This Monday’s “News & Notes” wrap-up features a Knoxville Chamber event introducing members to the participants in the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator,” Knoxville’s celebration of a large delegation attending Launch Tennessee’s “Innovation Week,” and a ribbon cutting on The Biz Foundry’s expanded space in Cookeville.
The Knoxville Chamber hosted an event on Thursday night to introduce the 10-start-ups in the inaugural “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator” to its members. Held at the TenHats information technology center on Summit Hill Drive, most of the two-hour event was an opportunity for Chamber members to have one-on-one discussions with each of the start-up entrepreneurs. After brief introductory remark by Chamber Board Chair Wes Stowers (pictured on the left in this picture), Tricia Martinez, Managing Director of Techstars Knoxville (middle in picture), offered comments and introduced each of the 10 companies for a brief elevator pitch. As she has at every event where she has spoken, Martinez talked about the “deep tech hub” that Techstars is helping build locally and the importance of the community embracing the companies.
From Nashville but About Knoxville:
Near the end of the reception for legislators and others attending Wednesday’s activities during Launch Tennessee’s “Innovation Week,” Jim Biggs of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) bought a few bottles of champagne to celebrate the robust turnout from the Knoxville start-up ecosystem. There was a good representation of entrepreneurs including Alex Abell (Lunchpool), Hicham Ghossein (Endeavor Composites Inc.), Don DeRosa (Eonix Energy), Tommy Gibbons (Hempitecture), Forrest Shriver (Sentinel Devices LLC), Shane McMahon (Sentinel Devices), Ayyoub Momen (Ultrasonic Technology Solutions LLC), and Tihomir Nikolic (BusiCard). Eric Dobson was there from the Sheltowee Angel Network as were representatives from member organizations of the Innov865 Alliance (Biggs and Chris McAdoo of KEC, Tom Rogers and John Bruck of the UT Research Park, Cortney Piper of Piper Communications, and Tom Ballard from PYA). Senator Becky Massey joined the celebration to toast the local turnout.
From Oak Ridge:
Friday marked Jim Campbell’s final President’s Report at the monthly meeting of the Board of Directors of the East Tennessee Economic Council. The long-time leader of the organization, who is spotlighted in today’s first article in a three-part teknovation.biz series, retires at the end of the month. Campbell focused his final report on a 30-year old document that spotlighted changes needed to ensure the continued relevance of Oak Ridge in the federal ecosystem.
- The Biz Foundry will hold an open house later today for its expanded main office at 114 North Cedar Avenue in Cookeville. The event begins at 4 p.m. CDT and lasts for three hours. Pre-registration is not required.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced last week that it was awarding a $512,000 grant to the Upper Cumberland Development District to fund two Regional Recovery Coordinator positions. This grant is funded by the “American Rescue Plan” and EDA’s $300 million “Coal Communities Commitment.” According to this EDA announcement, the two new positions will manage COVID-19 economic recovery and resiliency efforts for the 14 counties within the Upper Cumberland Region to support future commercial and industrial growth. The investment by the federal agency will be matched with $128,000 in local investment.
Three prominent Black women leaders will speak about their rise to the top, the challenges they faced and how others can succeed at an in-person event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow on the fifth floor of The Edney Innovation Center. Hosted by CO.LAB as part of the “Stay Savvy Workshop Series,” the discussion features three Black women leaders who will speak about their rise to the top, the challenges they faced and how others can succeed. Panelists include Toccora Johnson-Petersen (Girls Inc. of Chattanooga), Marie Webb (EPB), and Dakasha Winton (BCBST). The discussion will be moderated by Charita Allen (Allen Economic Development Partners). To register, click here.
- The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) has announced that it is recruiting for a new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the incumbent – Brynn Plummer – moves on to another position outside the organization. “We are so grateful to have had her guidance, vision and expertise in our community which will leave a legacy for years to come. Thank you for your leadership, Brynn,” the EC wrote in the latest edition of Good Company, its biweekly newsletter.
- The Japan-America Society of Tennessee (JAST), a Nashville-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, has announced the selection of a new Chief Executive Officer. Madeline Adams was selected from more than 130 applicants and selected by a 13-member search committee led by JAST Board Chair Masami Tyson. She served most recently as Executive Director for Homework Hotline, Inc., having joined the organization in 2018 as Assistant Director. From 2006 to 2017, Adams managed and delivered family and youth education programs for notable non-profit institutions including the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, and Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.