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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

TML cites Mountain Harvest Kitchen as great entrepreneurial initiative

The Tennessee Municipal League has honored the Town of Unicoi in Northeast Tennessee for establishing Mountain Harvest Kitchen as a regional resource for food business entrepreneurs. The award was made this past weekend. Click here to learn more about the initiative....

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IACMI announces changes to two of its boards

IACMI, the short name for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, has announced some changes to its Board of Directors and Technology Advisory Board (TAB). Those changes include the addition of one local business executive. Incoming board members include Michael Connolly (Huntsman) and Peter Hedger Jr. (MVP). Outgoing board members include Steve Bassetti (Michelman) and Sandra McClelland (American Chemistry Council)....

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Music Fact Reports launches today, focused on copyright infringement

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Knoxville’s Joe Vangieri knows the music industry. He’s a songwriter, musician and, since January 2012, President and Chief Executive Officer of DigiTrax Entertainment Inc. The South Knoxville company is a creator, producer and distributor of digital audio-visual content that has also moved into the artificial intelligence (AI) space. Today, DigiTrax is officially launching...

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HHS turning to accelerators to help drive innovation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is turning to eight accelerator programs to help drive innovations in medical technologies. The closest to our region is in Research Triangle Park. Click here to learn more....

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Bessemer Venture Partners launches machine learning-focused seed fund

Bessemer Venture Partners is launching a $10 million early stage seed program to back new start-ups to leverage machine learning technologies in the healthcare industry. Read more here....

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VC shares his reasons that some tech start-ups are less fundable

A venture capitalist with nearly three decades of experience shares his thoughts on the common mistakes made by tech start-up founders that, in turn, make their company less fundable. Click here to read his thoughts....

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Knoxville’s SCORE Chapter has highest conversion rate in the nation

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA If you’re in business, chances are you’ve heard about and maybe received help from SCORE, and Knoxville has one of the strongest chapters in the country. We met Cliff Caudill, the local group’s Chairperson, at the “TNInventcon” one-day event in early March and were intrigued when he told us that two-thirds of his...

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Advanced manufacturing really important to Tennessee’s economy

Think advanced manufacturing is important to the Volunteer State? If not, think again. A new report from Detroit-based LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow), employment in that sector in Tennessee reached more than 425,000 worker, the greatest number since 2001. Click here to learn more....

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Mark Johnson to lead Clemson’s new Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Speaking of advanced manufacturing, a former U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) administrator has been named the Founding Director of the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Clemson University. Mark Johnson, who visited the Knoxville region on a number of occasions as head of DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, is charged with leading the land grant institution’s goal to be a statewide hub...

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BOA announces $20 million program for veterans to be administered by CDFIs

Bank of America is launching a $20 million “Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program” to connect U.S. military veteran business owners with affordable capital to help kick-start and grow their companies. According to the announcement, the loans will be made by participating Community Development Financial Institutions....

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Pfizer to invest $600 million in its venture fund, add more staff

Pfizer Inc. has announced plans to invest $600 million in its venture capital arm and also expand its venture capital efforts and team. Pfizer will add five new members to the venture investing team and consolidate its research and development equity investment vehicle with Pfizer Venture Investments. Read more here....

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UTK Business Clinic “giving students hands-on opportunities” while helping entrepreneurs

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA A familiar face to many entrepreneurs with ties to the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK), Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” initiative, and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is Brian Krumm. The former TVA and State of Tennessee executive heads the Business Clinic in the UTK College of Law. It’s a position he assumed...

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