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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

Y Combinator launches online “Startup Investor School”

Interested in becoming an investor in new ventures? If so, you might take a look at a new online tool from Y Combinator called “Startup Investor School.” Click here for more information....

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Survey on AI produces some interesting insights on business

A recent survey of 1,000 business and IT leaders commissioned by Infosys produced some interesting insights into the impact of artificial intelligence on their businesses. Click here to learn more about those responses....

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Rick Spears recalls long, but successful journey in R&D

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA It has probably been eight years since we first met Rick Spears, a Texas native who grew-up in Florida and worked in 32 states before moving to Knoxville in 1990. Those who understand the nature of entrepreneurs would agree that persistence, tenacity, passion, a level of patience when warranted, and a willingness to...

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The BizFoundry, TTU collaborating on upcoming “Eagle Works” program

The Biz Foundry in Cookeville has teamed with Tennessee Tech University (TTU) to hold the school’s annual “Eagle Works Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.” The event encourages and supports student entrepreneurship at TTU. According to a recent announcement from The Biz Foundry, contestants form teams focused on an innovative business idea, validate their business ideas with lean concepts, write a business...

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Next “Rise of the Rest Road Trip” includes two stops in Tennessee out of five

Two Tennessee cities are among five selected for the next “Rise of the Rest Road Trip” planned by Steve Case. The Founder of AOL was in Nashville last year as one of the featured speaker’s at Launch Tennessee’s “36|86 Conference.” You can read his thoughts in this teknovation.biz post. “We’re thrilled to have this national spotlight on Tennessee and all...

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Here are six hurdles slowing growth of AI

What’s holding-up more rapid adoption of artificial intelligence? VentureBeat has an answer in this recent article....

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“Innov865 Investor Series” holding inaugural forum on February 27

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Are you interested in becoming an investor in Knoxville area businesses, including start-ups, that are looking for capital? Maybe you’re a business owner looking for additional investment capital and want to do a better job of pitching your idea. Or, you might be a later stage business owner looking to exit or recapitalize...

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Knoxville Chamber names finalists for “Pinnacle Business Awards”

The Knoxville Chamber has announced three finalists in each of eight categories that comprise its annual “Pinnacle Business Awards” program. The categories recognize overall business excellence as well as excellence by woman-owned and minority-owned enterprises. There are also awards presented to the “Young Entrepreneur” and “Innovator.” More than 200 companies or individuals were nominated for the 14th annual recognition event...

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Chattanooga Chamber honors 12 local companies, names top winners

More than 1,300 local business men and women attended the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce’s  “Small Business Awards” luncheon yesterday that honored 12 local companies.  Presentations were made in four categories. Read the Chamber release to learn the winners (Chattanooga Small Business Awards)....

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UNC Wilmington hosting its third competition for high school entrepreneurs

The University of North Carolina Wilmington has an interesting initiative called the “Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.” Now in its third year, the event is open to students from 18 counties surrounding the institution. Learn more about the program here....

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New accelerator focused on helping tech savvy entrepreneurs with sales

Two Chicago area entrepreneurs have launched a new accelerator to teach start-up founders everything from sales fundamentals and lead generation to metrics and forecasting. Click here to learn more about their new endeavor named VentureSCALE....

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Bunker Labs adds Knoxville chapter, holding event February 22

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA With financial support from Launch Tennessee, Bunker Labs Nashville is pilot testing an expansion model that, if successful, could be replicated across the country by the national Bunker Labs organization. Blake Hogan, Executive Director and Founder of the Nashville affiliate, recently briefed the Launch Tennessee board of directors on the expansion that involves...

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