More on in-migration to the Volunteer State plus appointments and funding announcements

Here are some news briefs from the past week or so.

  • Maribel Koella, a long-time Commercial Realtor in Knoxville, provided one more data point on last week’s article that cited statistics from a recent presentation by Marianne Wanamaker, Executive Director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Koella cited a recent article in The Dallas Morning News with the following lead: “Texas is claiming the headquarters of California companies at more than four times the rate of its nearest competitor, according to a study by McKinney-based Spectrum Location Solutions and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.” And which state might be its nearest competitor? Yes, it would be Tennessee. The article is here.
  • The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) recently welcomed two new team members – Gregory Sechrist, Associate Technology Manager, and KellyRose Fluty, Patent Coordinator. Originally from South Carolina, Sechrist received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He has spent most of the last four years working at the Office of Technology Commercialization at Ole Miss. Fluty is originally from Upstate New York, where she graduated from Russell Sage College with dual degrees in international and globalization studies and history. She obtained her paralegal certificate after college and has worked in various areas of law over the years. Click here to learn more about the new UTRF staffers.
  • Brooxie Carlton has been appointed Assistant Commissioner of Community and Rural Development in the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. A 13-year veteran of the state, she succeeds Sammie Arnold who is now Chief of Staff for Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton.
  • The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga has a new Chief Operating Officer. Geoff Millener, who has been part of the organization since 2017, received national recognition earlier this year as the recipient of the “Digital Equity Champion – Emerging Leader Award” from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.
  • Pathway Lending, based in Nashville but founded in Oak Ridge, is one of 27 organizations sharing in a $5.2 million award from the U.S. Small Business Administration under the “Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME)” program. PRIME supports non-profit organizations as they help low-income entrepreneurs get financing to establish and expand their small businesses by providing direct technical assistance or capacity-building training for other organizations that provide capital to underserved small businesses. Pathway’s award amount was $100,000.
  • Blueprint Holding Co. Inc., the Nashville-based owner of Blueprint Title, has raised $16 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Forté Ventures with participation from new investors Avanta Ventures, Bull City Venture Partners, Greenlight Re Innovations, and Gaingels along with previous investors Mouro Capital, Tribeca Early Stage Partners, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, and Mucker Capital. The company will use the funds to accelerate its footprint expansion and to continue building out the Blueprint platform that makes it easier for professional residential real estate buyers and sellers to take control of the entire closing process.
  • Triad Life Sciences, a Memphis-based biotech company focused on developing and commercializing biomaterials for treating complex surgical and chronic wounds, has raised a $25 million (Australian) funding round. The company recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance to market InnovaMatrix™, a next generation extracellular matrix wound care device. Click here to learn more.

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