Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
September 05, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Weekly “News & Notes” spotlights a number of accomplishments across the state

From an individual recognition to several announcements, grant awards, and the latest ranking of technology jobs in Tennessee, this week’s “News & Notes” spotlights many accomplishments in the past week.

From Knoxville:

  • The Foundation for Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) has named Cymbeline (Bem) Culiat as a nominee for its latest list of the “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award™.” The recognition honors Filipina women who are changing the face of power in their local communities and in the adopted countries that they now call home. Culiat, a former researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is the Co-Founder, President, and Chief Scientist of NellOne Therapeutics Inc. She was nominated in the “Founder and Pioneer” category and the “Research and Development – Science” economic sector.
  • SPARKZ Inc., which operates a lab in the Fairview Technology Center in the Solway area of West Knox County, has been selected by California Energy Commission for a $12.5 million award under agency’s “Zero Emission Transportation Manufacturing Program.” The funding, part of $184,672,200 that the Commission awarded, will help the start-up scale up manufacturing of its Cobalt-free batteries and create high-paying jobs in California. Also last week, SPARKZ announced the selection of a site in Taylor County, WV for another factory (see television news report here). SPARKZ has licensed multiple technologies from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

From Northeast Tennessee:

Two area entrepreneurial support nonprofits are among 75 recipients of grants under the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) new “Ready Appalachia” initiative. The new community capacity-building program offers flexible funding to organizations in four key economic development pillars: nonprofits, community foundations, local governments, and local development districts along free training to the Appalachians that work for them.

In the case of the Sync Space Entrepreneur Center in Kingsport and FoundersForge in Johnson City, they received funding under the “READY Nonprofits” component that helps organizational executives and board members increase their capacity in fundraising, financial management, board development, staff and volunteer recruitment and retention, and marketing.

The ARC news release says that recipients can apply for up to $25,000 in match-free funding for a capacity-building project once their learning track is complete.

From Johnson City:

It’s short notice. The inaugural “Appalachian Creative Marketing Meetup” is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Johns City Chamber of Commerce, 603 East Market Street. It is billed as “a meetup for ambitious creative marketers who aren’t satisfied with mediocrity.” Click here to register.

From Chattanooga:

CO.LAB has published what it described as a “Go-to glossary for entrepreneurs,” defining 20 commonly used terms. For many readers, it will be words you know well. For others such as newbies to the start-up scene, it might be helpful. You can find it at this link.

From Cookeville:

The Biz Foundry is accepting applications for the fall edition of its “Start Up Your StartUp” program. Twice a week over four weeks beginning October 17, the sessions are designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with insights, relationships and tools needed to turn their business ideas into reality. Cost is $149, and more details can be found here.

From Nashville:

Jumpstart Foundry (JSF) is accepting applications through the end of September for its Fall 2022 program that invests in companies “making something better in healthcare.” Those selected receive $150,000 from JSF in addition to being enrolled in the fund’s “Jumpstart Insight” program. Here’s the link to the application.

From Memphis via RTP:

Karen LeVert, a member of the Board of Directors of AgLaunch, is one of three women receiving the 2022 “Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence,” which recognizes those who have achieved excellence in their field or demonstrated an extraordinary contribution to the agribusiness industry. LeVert, who spoke in Knoxville several years ago during the “AgLaunch Bootcamp,” is a Partner of Pappas Capital in Research Triangle Park and Co-Founder of Ag TechInventures LLC.

From Tennessee:

Tennessee ranks #21 among all states in the latest “Dice Tech Job Reports” analysis of growth in listings with a 31 percent increase. While Nashville did not make the “Top 25 Cities by Job Posting Volume,” Music City did place #18 on the list of “Top 25 Cities by Job Posting Growth.” Dice, founded in 1990, describes itself as “a leading tech career hub connecting employers with skilled technology professionals and providing tech professionals with career opportunities, data, insights and advice.”

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