Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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August 13, 2019 | Tom Ballard

Key executives of recent regional acquisitions will share lessons learned at August 22 event

The last year has seen a significant amount of investment activity around Knoxville-based technology companies, not just those like Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive that captured so much attention.

By our count, the region has seen seven major announcements in a little more than 12 months since the first one – Domtar Corporation’s acquisition of Prisma Renewable Composites LLC – was publicly revealed on July 9, 2018. The most recent was Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation’s acquisition of Arkis Biosciences Inc. that was announced July 29.

Clearly, these major announcements have helped shine a broader spotlight on the region, the strength of its tech-based companies, and the returns that can be realized by investing in start-ups here.

At 5 p.m. August 22, the latest forum in the “Innov865 Alliance Investor Series” will feature two individuals who led companies that are based in the Knoxville region and were acquired since Fall 2017. Brandon Bruce, former Chief Operating Officer of Cirrus Insight, and Terry Edwards, Founder and now Chair of the Board of PerfectServe, will discuss their respective journeys from launching their companies to the latest transactions.

To register for the event being held at the Square Room on Market Square, click here.

Can you name all of the companies that made our list? Here they are in order.

  • Arkis Biosciences Inc.Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation, a leading global medical technology company based in New Jersey, announced just a few weeks ago that it has acquired Arkis Biosciences, a privately-held company that offers a portfolio of neurosurgical devices.
  • Genera – The Tennessee-based biomass solutions company announced in mid-July a more than $118 million equity investment, anchored by WindSail Capital Group, that will fund its first manufacturing facility to produce its Earthable® line of sustainable agricultural fiber products.
  • Sword & Shield Enterprise Security – Sunstone Partners, a growth equity firm, announced at the first of June that will combine the local cybersecurity firm with two other companies – Terra Verdeof Phoenix and TruShield of Reston, VA – to form Avertium.
  • Blühen Botanicals – The Knoxville-based hemp cannabidiol company announced in mid-February that SOL Global Investments Corporation is making a $30.6 million investment as part of its plan to diversify into hemp-related businesses through HeavenlyRx Holdings.
  • GRIDSMART Technologies Inc. –  Cubic Corporation announced the first business day of 2019 that it was acquiring the West Knoxville-based company known for its intelligent transportation technology for approximately $87 million in cash as a way to complement the existing Cubic portfolio of integrated solutions that increase situational understanding for transportation.
  • Cirrus Insight – Clovis Point Capital LLC announced a significant investment in late September the Salesforce integrator.
  • Prisma Renewable Composites LLC – Domtar Corporation announced in July 2018 that it was acquiring a major interest in the Knoxville-based spin-off of TennEra LLC.
  • PerfectServe – The Knoxville-based, healthcare-focused communications firm secured a major investment in September 2017 from K1 Investment Management, a private equity firm focused on high-growth enterprise software companies.

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