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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

PART 1: David Adair personifies definition of the “Renaissance Man”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article in a two-part series spotlighting a Chattanooga-based physician with a strong entrepreneurial DNA.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA No doubt you’ve heard the term “Renaissance Man” and perhaps you even have a candidate that fits the Merriam-Webster definition: “a person who has wide interests and is an expert in several areas.”...

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LST’s Academic Alliance of Knoxville holding holiday event next week

Life Science Tennessee’s Academic Alliance of Knoxville is holding a holiday party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. December 20 at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center on Market Square. Those involved in the life science sector or interested in learning more are invited to attend. Click here to register....

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Arkansas entities sponsor week-long “Health Sciences Entrepreneurship Boot Camp”

In our neighboring state just across the Mississippi River, there’s an initiative named the “Health Sciences Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.” It’s a week-long training program for undergraduate and graduate students that equips them with the skills and knowledge they need to start and fund their own health sciences ventures. The initiative is a joint effort of Conductor, University of Arkansas for Medical...

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Ohio venture funds commit $100 million to blockchain start-ups

JumpStart, along with six other funds from across Ohio, plan to invest $100 million in early stage start-ups, and all of the funds are interested in new ventures that focus on using blockchain technology for business or government. Read more about the plans here....

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Mark Scrivner and Nashville-based SnapShot team focused on what market wants

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA “Don’t dictate what you think the market wants; give it what it wants,” Mark Scrivner says. That philosophy and approach to customer service, honed during an initial career in the restaurant business, has well-served the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SnapShot Interactive. Founded eight years ago in Nashville with no clients,...

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Energy Foundry’s CEO to headline next “Innov865 Investor Series” event on January 8

Jason Blumberg, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Energy Foundry, will headline the first Innov865 Alliance event of 2019 on January 8. The Chicago-based organization invests in promising young energy innovators like those participating in the “Innovation Crossroads” program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Blumberg will be in town to meet the eight members of cohorts one and two....

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Erie County creates low-interest fund for minority entrepreneurs

Minority entrepreneurs in Erie County, PA just received an early Christmas present. The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority is contributing $2.5 million to establish the low-interest loan fund that will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Pittsburgh-based Bridgeway Capital, a not-for-profit lender that will make one percent loans over the next three years with a commitment to invest half in minority-owned businesses....

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New publication issued assessing agtech investments in 2018

For those in the agricultural technology sector, take note that Finistere Ventures, in collaboration with PitchBook, has released its 2018 Agtech Investment Review. The report provides insight on global financing activity and sector trends for a sector that is approaching $2 billion in venture investments this year....

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Buyer Squad helps both retailers and individuals enhance affinity buying

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Damon Pace is on a mission to help both retailers and individuals enhance affinity buying. The Arizona native moved to Chattanooga about two years ago and founded Buyer Squad, an internet site that he describes as “a group inbox for deals . . . allowing people to get deals and allowing companies to...

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Female entrepreneurs take top prizes in latest UTK “Boyd Venture Challenge”

Three start-up businesses owned by female students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville were awarded a total of $25,000 in the fall 2018 “Boyd Venture Challenge.” The seed fund grant competition is hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business. The three and the amount each received are Qardian Labs ($15,000), Winter Innovations ($5,000), and Quantum...

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John Lanahan leaving LaunchTN, joining  Compass East in Nashville

John Lanahan, Director of Capital Formation for Launch Tennessee, is leaving the organization at the end of the week. He’s joining Compass East in Nashville as its Director of Financial Strategy. “This is a bittersweet time for me as I’ll be leaving the incredible Launch Tennessee team and amazing role I had in supporting the Tennessee ecosystem over the last 2+ years,”...

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Applications open until mid-January for “Project Music” accelerator

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center is accepting applications for its next “Project Music” cohort. The program is designed to meet the unique needs of music-minded entrepreneurs building music-centric business. It brings leaders from the city’s music, technology and business sectors together to nurture start-ups desiring to grow music industry revenue. “Project Music” was developed in partnership with the Country Music Association. Application...

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