Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
February 13, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Announcements ranging from SMRs to new EV suppliers top our weekly “News & Notes” feature

From Oak Ridge:

Nearly a half-century after the Tennessee Valley Authority began building its last new nuclear power plant, the utility is moving ahead with plans to build the next generation of nuclear power in a smaller version than the seven reactors it now operates. TVA’s Board of Directors last Thursday authorized spending up to $200 million to design, develop and license a small modular reactor to be built on the Clinch River in Roane County near Oak Ridge. TVA was the first U.S. utility to obtain an early site permit for a small modular reactor in 2019 and has decided to pursue the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 model with reactors about a fourth of the size of TVA’s existing nuclear fleet. Small modular reactors are designed to be built safer and cheaper than the larger reactors now in operation by limiting the size and standardizing the production process for each unit.

From Knoxville:

  • Technologist, educator, and author Joe Perez has been announced as the keynote speaker for this year’s “CodeStock” conference that returns after a two-year hiatus. The annual two-day technology and information exchange is set for April 7 and 8 at the Knoxville Convention Center. Registration details can be found here. Perez serves part-time as the Chief Technology Officer for SolonTek Corporation, a cybersecurity firm, and his full-time job is Senior Systems Analyst/Team Lead for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The title of his keynote speech is “Facilitating Innovation in a Post-COVID19 World: Cultivating a Climate for Paradigm Shift.”
  • Real Good Kitchen, the shared kitchen facility serving food-based entrepreneurs, is hiring a Kitchen Operations Coordinator to add to its team. Bailey Foster says the position is part-time but with room to grow, good pay and benefits after 90 days. Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

From Nashville:

  •  VisuWell, an industry leader in the delivery of innovative, virtual care solutions, announced that it has completed a successful $10 million Series B capital raise led by Fulcrum Equity Partners, an Atlanta-based growth equity firm, with continued participation from existing investors, Longmeadow Capital, PJC, and UltraGroup. The funding will help the company scale across all departments to support the expansion of its virtual care platform and empower the company to deliver new product offerings to meet market demand. Click here to read the news release.
  • The Greater Nashville Technology Council (NTC) has added 11 new members to its Board of Directors and named the members of its Executive Committee for 2022. New Board members are: (1) Charlie Apigian, Executive Director of the Belmont Data Collaborative; (2) Meg Chamblee, Executive Vice President, UDig; (3) Chris Cochran, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Freightwise; (4) Noreen Cohen-White, Technology Managing Director, Deloitte; (5) Keith Durbin, Chief Information Officer (CIO) with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County; (6) Aunshuman Ghosh, Director of IT–Customer Experience, Nissan; (7) Amy Harris, Program Director at Middle Tennessee State University; (8) James Lakes, Senior Vice President of Sales for Salesforce; (9) Rod McDaniel, CEO at S3; (10) Lindsey Morgan, Managing Director, Vaco; and (11) Kate O’Neil, Co-Founder, Teaming. This year’s Executive Committee is comprised of: (1) NTC President and CEO Brian Moyer; (2) NTC Chair Chris Bayham, Chief Operating Officer (COO)of Xsolis; (3) Chair-Elect Casey Santos, CIO at Asurion; (4) Past Chair Amy Henderson, President and  COO, Nashville Software School; (5) Secretary/Governance Committee Chair Steve Wood, Co-chair, Business Tech Practice and CISO, Baker Donelson; (6) Finance Chair Gina Pruitt, Member, Kraft CPA; (7) Ambassadors Committee Chair Aaron Montlary, Director of Clinical Development and Innovation, HCA ITG; (8) Membership Committee Chair Beth Hoeg, COO, Trinisys; (9) Education Committee Chair Chad Wasserman, Vice President of Infrastructure Services and Operations, HCA Healthcare; (10) Communications Committee Chair John Farkas, CEO, Golden Spiral; (11) Nominations Committee Chair Karl Sprules, Global Head of Technology and Operations, AllianceBernstein; (12) Advocacy Committee Chair Silas Deane, CEO, Vend Engine; and (13) Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair Stephanie Dedmon, CIO, State of Tennessee.

From Across the Volunteer State:

Bob Rolfe, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd are joining together to host a virtual event on February 22. It will be focused on the topic of “Opportunity Appalachia Assistance Program” which is designed to provide targeted support for downtown and rural development projects to build entrepreneurial communities where local businesses can thrive. The event begins at 2 p.m. EST. To register, click here.

From Lebanon:

Tennessee’s reputation as a leader in the electric vehicle (EV) industry sector, including all verticals, took another step forward with last week’s announcement that Tritium DCFC Limited, a global leader in the charging industry, will will establish its U.S. manufacturing base in Lebanon. That move is expected to create more than 500 new jobs over the next five years, a goal that would more than double the company’s existing workforce across operations in Australia, Europe, Asia and the U.S.

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