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Teknovation News and Notes
August 06, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | EDA awards a nearly $750,000 grant to UT, Knoxville

The former Interim Executive Director of the Chattanooga Technology Council has been named as the group's permanent leader.

From Knoxville:

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $748,849 grant to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, to bolster Tennessee’s manufacturing sector. According to the announcement, the grant will develop and implement a manufacturing growth model designed to improve workforce participation across Tennessee. The model will focus on distressed, disaster impacted, and coal impacted communities. This EDA investment will be matched with $187,212 in local funds.
  • The final session in the three-part “Let Her Invest” workshop series from the Let Her Speak nonprofit is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. August 24 in the Market Room of the Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square. The panel discussion will feature Emily DeJarnett, Financial Planning Specialist and Financial Advisor, and Terry Morgan, Client Service Associate, both with The McGlothin Group. To register, click here.
  • The Knoxville edition of the Tennessee Ledger spotlighted The Maker City’s Courtney Hendrix in a recent article. It is a long and insightful piece about the Director of Maker Initiatives and the organization that will hold its “Maker City Summit” next month. The article can be found at this link.

From Chattanooga:

  • The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the Chattanooga Technology Council (ChaTech) has named its Interim Executive Director to the position permanently. Austin Corcoran, who assumed the interim role in March, is a former Chief of Staff at The Company Lab, better known as CO.LAB, and Director of Talent Engagement for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. According to his bio on the ChaTech website, Corcoran serves as Past President of the Rotaract Club of Chattanooga, a member of the Diversity Task Force for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga, Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for Leadership Tennessee NEXT, and was a board member for ChaTech before stepping into the role of Interim Executive Director.
  • Chandra Ward, an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has taken on the added role of Director of Community Engagement for the University’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP). A faculty member since 2017, she is an urban sociologist by training with expertise in public housing policy, low-income neighborhoods, community networks, displacement, urban development and transportation. Ward’s research at UTC has focused on Chattanooga and Smart City projects, and she is currently working with Vanderbilt University and the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority on a multi-million-dollar transportation project that has contributed to her interest in mobility and its relationship to citizenship.

From Johnson City:

The Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City, Jonesborough and Washington County has joined the ranks of those offering the “CO.STARTERS” program. The cohort-based program equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. The three-month program begins September 11 and costs $150. To apply, click here.

From Washington, DC but with East Tennessee Impact:

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $25,000 to two different organizations in the greater Chattanooga area to help them build internal capacity and create new opportunities in their communities.

  • City Fields in Cleveland received a $25,000 award to hire a new Workforce Development Coordinator (WDC) and update its technology systems. The WDC and upgraded technology will enable the organization to sustain new programs providing unemployed and underemployed individuals in Bradley County with job training, stable employment, and livable wage.
  • The Thrive Regional Partnership in Chattanooga also was awarded $25,000 to help build a robust regional freight mobility technology and training program by hiring a Transportation and Infrastructure Data & Research Associate who will gather, analyze and share relevant data-based information for the 79 communities within Thrive’s 16-county, tri-state footprint. This training program will launch a new service offering at Thrive, including a fair and equitable fee-forservice model that will build financial capacity to sustain the new position and this program
    beyond the project period.

The funding was made available through READY Nonprofits, one of four tailored tracks under our capacity-building initiative, READY Appalachia. A total of 25 nonprofits across nine Appalachian states shared in the $623,996 in awards announced.

From Nashville:

  • Nashville at #38 is the only Tennessee city ranked in the top 50 markets in commercial real estate and service firm CBRE’s latest national Scoring Tech Talent report. Not surprising is region ranked #1. Want to guess? You are correct if you picked the San Francisco Bay area. Atlanta comes in at #13, Raleigh-Durham at #19, and Charlotte at #29.
  • Uptiv Health, an infusion care start-up, raised $7.5 million in seed funding. According to the announcement, the company is focused on redefining infusion therapy for patients suffering from chronic conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Jumpstart Foundry will hold a virtual event spotlighting the 20 companies in its Sprin 2023 cohort at 12:30 p.m. CDT on August 25. Founders from each of the participants will present two-inute pitches, followed by breakout room networking sessions where attendees can speak directly with the founders. To register, click here.

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