Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
July 04, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Events, progress, and the death of a beloved Nashvillian are spotlighted in this week’s “News & Notes”

There’s a good deal of news from around the eastern part of Tennessee that is captured in this week’s “News & Notes” feature. Unfortunately, it includes some sad news out of Music City.

From Knoxville:

  • The second sessions in the three-part series under the “Women’s Capital Series” is set for July 28. Organized by the Let Her Speak nonprofit, the program for entrepreneurs will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and the program focused on current or prospective women investors is set for 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, 17 Market Square. To register for one or both, click here. You can also learn more about Catherine Porth’s motivation for launching the series and the focus by reading this recent article summarizing the first sessions in the series.
  • Two Bikes, a local non-profit that is is dedicated to expanding bicycling in Knoxville, and Real Good Kitchen (RGK), the shared kitchen and food entrepreneurship hub, have teamed-up for a “Dinner Market Pop-up” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. this Friday at RGK’s location at 2004 East Magnolia Avenue. And, the event includes a special dessert – free bicycle repairs. Details, including about the bike repairs, can be found here.

From Oak Ridge:

The Oak Ridger reported that 110 acres in the Horizon Center Industrial Park has been transferred by the city’s Industrial Development Board to TRISO-X LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-energy LLC. The company plans to create a new type of nuclear fuel and employ 400 people at a new facility. When completed, the plant will be the first commercial advanced High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) based nuclear reactor fuel fabrication facility of its kind.

From Johnson City:

Ballad Ventures, the venture capital arm of Ballad Health, unveiled its new website last week. The tagline – “Investing in Innovation. Transforming Healthcare” – clearly captures the focus. As noted in this article from March of this year, the new site highlights the types of start-ups that will attract Ballad Ventures’ interest – “care anywhere, consumerism, and workforce” – and those where it will not invest – “pharma, biopharma, or drug discovery.”

From Chattanooga:

Iconic Moments, the non-fungible token marketplace founded by Chris Cummings and focused on museums and cultural institutions, has announced the hiring of Connor Tarter head of Brand Marketing. Most recently, he was Director of Marketing and Communications for the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. The company has offices in Chattanooga, Baton Rouge and Austin.

From Nashville:

  • Those in the Music City business and entrepreneurial are mourning the death this past week of Darrell Freeman Sr., a self-made millionaire who served as a mentor and benefactor for aspiring Black entrepreneurs and others. His family announced that the Founder of Zycron, a company he grew to more than 300 employees before selling it, died Tuesday after a “serious illness.” Typical of the tributes we have seen in newspapers and on social media was this one from Jane Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC), who wrote: “Darrell was a leader of leaders across our entrepreneurial community and served the EC community tirelessly. His legacy of generosity, mentorship, inclusion, and education will live on in all those he inspired. Darrell embodied much of what the EC strives to help others achieve, and he committed his time and resources to help entrepreneurs not just through the EC, but people within and beyond the Nashville community at large.”
  • In a real estate boom that has been fueled in part by growing demand for space for life sciences, the Southeast has claimed three of the Top 5 spots and half of Top 10 spots for metro areas with the best overall real estate prospects as measured by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. Nashville takes the top spot followed by Raleigh/Durham (#2), Tampa/St. Petersburg (#5), Charlotte (#6), and Atlanta (#8). The report rated life sciences facilities as the best prospect for investors and developers after fulfillment centers.
  • Nashville also ranks high on another just released report. This one is from LinkedIn whose Economic Graph team highlighted to 15 U.S. metro areas with especially strong hiring rates for boomers (those born in the 1946 to 1964 time span). Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill topped the list, Charlotte came in at #7 and Music City was ranked #9. Click here to learn more.
  • Marcus Whitney, the Nashville Entrepreneur involved in many different endeavors including Jumpstart Nova, the first venture fund in America to invest exclusively in Black-founded and led companies at the forefront of healthcare innovation, was featured in the latest “Tennessee Voices” podcast series from The Tennessean. Click here to listen (subscription might be required).
  • CarePayment has announced a robust bundle of new product features and enhancements to its integrated engagement platform to continue leading the transformation of the patient financial experience. New digital features include options for pre-care enrollment, a digital member card, and redesigned patient engagement tools including a new billing statement. The healthcare and technology company says that it delivers the industry’s most comprehensive, 0.00 percent annual percentage rate patient financing solution.

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