO pick Memphis hometown for HQ

Now, that's what we're talkin' about: Novalign Orthopaedics (formerly known as Osteolign) was hatched out of the Innovation Factory in Duluth, Ga., and funded by VCs who let the CEO Jeff Roberts, a Memphis native and U. Memphis grad, pick the Novalign headquarters. He picked Memphis. The VCs are Accuitive Medical Ventures, Duluth, Ga.; SV Life Ventures of Boston; and, Versant Ventures, Menlo Park. MB Ventures of Memphis is also mentioned as having invested in other medical devices. Novalign's big play, right now, is a nail approved by FDA for use in fixing messy fractures. The story was recently reported by the Commercial Appeal.

Stimulus impact on Tennessee

Rick Locker of the Commercial Appeal provides a report and outline of Stimulus benefits accorded Tennessee, in today's paper.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Latest: Economy downshifts, again

The Institute of Supply Management numbers released yesterday suggest no end in sight for the nation's economic contraction, as evidenced by non-manufacturing indicators. Memphis Daily News summary here. ISM release here and survey background here. Next report is due out May 5. In its briefs, the WSJ says the "cycle of deleveraging" isn't over year, but Manufacturing's decline is slowing. Meanwhile, Obama recovery team member and prominent economist Martin Feldstein reportedly said in China that the stimulus package isn't enough to interrupt our slide. Finally, Belmont's Jeff Cornwall sees 'glimmer of hope' in NFIB survey results.

Friday, April 03, 2009

May Town Center at Bells Bend

[Updated April 8: Metro Council deferred a vote on this matter, according to today's City Paper report.] On Tuesday, Metro Council is set to vote on whether or not to accept a $125,000 grant from Bells Landing Partners LLC to the Metro Planning Commission, to defray the cost of services of UT-Knoxville Economist Bill Fox (at left) and Brentwood-based RPM Transportation Consultants LLC. Questions regarding bridge capacity and overall traffic volume helped sidetrack the proposed $4.2 Billion development. Our earlier story on the project is here.

TN audit questions Board for Economic Growth value

In March, Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson's (left) watchdog division issued a report questioning the value of the virtually dormant Board for Economic Growth, administered by the department of Economic and Community Development. The State has about a year to figure out how to make the board significant, or sunset it out of existence. KNS story here. Comptroller report here.

TVA clean-energy 'wealth transfer'

TVA plans to buy more renewable energy to meet its clean-energy goals, but critics complain it's a regrettable 'wealth transfer' out of TVA's 7-state service area. Today's KNS story is here.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

VC Karen Mills' SBA confirmation advances

The confirmation of Maine-New York venture capitalist Karen Mills (left) moved closer yesterday to confirmation, when the Senate small-business committee affirmed the presidential appointment, paving the way for the forthcoming full Senate vote. WSJ blog today. Our earlier story on the potential Tootsie Roll heiress, here.

Megasite gets Bredesen support

In Haywood County, not far from Jackson, a long-emerging megasite gets Bredesen-style support, hoping to follow in footstep of other TVA-certified sites at Chattanooga and Clarksville. Jackson Sun reports here. Related story on R&D, industry sites in MidTN.

IBM flirts with ORNL

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a senior IBM research executive is visiting Oak Ridge National Laboratory to explore opportunities for collaboration. The story's here.

Turnaround expert plants flag in Nashville

Co-Founder Scott Phillips (left) told us yesterday Healthcare Management Partners, based in Philadelphia, is looking seriously at relocating to Nashville and has hired an office-opening exec. Today's story is here.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Gov. Bredesen's energy initiatives advance

Gov. Phil Bredesen yesterday followed-through on promises to push forward on a greener Tennessee, by unveiling the Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act of 2009. The Administration's release is here. For related VNC stories, please click here. The Governor is shown at left during an earlier energy task force meeting, with aide Will Pinkston.

NTC launches 'Turning the Tide' site

Nashville Technology Council (NTC) this week launched its Turning the Tide (T3) website, still in an early stage of completion, in an effort to match IT talent with employers and encourage technology-oriented degree-winners to remain in the state. NTC simultaneously turned-up its revamped central website, which was developed by member-vendor Remarkable Wit.

AT&T seeks Tennessee deregulation

Citing rising competition across its lines of business, AT&T Tennessee is apparently seeking to circumnavigate the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, going directly to the legislature for further deregulation of his core businesses. Andy Sher of the Times Free Press reports here.

ORNL Industry Day

Yesterday's Oak Ridge NL "Industry Day," to which scores of would-be contractors flocked in hope of getting a piece of ORNL's mammoth Stimulus funding supplement, is reported by KNS here and here.