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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

Pilot Flying J commits $125,000 to Bunker Labs program

Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J, itself a start-up decades ago, has committed $125,000 to Bunker Labs, the national non-profit founded in 2014 to help military veterans who have entrepreneurial aspirations. Bunker Labs has a chapter in Nashville and has been holding its “Bunker Brews” meet-ups in other cities including Chattanooga and Knoxville. Click here to learn more about the Pilot Flying...

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Chattanooga’s TransRisk turning cost of shipping into a commodity that can be traded

Craig Fuller of the three-generation Chattanooga family known for its success in the transportation industry has launched TransRisk. The Chattanooga Times Free Press profiles the start-up that is focused on turning the cost of shipping goods by truck into a commodity that can be traded on futures markets....

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UK, Lexington announce plans for “Global Entrepreneurship Week”

It’s “Global Entrepreneurship Week,” and the folks in Lexington, KY have 15 events planned for the city or the University of Kentucky campus. Click here to learn more details in case you happen to be in the Bluegrass State this week....

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Facebook Community Boost program to visit 30 communities including Greenville, SC

Facebook announced late last week that it was planning to visit 30 cities with its Facebook Community Boost program. The complete list has not been released or at least we have not been able to find it, but Greenville, SC is one of the five initially named communities. The announcement says that “Facebook will work with local organizations to provide...

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Good news for life science start-ups announced at LST|CON

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA “LST|CON,” Life Science Tennessee’s (LifeSciTN) annual conference, spotlighted several areas of interest to entrepreneurs during the one-day event yesterday in Nashville. One announcement in particular is very important to start-ups. As our readers may recall, the Tennessee General Assembly in its session earlier this year approved a recommendation from Governor Bill Haslam to...

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AgLaunch 365 accepts three new start-ups into accelerator

Memphis-based AgLaunch365 has accepted three new agtech start-ups, none from Tennessee, into Phase I of its farm-centric innovation platform. Click here to learn more about those companies and the program....

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Innovation driving resurgence of manufacturing in North Carolina

Innovation is driving a resurgence in manufacturing in our neighboring state to the east, something that many thought impossible after the collapse of the textile industry. Click here to read how several communities are contributing to the resurgence....

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Region breaks world record for coding

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Let’s all cheer; the Knoxville-Oak Ridge region now holds the top spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people learning to code at the same time. For 30 minutes yesterday, students in more than 50 schools, mostly in Knox County, participated in an amazing experience that elevated their awareness...

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Canadian company acquires Aries Solar

Vancouver-based Solar Alliance announced yesterday that it had acquired all of the assets of Aries Solar LLC, including a pipeline of commercial projects, from Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation. As part of the acquisition, Solar Alliance also announced that Harvey Abouelata will serve as a Vice President of Commercial Solar.  Aries received the “Traction Award” sponsored by the UT Federal Credit Union...

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Stacey Patterson confirmed as UT Vice President

Stacey Patterson, Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Tennessee  (UT) since 2015, has been elected by the UT Board of Trustees as the University’s next Vice President for Research, Outreach and Economic Development. She is the first woman to hold the top research position for the UT System. Patterson joined the University in 2006 in a joint role as a...

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Toyota opens new R&D center in Georgetown, KY

Just up the road in Georgetown, KY, Toyota has opened an $80 million Production Engineering and Manufacturing Center that is being billed as game-changer for the state, moving it from a location that just makes things to one that creates things. Read more about the new center here....

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Huntsville’s Urban Engine focused on collaboration

It was formerly named New Leaf Digital, but recently adopted the moniker of Urban Engine. Located in the Huntsville West business incubator, the newly renamed non-profit is focused on fostering greater collaboration between established companies and start-ups. Read more about Urban Engine here....

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