Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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Pershing Yoakley & Associates Logo
January 21, 2012 | Tom Ballard

Welcome to

Pershing Yoakley & Associates LogoWelcome to, a new web-based service that is being launched to spotlight and celebrate “all things” related to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in East Tennessee. We believe there has never been a better time to launch this web page with the emphasis being placed at the national, state and local levels on growing more jobs through the creation and expansion of small companies.

Over the last year, I have participated in a number of meetings in Tennessee and other states where Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Bill Hagerty of the Department of Economic and Community Development consistently promoted Tennessee’s technology assets. Two of the state’s four major technology generators that they regularly cited are located here – Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy lab, and the University of Tennessee, the state’s premier public research and land-grant university.

Our region is also blessed with very active chambers of commerce and more specialized not-for-profit, economic development-focused organizations like Tech 20/20, its Center for Entrepreneurial Growth and the East Tennessee Economic Council. We also have a history of regional collaboration to drive job growth reflected in “Jobs Now!” and the more recent “Innovation Valley” initiative. The recently launched “East Tennessee Regional Accelerator Coalition” brings together all of these organization with a shared goal – work together to accelerate the commercialization of technologies in our communities.

At Pershing Yoakley & Associates (PYA), we believe our region is really poised to capitalize on these assets and commitment to collaboration. For this reason, we are proud to be the sponsor of This new web site, however, is not about PYA. It is about the innovators and entrepreneurs who live and work in this region. It’s about the discoveries that scientists in our research institutions and those who tinker in their garages or dining rooms make. It’s about the availability of investment capital to start new businesses and the people who mentor entrepreneurs to help them be successful. It’s about established companies that are bringing innovation to their product lines and manufacturing processes. It’s about a calendar of events that are relevant to those in the technology, innovation and entrepreneurial space.

In essence, is a vehicle to allow East Tennesseans to share their successes, learn about the successes of others and focus on strategies that will make a long-term difference. We believe it will help create more awareness of our region’s assets and help drive the technology, innovation and entrepreneurial job growth that we want.

We need your help to make successful. We want the site to be a one-stop source of news about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship locally as well as from other parts of Tennessee and beyond, so we will provide links to articles that we believe are timely. For today’s launch, we have populated the web page with recent articles and news stories that we hope will be of interest to you. There is also a calendar of upcoming events. All of the articles are categorized by area – technology, innovation or entrepreneurship.

Let us know about local developments and events that should be spotlighted. Send us your news releases. Tell us about developments at your company. Send them to

We believe in the long-term future of this region and, with your help, we can create a greater understanding of how technology, innovation and entrepreneurship are driving the evolution of our regional economy.

Look for articles in the week ahead on the new regional plan for East Tennessee, an overview of the new East Tennessee Regional Accelerator, a profile on retiring Tech 20/20 CEO Mike Cuddy, and plans for the 2012 Bridging the Gap event at ORNL.

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