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Author Archives: Tom Ballard

Akron raises several hundred thousand dollars for food incubator

We recently spotlight Bailey Foster and her Real Good Kitchen initiative here in Knoxville. There’s a similar effort underway in Akron where a 100-year old building is being rehabbed to become Akron Food Works, an incubator for food entrepreneurs of all stripes: small catering businesses, food truck operators, bakers, hobbyists who want to sell their goods at a local farmers...

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UK provides some additional information about new C3 initiative

We recently posted this article about the new Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) initiative in Kentucky. Here’s some additional information courtesy of a news release from the University of Kentucky....

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Annual Venture South Summit is next week in Greenville, SC

The annual VentureSouth Summit is scheduled for next week in Greenville, SC. The two-day event begins December 5 at the VentureSouth headquarters and features a number of workshops in conjunction with Venture Carolina....

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PART 2: Suzanne Shelton’s pivot was a wise decision

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a two-part series spotlighting Suzanne Shelton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Shelton Group.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Youth has its advantages, but there are also challenges as Suzanne Shelton says she discovered in her dealings with clients. “How do you tell a client, ‘This is not going...

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ORNL adds two manufacturing innovation leaders to team

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced that Thomas Kurfess and Scott Smith, two leaders in U.S. manufacturing innovation, are joining the organization. According to yesterday’s news release, the two will bring expertise in control systems and machine tooling to expand the capabilities of the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. In addition, their broad experience with industry, academia and the public...

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Cincinnati Music Accelerator focused on helping starving artists

The Founder of the Cincinnati Music Accelerator says his goal is “to put and end to starving artists” by “help[ing] monetize our indie music creatives.” Click here to learn how Kick Lee started the program with a $10,000 grant....

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IBM, Columbia University launching separate blockchain accelerators

IBM and Columbia University have announced plans for two new accelerator programs targeted at companies in the blockchain sector. Both will accept 10 participants. Nominations for the IBM Blockchain Accelerator have already opened, while applications for the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator are set to start in January 2019. Click here to learn more....

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PART 1: Starting a firm in Knoxville was not in Suzanne Shelton’s plans

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article in a two-part series spotlighting Suzanne Shelton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Shelton Group.) By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA Like a number of entrepreneurs who have started businesses, particularly those in the creative space in Knoxville, Suzanne Shelton is not a native of the region. The Founder of Shelton...

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ECD holding briefings on new Opportunity Zone program

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is hitting the road next week for a series of briefings on the new federal Opportunity Zones that we discussed in this recent teknovation.biz article. The program, authorized under the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” passed by Congress in late 2017, is designed as a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains...

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Alumni gifts funding major entrepreneurial initiatives in West Virginia

Bankrolled by multimillion-dollar gifts from two Silicon Valley titans, West Virginia University (WVU) and Marshall University are launching major initiatives focusing on entrepreneurship. We previously posted an article about the one for WVU; the news about Marshall’s gift is new. Click here to learn more....

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Unusual Ventures Co-Founder laments shift in venture capital

The Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Unusual Ventures writes that current trend of venture capitalists to shift to later stage, less risky investments is “a far cry from the original mission of venture capital – and an ironic one at that.” Click here to read his thoughts....

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Surgiorithm’s seemingly small shift has made a big difference for the start-up

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA What might seem like a small shift in approach – allowing individuals to complete a preparation session at home rather than in an eye doctor’s office – has made a big difference for Nashville’s Surgiorithm and its inaugural product named ClearUp. We first met Amnon Keynan, Founder of the start-up, when the company...

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