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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

GoCheckKids focused on addressing most prevalent disability among U.S. children

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA “Vision impairment is the most prevalent disability among U.S. children” Paul Stanley says, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Vice President of Customer Experience for GoCheckKids says that one in five children is at risk for vision disorders that can lead to permanent vision loss and learning disabilities....

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Billionaire Jeff Vinik doubles down in Tampa Bay’s ecosystem

This is the sort of announcement most communities would love to hear. Jeff Vinik, a Tampa Bay billionaire with ownership of several professional sports franchises and one of the investors in the new “Rise of the Rest Fund,” has announced plans to spearhead the creation of a $50 million venture fund, build-out a 40,000- to 75,000-square foot innovation hub, and...

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Here are four key steps for successful pivoting

Pivoting is something that many entrepreneurs understand and practice. If you are thinking about it, here are four suggested key steps that you must take....

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Premature scaling listed as reason two-thirds of start-ups fail

Paul Ahlstrom, Co-Founder of Alta Ventures Mexico and a seasoned investor, says 65 percent of start-ups fail because of premature scaling. Read his thoughts here....

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PART 2: Vanderhoofven explains multi-part strategy for Three Roots sustainability

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a two-part series updating readers on the progress made in the inaugural year of Three Roots Capital, a local non-profit that provides loans, private equity, community development services, and business technical assistance.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Grady Vanderhoofven cut his investment teeth in the venture capital world, something that...

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Two students business awarded $12,500 each in latest “Boyd Venture Challenge”

Two businesses owned by University of Tennessee students have been awarded $12,500 each in the fall 2017 “Boyd Venture Challenge” hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business. The two – EasyWhip, a surgical tool, and Campus Car, a ridesharing company – were selected from a group of eight finalists. Click here to read more....

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First Round Capital releases latest “State of Start-ups” survey results

For the third year in a row, First Round Capital has surveyed founders of venture-backed start-ups to better understand what entrepreneurs think, feel, fear, and value. More than 850 responded this year, and you can read the results of “State of Start-ups 2017” here....

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SCBio hires former Greenville Health System executive as its leader

The former Executive Director of Greenville Health System’s Research Development Corporation is the new head of the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization, and he says one of his main goals is to change things up. Click here to learn more....

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PART 1: Vanderhoofven reflects on first-year progress at Three Roots Capital

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article in a two-part series updating readers on the progress made in the inaugural year of Three Roots Capital, a local non-profit that provides loans, private equity, community development services, and business technical assistance.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA It was a little more than a year ago that Three Roots Capital...

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TAEBC releases fourth video in “This is advanced energy” series

If you clicked on the news release at the end of Friday’s feature story, you would have seen that the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council had released the fourth video about the topic at Thursday’s “Opportunities in Energy” forum. If you did not, here’s a link to the video....

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Case’s “Rise of the Rest Fund” adds significant fuel to seed funding pool

The gas tank to further propel Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” initiative just got some new fuel with last week’s announcement of a dedicated $150 million fund to make seed investments in early stage companies outside California, New York and Massachusetts. You can read more about the plans here....

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New report shows encouraging news on the angel investment scene

A new report, titled The American Angel, shows two very significant facts. First, nearly two-thirds of the angel investors surveyed were located outside of New York, Boston, and the Bay Area. Second, on average, coastal angel investors made smaller investments than those from other regions – $32,000 compared to $37,000 per investment. Here’s a summary of the report from SSTI...

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