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November 13, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Events, recognitions top this week’s “News & Notes” feature

This week’s “News & Notes” feature includes a number of events and recognitions plus a good deal of announcements out of Music City. They include everything from appointments to mergers and recognitions.

From Knoxville:

  • Let Her Speak, the non-profit launched by Catherine Porth, and Ashley Gurley Photography are teaming up to create the Found Project. In a post on LinkedIn, the two organizations wrote, “We are on a mission to show women that when we rest, we are FOUND. Our best self comes bubbling back up to the surface and we can be reminded of our true self. We want to tell your story. If you are selected to be part of the project (limited to 16 women only), you will be photographed by Ashley doing what you love when you are RESTING. Then you will be featured in the Found Project Gallery at the Women’s Summit hosted by Let Her Speak in March of 2023, and give a brief account of your story on She Speaks, a Let Her Speak Podcast.” For more information and to be considered, click here.
  • Carbon Rivers was featured in the “Fall 2022 R&D Newsletter” of the Wind Energy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The article describes the DOE-funded work to recover clean, mechanically intact glass fiber from decommissioned wind turbine blades. The technology is now being commercialized by a spinout named Windfall.

From Oak Ridge:

David and Pat Coffey, longtime stalwarts in the community, have received the 2022 Tennessee Board of Regents’ “Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.” The accolades are bestowed annually by the governing body for the state’s 13 community colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

The award recognized the couple’s generous contributions to the Oak Ridge campus of Roane State Community College; they personally gave the largest, noncorporate donation to the campaigns to build and equip the facility. The Coffey name – along with that of Lt. Gov. Randy McNally – grace the main building, a 118,000-square-foot structure. The Coffey name also adorns the library within the Coffey/McNally Building.

From Clinton:

The Knoxville edition of The Ledger spotlighted Callie Archer, President of Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, in an article with the headline of “A strong, determined businesswoman.” You can find the article here and our previous coverage of Archer here.

From Chattanooga:

Devin Lay, a business management major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) who hails from Memphis, won the recent “Hatch It! Mocs Big Business Idea Pitch Competition.” One of six competitors, Lay won $1,500 for his SinceBirth Apparel start-up.

According to this news release, the Black-owned company sells T-shirts, hoodies and hats adorned with such messages as “African Since Birth,” “Born Different” and “Passion = Prospect.”

The event is sponsored by UTC’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

From Johnson City:

  • East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) College of Business and Technology is partnering with FoundersForge to host a college hackathon on December 2 and 3 to support the Help Me Stream Foundation. At this event, the students will be working in groups to solve problems for the non-profit on the topics of object recognition, database retrieval, and other high-end challenges. The hackathon starts at 6 p.m. December 2 in Room 311 of ETSU’s Culp Center. Anyone who is at least 18 years old and not a professional software developer can participate. More details cane be found here.
  • Life Science Tennessee will host its “Beer & Biotech” event for start-ups in Northeast Tennessee from 6 to 8 p.m. November 17 at Tennessee Hills Brewstillery, 458 West Walnut Street. This series of  networking events is intended to help connect life science professionals across the state by fostering meaningful relationships and igniting business opportunities. It is free and open to the public. To click, here.

From Nashville:

  • S3 Recycling Solutions of Springfield has named Brian Moyer, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Nashville Technology Council, as Chairman its Board of Advisors, a position left vacant with the recent passing of Darrell S. Freeman Sr. In the new role, he will serve a three-year appointment where Moyer will be responsible for leading the board that advises S3 leadership on ways to help the company achieve its goals. He will also serve as a trusted advisor to S3 Recycling Solutions CEO Rod McDaniel in the development and implementation of the company’s strategic plan and in providing critical feedback on all aspects of the business. Moyer is Founder and Principal of Tarkus Advisory Group, Advisory Board member at New Orchard, and Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Vanderbilt’s Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization.
  • Three Volunteer State universities, in a partnership led by Tennessee State University (TSU), were awarded $5 million under the “Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program” (MSIPP) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Joining  TSU in the alliance were Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. The MSIPP initiative helps develop highly qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students and foster a well-trained, technically skilled, and inclusive workforce. Click here to read the announcement.
  • AngelEye Health, a provider of patient and family engagement solutions for hospital neonatal, pediatric intensive care, and nursery units, raised an undisclosed amount in Series B funding. The round, which brought funding to date to about $20 million, was led by Brad Whitmore and Mountain Group Partners with participation from SeedtoB Capital and the Rash Family Office. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate the organization’s expansion, including growing its team of talent and expanding its product research and development function.
  • McLean, VA-based CNSI, a provider of innovative healthcare technology products and solutions, and Kepro, a Nashville-headquartered provider of technology-enabled care management, quality oversight, and clinical assessment services, have announced an agreement to merge. The combined company will help government-sponsored healthcare agencies and payers expand healthcare access, enhance quality, improve health outcomes, and lower costs through its clinical services, provider management, health claims and encounter processing, interoperability, and health analytics services and solutions. CNSI is backed by funds advised by global investment firm Carlyle, while Kepro is a portfolio company of funds advised by Apax Partners LLP which will exit its investment as part of the transaction. Todd Stottlemyer, CNSI’s CEO, will lead the new company, and Susan Weaver, Kepro’s President and CEO, will become President. Both locations will be retained, and the newly merged company will rebrand in early 2023.
  • Three Nashville area investment firms made Inc. Magazine‘s fourth annual “Founder-Friendly Investors” list. They are, alphabetical order: (1) Council Capital; (2) Petra Capital Partners; and (3) Relevance Ventures. They are the only Tennessee-based firms included in the listing honoring 184 private equity and venture capital firms with the best track records of success backing entrepreneurs.

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