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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

Mark Cuban enthusiastic about the future of AI start-ups

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA What’s at the top of Mark Cuban’s list of technology start-ups that pique his interest? “Things that are AI-driven” the well-known entrepreneur, business executive, and star on Shark Tank told attendees at last week’s “Venture Atlanta” forum. His lunchtime fireside chat concluded the 10th annual event. “You don’t have to be an (AI)...

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LST|CON one-day agenda features keynotes and breakout session

Life Science Tennessee has announced its agenda for the organization’s annual conference – LST|CON. The one-day event is set for November 9 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. To register, click here. 9 a.m. – Registration opens 10 to 10:45 a.m. – Opening Keynote: Scott Hamilton, Founder, Scott Hamilton Cares Foundation 11 a.m. to 12 noon – Morning Breakout Sessions The Value of...

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Knoxville’s GRIDSMART launches podcast series under POLICYSMART brand

GRIDSMART, the Knoxville-based creator of the world’s only single camera solution for intersection actuation, traffic data collection, and situational awareness, has launched a new initiative named POLICYSMART. The new podcast series is designed to facilitate “a direct, honest, and thought-provoking look at the ideas, policy, products, and people behind the next generation of transportation.” You can access the series via...

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Here’s full text of Chancellor Davenport’s comments at last week’s investiture

If you wanted to read the full text of the comments by the new Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville at her investiture last week, here’s a link. You’ll find statements such as these that should be important words to our readers: “We must and are creating an innovation hub for our generation of makers.” “We must encourage entrepreneurship,...

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News is all positive for Chattanooga’s Variable Inc.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: With “Startup Week Chattanooga” celebrating entrepreneurship in the city, here’s another article on one of its technology companies.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA The latest news is nothing but positive for the team at Variable Inc. in Chattanooga. During a recent visit to the city’s INCubator, the Hamilton County Business Development Center (BDC), we had a...

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11th annual “CHINA Town Hall” set for next week at UTK’s Baker Center

The TN-China Network is joining with several programs at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville (UTK) campus to host a “CHINA Town Hall” from 6 to 8 p.m. next Tuesday (October 24) at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Avenue. The event, which will be held at more than 80 locations across the country, includes a national...

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U.S. House approves substantive changes affecting SBIR and STTR programs

The SSTI Digest reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that makes substantive changes in the federal laws covering the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Click here to read about the changes....

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Marcus Shaw shares thoughts, ideas on CO.LAB

(EDITOR’S NOTE: With “Startup Week Chattanooga” underway, we thought it would be a good idea to share a recent conversation with Marcus Shaw, CO.LAB’s new Executive Director.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Marcus Shaw describes himself as a futuristic thinker, innovator, investor, and community champion. “I have my investor hat on when I look at Chattanooga and the...

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Asili Labs wins 2017 “Will This Float?” business pitch competition

Three start-ups walked away with the top prizes during Monday night’s “Will This Float?” business pitch competition hosted by CO.LAB as part of the annual “Startup Week Chattanooga” celebration. Asili Labs took the first place prize for its product named Tryall, winning $1,000 in cash, an Interactive Pass to SXSW, 20 hours of free business services, a spot in a CO.LAB...

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Knoxville Chamber accepting nominations for 2018 “Pinnacle Awards”

The Knoxville Chamber is now accepting nominations in nine categories for the 2018 edition of its “Pinnacle Business Awards” program. Now sponsored by Regions Bank, the event will be held May 4. Nomination deadline is December 8. For more information, read the announcement from the Chamber (Pinnacle Awards)....

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Venture funding on track to be highest in a decade, but fewer deals

Venture capital spending in 2017 is on track to be the highest in the last decade, while the number of transactions has shrunk to the lowest total in five years. That means deals between venture capitalists and companies are simultaneously getting both huge and hard to land, according to new data from PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. Read more here....

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PART 2: Cameron Doody shares lessons learned from co-founding Bellhops

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Today is the second day of “Startup Week Chattanooga,” and we conclude our two-part series focused on Bellhops, a true success story for the city and its entrepreneurial ecosystem.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA “One thing we got right from the start was the culture,” Cameron Doody proudly says. The Co-Founder, Chair and President of Chattanooga-based...

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