Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
August 07, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Appointments dominate this week’s “News & Notes” feature

Much of this week’s longer than normal “News & Notes” feature is consumed with announcements of people taking new jobs. There’s also a new podcast for entrepreneurs in the Appalachian Highlands and several other interesting items.

From Knoxville:

  • Jonathan Sexton, former Chief Operating Officer at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and most recently a Partner at Boldsquare, a local consulting firm, announced his next move on social media. “After an incredibly exciting and productive few years, I’m transitioning into an advisory role at Boldsquare and accepting the full-time role of leading B2B Marketing for Ledger, headquartered in Paris, France. Ledger is the global leader in protecting digital assets like #cryptocurrency and #nfts for both consumers and companies. I’m joining a world-class team with too many talented people to name.”
  • MedMatch Network, an innovative healthcare information technology firm focused on facilitating patient referral management and information exchange for seamless continuity of care, has appointed Joe Ortiz as Chief Innovation and Operations Officer. He brings more 30 years of digital technology business experience to his role at MedMatch Network. In his most recent executive position, Ortiz was the first Chief Information Officer for Summit Medical Group. Earlier he launched 4D Imaging Systems, which focused on healthcare visual data capture and analysis of change over time. Ortiz has also held various management roles for start-ups and multi-national firms including Motorola, Phillips Consumer Electronics, IPIX Corporation, RDI Technologies, and NCR.
  • The University of Tennessee (UT) Research Foundation is recruiting for a Technology Manager. Based in the Multi-Campus Office in Knoxville and reporting to the Vice President overseeing that office, the Technology Manager will be involved in all aspects of the technology transfer process. More information can be found here.
  • Tricia Martinez, Managing Director of the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator,” authored a guest post for the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council‘s latest E-News post. It is titled “A whole-ecosystem approach to transportation electrification.”
  • The Knoxville Technology Council is holding its next “Data Science Meetup” from 5 to 6:15 p.m. tomorrow at the Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing on the UT Research Park campus. Lindsey Clark, Director of Data Science at Healthcare Bluebook, will share methods to create or improve the data science and artificial intelligence strategy within an organization. Registration is free at this link.

From Maryville:

The Sky City Entrepreneur Center has announced that its next “CO.STARTERS” program begins September 14. It will be the second time Sky City has offered the program with 13 business owners participating in the Spring cohort. In addition, the Center announced that:

  • The August “Women in Entrepreneurship” meeting will feature Catherine Porth of KEC and Let Her Speak. It is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. August 23, and Porth will focus on what is described as “batting the dreaded Imposter Syndrome and tearing down your own barriers.”
  • The “Side Hustle Happy Hour” will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. August 18 at Tri-Hop Brewery in Maryville.

From Oak Ridge:

  • The Tennessee Valley Authority announced last week that the public utility has entered an agreement with GE Hitachi (GEH) Nuclear Energy to support its planning and preliminary licensing for the potential deployment of a BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) at the Clinch River site near Oak Ridge. According to this article in World Nuclear News, GEH will also provide additional information needed as TVA continues to analyze the viability of SMRs in the Tennessee Valley, subject to future approval by its Board of Directors.
  • Lindsey Twardy, Chief of Staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been named a member of the Board of Directors of the National GEM Consortium. Founded in 1976 at the University of Notre Dame, the mission of group is to enhance the value of the nation’s human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science.

From Johnson City:

FoundersForge has announced the launch of its podcast series. Titled “Startup Pivot Scale,” the podcast is described as providing “the real story behind entrepreneurial life in the Southeastern US. In each episode, you will hear from current founders, investors, ecosystem builders, and others who share a strong passion for start-ups. It is our goal to bring you into the daily life and mindset of real founders. This includes the highs, lows, and sometimes the impossible choices that must be made for a start-up to survive another day. We love to double down on the emotional and impactful moments of a startups success or failure so we all get to the real stories behind the companies we all love.” Click here to access the first two episodes.

From Nashville:

  • The M&A Advisor has selected Jack Jeong, Managing Director at Brentwood Capital Advisors, as one of the recipients in its 13th annual “Emerging Leaders Awards.” The recognition celebrates the accomplishments of mergers and acquisitions, financing and turnaround professionals whose significant level of success while still under the age of 40 establishes them as the industry’s emerging leaders.
  • Pre-seed healthcare innovation fund Jumpstart Foundry has announced the appointment of Haley “Zap” Zapolski as its new Managing Director. Most recently Manager of Employer Engagement at Nashville Software School, she earlier managed Renew Nashville, a COVID recovery program for more than 500 small businesses through Metro Nashville and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
  • Fintop Capital has closed FINTOP Fund III at $220 million and already made several new investments. Led by Joe Maxwell and Rick Kushel, the venture capital firm focuses on FinTech from offices in Nashville, St. Louis, New York City, Jacksonville, and New Jersey.
  • Built Technologies, a software provider for real estate lenders and the construction industry, has acquired Nativ, a New York City-based provider of a deal management platform for commercial real estate lenders. The deal, which brings Built’s headcount to more than 430, will enhance the company’s existing product suite for commercial lenders and enable improved underwriting and asset management capabilities across construction, transitional, and stabilized assets.
  • Verustat, a remote patient monitoring system, acquired One Healthcare Solution, a Texas-based provider of chronic care software. The acquisition will allow Verustat to integrate with a practice’s existing electronic medical record system and enable physicians to create automated, customized care plans for a host of chronic illnesses and conditions.
  • Launch Tennessee is recruiting for a Capital Associate to play an integral role in launching and deploying a new collection of investment monies to serve Tennessee’s start-ups and venture funds. Growing LaunchTN’s pipeline of early stage start-ups by sourcing and evaluating deals while activating expert and peer networks across the state, the individual who is hired will support engagement among our stakeholders aligned with the capital team’s strategic priorities and objectives. More information and a link to the application can be found here.

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