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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

KEC announces two inaugural Executives-in-Residence for 2019

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) yesterday announced the appointment of the first two Executives-in-Residence (EIR) in a new initiative launching in 2019 to add more expertise to “Team KEC.” The first individuals to hold the designation are Eleni Stratigeas and Richard Dapaah. “As our 2019 Executives-in-Residence, Eleni and Richard bring a wealth of experience in media, technology, access to capital...

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UGA’s Launch Pad is a “living learning community” for freshmen

The University of Georgia’s Launch Pad is described as a “living learning community” for freshmen interested in entrepreneurship, providing the students with educational and experiential opportunities. The Red & Black, the student newspaper, spotlights the program and its inaugural class of 26 aspiring entrepreneurs in this article....

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Author advises to protect your patent by trying to steal it

The author of this article has an interesting concept of how to protect your hard-earned patent. He offers the following advice to protect your invention: “Instead of getting emotional, focus on out-thinking the competition. If someone wanted to work around you, how would they? In other words, try stealing your invention from yourself.” Click here to read his approach....

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SSTI issues report on higher education R&D expenditures by state

The State Science and Technology Institute, better known as SSTI, has published a summary of higher education R&D expenditures by state from 2008 through 2017. You can find the entire list here (Higher Ed R&D Expenditures). How is Tennessee doing? It is up 42.1 percent during the 10-year period. That ranks the Volunteer State 18th among the 50 in overall...

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Josh Schwartz says Jumpstart Capital is vehicle to reinvest in the “best of the best”

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Josh Schwartz describes the mission of Jumpstart Capital (JSC) as being “a vehicle to reinvest in the best of the best.” The General Partner of the fund was referring to a subset of the 60 healthcare start-ups that have received seed investments from Jumpstart Foundry (JSF) since its launch in 2015. Both Jumpstart...

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BrewFund’s David Belson creates holiday-spirited book on “Brewdolph the Hop-Nosed Reindeer”

David Nelson, one of the Founders of Johnson City’s BrewFund Inc., has come-up with a creative twist on the holiday season. It’s a fun craft beer parody book named “Brewdolph the Hop-Nosed Reindeer.” The book tells the story of people coming together, celebrating their differences, and of course saving Christmas through magical craft beer! According to an announcement we received from...

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Mixtroz secures $1 million seed round

Hypepotamus reports that Middle Tennessee’s Mixtroz has secured a $1 million seed round after winning the Birmingham stop on May’s Southeast Steve Case “Rise of the Rest Road Tour.” That’s great news for the mother and daughter Co-Founders – Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons. Click here for the article....

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Gainesville Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program focused on addressing homeless issues

Every community has a level of poverty. In Gainesville, FL, something called the Gainesville Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program is designed to expose its participants to the entrepreneurial journey and a variety of issues including bookkeeping, marketing, operations and securing resources. The participants are community members and small business owners suffering from adverse economic, physical or related circumstances. Learn more about the...

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Garrabrant provides update on SMTI during annual “Opportunities in Energy” forum

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA It’s always good to see progress being made at start-ups that we have followed since launching teknovation.biz in January 2012, and that was the case at last week’s annual “Opportunities in Energy” forum hosted by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC). Michael Garrabrant, Chief Executive Officer of Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. (SMTI),...

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Four finalists announced for this week’s “Innova $100,000 Row Crop Challenge powered by AgLaunch”

Four companies are finalists for the “Innova $100,000 Row Crop Challenge powered by AgLaunch” that is set this week during the Farm Journal’s “AgTech Expo” in Indianapolis. They are: Kopper Kutter LLC which offers the ARRO® (Alternator Rotary Rowcrop Option) conversion kits for cornheads so that they can reliably harvest sorghum, sunflowers, and many other crops. Rogo, formerly AgNext, which offers The...

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FDA announces plans for better medical device clearance process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to implement changes to its medical device clearance process that would rely far less on older predicate devices and offer a modernized pathway for high-tech medical innovations. The changes represent a significant shift in the way the FDA approves devices for marketing in the U.S., a process first introduced more than...

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Day 2 of Launch Tennessee statewide listening tour stops in Knoxville

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Day two of Launch Tennessee’s 13-city statewide listening tour (here’s the schedule) to introduce the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer brought the group to Knoxville on Wednesday. Margaret Dolan was joined by Chief Program Officer Jill Van Beke, Partnerships Director Brittany Burgess, and Operations and Government Affairs Director Lindsey Cox for...

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