Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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Teknovation News and Notes
May 30, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | From the rest of the state

These updates come from Northeast Tennessee all the way to the Mississippi River.

From Chattanooga:

What does it mean to be a smart city? Chattamatters posted a video with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Mina Sartipi and several others explaining the local program that has garnered national and even international recognition. You can view it here.

From Johnson City and Kingsport:

The Sync Space Entrepreneur Center is celebrating the companies that just completed its CO.STARTERS program hosted by the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce. Jordan Bailey with Weirdough captured first place followed by Meghan Hall of Abide Well Kids (second place) and Lila Warren of Eagle Eye Outdoors (third place).

From Nashville:

  • Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for a Phase II study in patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) , the most common form of progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease. As a result, Cumberland will launch its “FIGHTING FIBROSIS” trial designed to enroll 128 patients in over 20 medical centers of excellence across the U.S. IPF is the newest clinical program in the pipeline for Cumberland’s first new chemical entity: ifetroban – a potent and selective thromboxane receptor antagonist. The company has designed a Phase II clinical trial to study the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of oral ifetroban in patients with IPF. Recent studies have shown ifetroban can both prevent and enhance the resolution of lung fibrosis in multiple preclinical models.
  • The Chattanoogan reports that John Bradley, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), has reversed course and intends to remain with the public utility. In early May, he announced his intentions to retire after more than 20 years at TVA. Prior to TVA, Bradley served for six years as Senior Vice President of the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • In a social media post, Jonathan Vlassopulos, Chief Executive Officer of Napster, the all-in-one platform for companies looking to launch their own branded music service, announced that the company was moving its global headquarters to Nashville. “This makes us the first global media company to be based here. I have been coming to Music City since I was a lad to visit my Kentucky family so I couldn’t be more excited to now be able to contribute to the city’s growth as it further establishes itself as the entertainment and cultural epicenter of America!”

From Memphis:

Epicenter and the San Francisco-based Alchemist Accelerator are launching a new pre-accelerator program, called the “Memphis Crucible,” which is designed to better instill a solid foundation for early-stage start-ups so that they can successfully apply to the very competitive Alchemist’s Memphis Hub.

Participants will receive five bi-weekly 90-minute sessions with a designated coach over the course of the eight-week program. Alchemist’s coaches are experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and operators with significant professional experience and a track record of advising and operating in successful startups and technology businesses. Local coaches will be available to provide in-person mentoring sessions, which will be complemented by online sessions with coaches drawn from Alchemist’s vast network of world-class experts from Silicon Valley and other technology centers.

Companies interested in applying to the Memphis Crucible should contact Alchemist directly at

From Cincinnati but of Potential Interest to Tennessee Entrepreneurs:

Queen City Angels (QCA) is holding its 23rd annual “Entrepreneur Boot Camp” on June 13 and 14 in Cincinnati. The two-day event, which cost $325 per person, will be held at Alloy Development Co., 1776 Mentor Avenue, Cincinnati. According to the promotional materials, the event is designed for (1) anyone thinking about a start-up concept; (2) small business owners that need a refresher or new thinking about their business; (3) start-up teams; and (4) founders interested in meeting local angel investors. Shift Thermal, known as Active Energy Systems during its time as a member of Cohort 1 of the local “Innovation Crossroads” program, is one local company in which QCA has invested. Click here to learn more about the Boot Camp.

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