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Teknovation News and Notes
January 02, 2024 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | New rule has big impact on venture capital opportunities

We cover a number of other news items from the past two weeks while you celebrated the holidays.

From Nashville but with Statewide Implications:

Lindsey Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Launch Tennessee, celebrated a significant change in the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s securities rules that became effective Christmas Day. It exempted venture capital firms from the requirement of full registration as an investment adviser. In a guest column that first appeared in The Tennessean, Cox wrote, “Similar registration exemptions are also available in several areas throughout the country. Venture capital firms now will be allowed to notice file with the Tennessee Securities Division as an exempt adviser. These notice filings and subsequent renewal filings will be done through the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IADR) system.”

From Knoxville:

TEAM TN, a statewide coalition funded by the National Science Foundation’s “Regional Innovation Engines” program to help shape the future of mobility and usher in a new era of economic prosperity in the Volunteer State, has announced that Ron Thompson will serve as its Chief Industry Officer.

With 40 years of industry experience, Thompson will be the front door to industry partners by identifying, creating, executing, and maintaining relationships between TEAM TN and key players in transportation and mobility. The loaned executive from Eaton, an intelligent power management company, will maintain his role with Eaton while lending his expertise in industry partnership development.

Led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TEAM TN is a partnership of R&D, industry, workforce development, community, and technology commercialization entities that serves as a one-stop shop to help companies reach transportation electrification and decarbonization goals while at the same time creating a more accessible and diverse economy.

Another from Knoxville:

Holocene Climate Corporation has been named one of the seven semifinalists in the development phase of the Direct Air Capture Pre-Commercial Prize from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. The first part of the three-phase program awarded a total of $1.05 million in cash and technical assistance for technology solutions that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution by removing it directly from the atmosphere.

The next two phases are the design portion, where up to three companies will be awarded $650,000 each, and the deliver component, where the winner will receive $1 million. “Delivering on the promises of large-scale carbon management calls for innovation across the technology demonstration pipeline, and this award recognizes the promise of our early stage R&D funnel, specifically,” Holocene wrote in a social media post.

From Oak Ridge:

In addition, ORNL researchers have identified the most energy-efficient 2024 model year vehicles available in the United States, including electric and hybrids, in the latest edition of the Department of Energy’s “Fuel Economy Guide.” The annual online resource compares fuel costs for two-seaters up to large sedans, small and midsize station wagons, minivans, small and standard sport utility vehicles, and small and standard pickup trucks. A quick reference top 10 list is searchable for make, model, and class, too.

“With the national average of gasoline over $3 per gallon, drivers need to know how much they can save by choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle,” said Stacy Davis, ORNL’s Group Leader for Transportation Analytics and Decision Sciences.

An ORNL-developed tool, the Trip Calculator, also allows consumers to estimate the savings for driving a certain model of vehicle on a specified trip. Users can enter the origin and destination and select up to three different vehicles. The best route is mapped with directions and estimates on fuel use and cost.

From Chattanooga:

  • Ntracts, a contract lifecycle management solution for healthcare organizations with an office in the Gig City, has announced a significant capital investment from Accel-KKR, a global technology-focused private equity firm. The investment will help Ntracts accelerate its go-to-market strategies and continue to seek to lead the market with product innovations. The company’s Contract Lifecycle Management solution supports clients’ full visibility into their contracts, increases efficiencies with workflow automation, provides advanced contract data reporting, and mitigates compliance risk. Furthermore, Ntracts’ implementation roadmap emphasizes partnership and collaboration with each client.
  • Heed Public Relations Co-Founder David Martin is the author of a book titled PR for Startups and Growing Businesses. Described as being “for the self-taught PR practitioners as well as business leaders who know they need to invest in public relations but don’t know where to start,” it is based on Martin’s experiences working with venture capital-backed start-ups, bootstrapped small businesses, non-profits, and just about every type of organization imaginable.
  • EPB has been named the “Best Municipal Connectivity Program” in the inaugural U.S. Broadband Awards hosted by Questex’s Fierce Telecom. Finalists for the awards in 14 categories were selected by a panel of 20 judges based on effectiveness, technical innovation, financial and community impact, individual efforts in driving broadband investment, and true innovation in addressing the digital divide.

From Kingsport:

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, the economic development arm of two counties (Sullivan and Hawkins) and three cities (Bluff City, Bristol, and Kingsport), has extended the contract for CEO Clay Walker for another five years. The Murray State University graduate joined the organization 10 years ago.

About Tennessee:

WRAL TechWire reports that the Small Business Blog analyzed data from Google Keyword Planner for 100 terms relating to the search terms ‘side hustle’ and ‘small business.’ Average monthly searches were found for each of these 100 terms and totaled for each U.S. state. Then, the number of searches in each state was calculated as a proportion of 100,000 residents, to account for differences in population size between states.

So, you are no doubt asking, how did Tennessee rank? It tied for #16 with Delaware, Kansas, and Washington. The highest-ranked Southeastern state was Georgia (#7) and Florida (#11). Neighbor North Carolina was ranked #14,

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