Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
September 11, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Weekly “News & Notes” starts with more recognition for RegScale

From Knoxville and Washington, DC:

RegScale, the continuous compliance automation software company with headquarters in Tysons Corner, VA and its research and development operation in Knoxville, has been named a “2022 SINET16 Innovator Award” winner.

Each year, the organization whose official name is Security Information Network, evaluates the technologies and products of hundreds of emerging cybersecurity companies from around the globe, with the 16 most innovative and compelling companies receiving the honor of being named a “SINET16 Innovator.” This year, 194 companies applied for the honor and were scored by a group of 117 judges from Fortune 500 companies as well as world-leading venture capitalists and investment bankers.

“RegScale’s selection as a 2022 winner further validates our commitment to lead the RegOps (regulatory operations) movement by bridging the divide between security and compliance via the world’s first real-time Governance, Risk, and Compliance platform,” said Anil Karmel, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the start-up that was second runner-up in the 2022 edition of the PYA-sponsored “Ballard Innovation Award” that recognizes the region’s most promising new innovation companies.

The recognition comes a little more than a month after RegScale announced the completion of a $20 million Series A funding round led by SYN Ventures, a West Palm Beach, FL firm that says it is “funding the cyber revolution.” Also participating were San Francisco-based SineWave VenturesVirginia Innovation Partnership Corporations’s Virginia Venture PartnersSecureOctane, also based in San Francisco, and several strategic investors (see article here).

From Northeast Tennessee:

The Sync Space Entrepreneur Center reported that two programs launched last week, both in collaboration with East Tennessee State University (ETSU).

  • One is the latest cohort of the STRIVE (Start-up Training Resource to Inspire Veteran Entrepreneurship) program. It is an eight-week course, open to veterans and members of the Reserves and National Guard, that consists of evening meetings with online coursework in between classes.
  • The other is the Digital Marketing Bootcamp that is being led by Stephen Marshall representing the ETSU Research Corporation, one of Sync Space’s partners.

Just down the road, FoundersForge in Johnson City held its monthly reminded attendees at a meetup last week of the four standing monthly events. They are:

  • The new “Appalachian Creative Marketing Meetup” on the first Tuesday of each month beginning at 6 p.m. in the new offices of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, 602 Sevier Street, Suite 101;
  • The “Software Developer Meetup” that occurs at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Spark Plaza, 404 South Roan Street, Johnson City;
  • The longstanding “FoundersForge” meetup that occurs from 12 noon to 1 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at Ntara, 105 East Walnut Street, Johnson City; and
  • “Pitch Practice” that occurs at noon on the last Thursday of the month at Spark Plaza.

From Chattanooga:

  • A new, on-demand marketplace of local makers and merchants is launching in Chattanooga and has its sights set on expansion within a year. Named Heyou, the new venture allows customers to browse gift items from a variety of local stores, then have it gift wrapped and out for same day delivery. The platform is launching in partnership with Plum Nelly, Fox & Fern, Danshire Market, A Child’s Garden, and Center MedSpa. “For consumers, it’s a very convenient and seamless experience,” Heyou Founder Ashley Zimmerman said. “You can do this in five minutes, but it looks like you’ve spent weeks thinking about it.”
  • The deadline is Thursday for those interested in applying for the annual “Will This Float?” pitch competition in Chattanooga. Hosted by CO.LAB and sponsored by Double Cola, this year’s event includes two tracks – one for adults and the other for high school students with the latter pitching business ideas in the consumer packaged goods industry. More details can be found here.

From Nashville:

  •  Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit working to erase the gender gap in tech, has announced that it has moved its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Nashville. The organization was drawn to the fast-growing tech hub’s geographical, governmental, economic and social assets that continue to draw big tech companies and a strong talent pool. Founded in 2007, Girls in Tech has grown into a global leader in the gender equality movement with a membership of more than 130,000 women and allies in 50 cities, 38 countries and six continents. Along the way, it has become one of the most prominent voices in promoting diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) in tech and the business world as more than just something to do because it’s right, but because it also drives innovation and enhances a company’s bottom-line. Click here to read the news release announcing the move.
  • Application deadline for the next cohort of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center‘s “Project Healthcare” program is this Friday. It’s a nine-month entrepreneurship initiative focused on driving transformation in the healthcare industry through tailored programming and connections critical to success in this highly competitive landscape. Click here for more information.

From Etowah:

Belmont, N.C.-based Piedmont Lithium will build a $582 million lithium hydroxide processing, refining and manufacturing facility in this McMinn County community with the ability to produce 30,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium per year. Production is slated to begin in 2025.

“The rapid electrification of the automotive market has led to massive investments in EV and lithium-ion battery production in the United States, creating a critical need for lithium hydroxide produced in the U.S.,” said Piedmont Lithium President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Phillips. “Our Tennessee Lithium operation should play an important role in helping to mitigate supply shortages in the American EV industry and battery supply chain, particularly in the wake of recent legislation incentivizing the use of domestically sourced critical materials and providing tax credits for U.S. producers.”


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