Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Owen MBA grad CEO United Space Alliance

Virginia Barnes, who among other achievements holds an Owen GSM MBA, has been named president and CEO of the Houston-based United Space Alliance. Release here.

Bass Berry on Hospital ownership changes

Health Reform legislation will have tremendous impact on physician ownership of hospitals, as outlined in a good overview published today by Bass Berry & Sims, in Nashville.

Court undercuts 'Net Neutrality'

A U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. today said the FCC has no authority to force broadband providers to treat all customers the same, despite their broadband consumption. The NY Times reports. This may have even broader ramifications for the Obama Administration's attempts to upgrade U.S. broadband.

TNInvestco may sharpen headquarters provision

Sometime soon, the General Assembly may, as long anticipated, expand the initial round of TNInvestco, retroactively, to include two more firms. Along the way, legislators may also endorse Revenue Commmissioner Reagan Farr's request to strengthen requirements that any out-of-state ventures that receive TNInvestco funds must relocate their headquarters and principal operations to Tennessee. There'd been rumblings for months from several TNInvestcos that they were finding some out-of-state prospects very appealing. Although recruiting funds here may galvanize small-business advocates who feel there are too many incentives for non-indigenous businesses, already, the requirement would probably accelerate "jobs-creation," by transplanting jobs, rather than growing them from seed-stage. That change, in turn, could strengthen the case not only for a $40MM expansion of the program, but for yet a further increment of $40MM, bringing the total tax-credit value to $200MM. At the same time, some Republican legislators have indicated they are wary of expanding the TNInvestco program further before it has been reviewed for effectiveness, and before a new governor -- whom many think will be a Republican -- takes office in January. TNInvestco legislation has, thus far, been mainly bipartisan. Related story by Erin Lawley, in NashvillePost.

PureSafety software upgrade

PureSafety today announced Occupational Health Manager software enhancements, release is here.

Biotech Graduate Association meeting, April 9

The Tennessee Biotechnology Association Graduate Association is have a social hour April 9 at 5 p.m. at the Flying Saucer hangout. The TBA GA form is here. Our earlier story on Mark Harris (left) and the Graduate Alliance is here. The TBA site is here.

Business 'maniacs' needed, says Riddell

As ever, Chattanooga Times Free Press Columnist John Riddell has an interesting take on the need for 'maniacs' in these times: Maniacs who'll cust their operating costs to the bone, and cut prices drastically to stay in business. Piece is here.

Memphis ad-venturing

Folks in Memphis say their recent 48Launch event produced eight (8) viable startups. We'll see. Next up for the ever-busy Memphians: Tribe, and event that crosses boundaries. The CA reports.

Passport eCares

Services and solutions within Passport Health Communications' new eCare suite include insurance eligibility verification, address verification, registration quality assurance (RQA), physician order screening (OrderChecker™), patient payment estimation (PPE), eCashiering for patient payment collections and more. Release is here.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Brewer reports TNInvestco concerns of TTDC staff

Tennessee Center for Policy Research Executive Director Clint Brewer reports on the fruits of his recent FOIA request for TNInvestco-related documents on-file at Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC). Some of the documents, as described by Brewer, suggest early concern by some TTDC staff regarding the need for a body independent of ECD-Revenue to select TNInvestco winners. Brewer also says the documents he obtained suggest tensions between ECD officials and TTDC leadership. Brewer's report, apparently funded by TCPR, is here.

Chattanoogan is SBA 'Person of Year'

Chattanooga artisan baker John Sweet of Niedlov's Breadworks has been named Tennessee's Small Business Administration "Person of the Year." Chattanoogan.com has it.

VC Doerr taps Ferguson CEO of EMR Play

In its exclusive report, Venture Nashville breaks news about Nashvillian Gary Ferguson's appointment as CEO of a electronic medical record (EMR) and revenue-cycle management (RCM) venture that will have a Nashville office, a St. Louis headquarters and the personal backing of famed VC John Doerr, whose dayjob is leading Kleiner Perkins. There's also background on KPCB in Tennessee and further info about NotifyMD, which Ferguson previously led as CEO.

Venture Notes, April 5, 2010

The latest venture-notes roundup includes Jack Massari's ICGLink, Nashville Medical Trade Center, Gibson Guitar, a $5MM private placement and much more. The roundup is here.

Venture Nashville Calendar Update

Our update on major coming events includes Gov. Bredesen's ECD conference, a major new social-media event and many other programs worthy of consideration. The calendar's here.

'Race to Top' results draw skepticism

States that didn't win $500MM as Tennessee did are considering no longer participating in the Federal 'Race to the Top' education-reform program. Fed officials aren't backing off. The NY Times reports.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Oak Ridge NL gets Secretary's challenge

Fast Track: During a recent visit to Oak Ridge National Lab, Energy Secretary Steven Chu (left) signalled he wants to see 'Manhattan Project'-type approaches to tackling new-energy challenges, with less waiting around for funding reviews. UT-Battelle also got its contract extension for managing ORNL. And, ORNL Director Thom Mason reviewed the lab's accomplishments, in the KNS.

TN Tech devcenter grant

Tennessee Tech proposes beefing-up Center for Rural Regional Development Creation, with $500K ARC grant. The TFP has it. State release.

Advocating Gore's UT honorific

Gary McCracken, head of UT's department of ecology and evolutionary biology, makes the case in the KNS for the University awarding former VP Al Gore an honorary degree, which has been criticized by some.

The Street not good at raising capital?

New York Times Magazine recently carried former WSJ reporter Roger Lowenstein's jeremiad against what he sees as Wall Street's poor performance in raising capital, which drew the ire of blogger at Sub Specie Æternitatis, whose identify remains unconfirmed by VNC.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

VU CERN linkage

Recent Vanderbilt University release describes VU physicists' roles relative to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. VNC's earlier story on related VU CERN data-processing responsibilities is here.

AirPlay Direct update

Although he'll be continuing his talent-management business, Scott Welch was recently elevated from a special-projects role at AirPlay Direct to president. Robert Weingartz remains AirPlay's CEO. The release is here. An earlier VNC story is here. We're thinking Welch is probably also continuing to support Highnote. Investor Stephen Collins continues as an advisor to AirPlay.

Horizon Center mystery prospect

The Horizon Center scitech biz park may be getting a new resident, a company that is consolidating its facilities in one spot. The company remains unidentified, but the KNS says the OR Industrial Development Board will hear a presentation, Monday, April 5.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

VNC's Capps joining FT's mergermarket

On April 7th I'm joining the crew at The Financial Times Group's mergermarket newsletter, in the role of Nashville-based regional reporter, focusing on healthcare, life sciences, mergers and acquisitions and other assignments. I'll say more, soon, but I wanted to let Venture Nashville's readers, sources and other friends know, now. VentureNashville.com will soon go into hiatus. As word has gotten 'round, some folks have expressd interest in exploring keeping VNC going. I'd sure love that. It's been a labor of love. If there turn out to be serious prospects for that, you'll be among the first to know. Meanwhile, stick with us. Cheers, Milt Capps [milt@venturenashville.com]

Uniguest eyes digital growth

Nashville-based Uniguest expects to hit $12MM in revenue this year, and may become part of the supposed wave of digital Out of Home media mergers, somewhere down the road. The Story's here.

TN biz incubators thriving

Business incubators in Chattanooga and Cleveland are thriving in Tennessee, the TFP reports.

UNUM awards Academy STEM grant

Unum, based in Chattanooga, awarded $150K over three years to the Greater Chattanooga Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy. The TFP reports.

Alexander hails VW auto 'hub'

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) toured the emerging Volkswagen facility in Hamilton County and declared Chattanooga the heart of America's new auto industry. The TFP has it.