Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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March 20, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Conferences, awards, ribbon cuttings and pitch events highlight our “News & Notes”

From Knoxville:

The organizers of Knoxville’s “CodeStock” technology conference have announced that ticket sales will be cutoff earlier than normal for 2022. The annual event, which has not been held the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returns as an in-person conference April 7 and 8. However, due to logistical challenges, registration will end at midnight April 3, and procrastinators who normally expect to purchase their tickets the day that “CodeStock” opens will be out of luck. Registration information can be found here.

From Oak Ridge:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $32 million to fund more than 30 next-generation building retrofit projects that will dramatically improve affordable housing technologies, and seven awardees will test renovation techniques that reduce disruption to tenants while upgrading the energy and environmental performance of buildings more quickly, affordably, and effectively. One of those recipients is Oak Ridge National Laboratory which received $5 million to demonstrate the use of 3D-printed modular overclad panels with heat pump systems in eight to 12 single-family attached public housing homes and one commercial building in Knoxville.

From Kingsport:

Heath Guinn of the Sync Space Entrepreneur Center shared several photos from the recent grand opening/ribbon cutting for the new Center for Digital Innovation. The 9,000 square foot space and related programming is coming together thanks to a partnership with Create Appalachia, the region’s leading organization promoting the traditional and digital artists of Appalachia, and the involvement of a number of other organizations. The latter include East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) Research Corporation, Kingsport’s Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Northeast State Community College and the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and Sync Space. Pictured here are (left to right) Cher Cornett, Board Chair of Create Appalachia; Katie Hoffman, Executive Director of Create Appalachia; and Guinn.

From Chattanooga:

The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce has announced 10 individuals or companies who were presented awards last week. Cempa Community Care, Double Cola Company, Market Street Partners, and Trident Transport were presented “Small Business Awards,” and six others received “Community Engagement Awards.” They were: (1) “Healthy Business” for investing in employee and community health — Chattanooga Football Club Foundation; (2) “Sustainability Partner” for sound environmental conservation actions and business practices — Tennessee River Gorge Trust; (3) “Business Education Investor” for partnering in local school systems and creating stronger talent pipelines — American Water; (4) “Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement” for commitment to attracting a diverse workforce and building inclusive environments — BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee; (5) “Family Friendly Workplace” for creating flexible, friendly and enjoyable workplaces — SVN½Second Story Real Estate; and (6) “Velocity 2040 Community Collaborator” for going above and beyond to address community challenges and encourage opportunities — The Regions Foundation. The Chamber’s “Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year” award was presented to Jim “JV” Vaughn, Market President for Truist Bank.

From Chattanooga and Nashville:

6AM City, the fast growing newsletter-first local media company, successfully tripled the size of its business over the past six months and is now in 24 cities including Chattanooga (NOOGA Today) and Nashville (NASH Today). In the short six-year history of the Greenville, SC-based company, it has grown to more than one million subscribers and has plans to expand into six additional markets this year.

From Nashville:

  • The Nashville Post reports that Vodium Co-Founders Mary Mellor and Camille Padilla have secured a seven-figure seed round raise for their start-up. The technology allows users to install a virtual teleprompter on their screens during online meetings, allowing them to read scripts and refer to notes without taking their eyes off the camera.
  • Dell Technologies’ “Dell For Startups” program is partnering with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) to host a pitch competition that will highlight the impact founders are making in Music City. Eight entrepreneurs will have a chance to conduct a one-minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges and an open audience. The winner will be awarded $15,000 with $10,000 going to the second place start-up. To qualify, the applicant must: (1) attend the pitch competition in-person at the EC on April 5; (2) have a minimum of $25,000 in revenue; and (3) be headquartered in Nashville. Applications (link is here) close this Friday, and finalists will be notified by March 31.
  • Hayley Hovious, who spent nearly eight years with the Nashville Health Care Council that included almost seven as the organization’s President, is now a Principal at Echo Health Ventures. The company makes investments to build and grow companies in the health sector.

From North Alabama:

Finalists have been announced for the inaugural “Singing River Trail Launch Tank” competition. The event, scheduled for tomorrow, is hosted by Launch 2035, a new regional partnership focused on Limestone, Madison and Morgan Counties just across the Tennessee-Alabama border. John Joseph IV, Executive Director of the Decatur-Morgan County, AL Entrepreneurial Center, said more than 40 applications were received, and they came from a diverse group ranging from restaurants and retail stores to technology companies, non-profits, and those in consumer goods and agriculture.

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