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Teknovation News and Notes
July 23, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | We have items from across the state

Nashville leads the weekly news bites with five mentions.

From Knoxville:

  • The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has named two new Executives-in-Residence (EIRs). They are Bob Vanderhoff,  President and Founder of 35 Consulting Company, and Ryan Ginder, Research Assistant Professor at UT, Knoxville. In these roles, they will serve as an advisor with relevant expertise, working closely with UTRF to help deliver services to UT System innovators and UTRF start-ups to develop their business models. The EIRs will serve to shape strategies that understand the ‘value proposition’ of the technology along with product-market fit. In addition to mentoring start-ups and innovators in developing sustainable economic outcome targets, the EIRs will also serve as a source of outreach and relationship-building within the community.
  • The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is accepting applications for the next cohort of CO.STARTERS, a 10-week business development program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs put ideas into action, and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving small business. This cohort will be facilitated by Anna Wiggins who created, grew, and recently sold Loveliest Bridal, an intimate Knoxville wedding dress boutique. Prior to that venture, she worked in the finance department for East Tennessee Foundation. To apply for the program that starts September 13, click here.

From Oak Ridge:

Bill Tindal, who stepped away a year ago from the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, managing contractor of the Y-12 National Security Complex, is the new President of Omega Technical Services. The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializes in providing technical and professional support services to the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Security Enterprise.

From Johnson City:

A Knoxville native who earned three degrees from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is the new Assistant Director of ETSU’s Innovation Lab. In a news release, Emily Colvin says she “hopes to encourage ETSU students with great ideas to take advantage of the resources offered by the university.” Before coming back to her alma mater, she was a Project Coordinator for a multi-family interior renovation company in Clearwater, FL, and previously worked in merchandising for Home Depot.

From Nashville:

  • Fisk University has announced the appointment of Holly Rachel as the Executive Director for The Darrell S. Freeman Sr. Incubation and Innovation Center. According to this news release from the university, she was a key member of the team that developed the vision for the Center named in honor of the prominent Black business owner and mentor who died in June 2022. Rachel is the Co-Founder of the Nashville chapter of Blacks in Technology, a global organization aimed at increasing the number of minorities in tech by expanding education opportunities.  
  • An Atlanta-based company that bills itself as a “neighborhood work club” is opening its first non-Georgia location in Nashville on September 13. Switchyards has nine locations in its home city, and the new co-working type facility will be located in a 100-year-old church at 1101 Chapel Avenue in the Eastwood neighborhood of East Nashville. Memberships are $100 per month and go on sale August 15. Membership includes unlimited access to all locations.
  • Cindy Baier, President and CEO of Brookdale Senior Living, is the newly installed Chair of the Board of Directors on the Nashville Health Care Council. It is the first time in the Council’s 28 year history that a woman has served in this role.
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced last week that Magna will invest more than $790 million to build the first two supplier facilities at Ford’s BlueOval City supplier park in the West Tennessee community of Stanton and a stamping and assembly facility in Lawrenceburg in Middle Tennessee. Combined, Magna will create approximately 1,300 new jobs in Tennessee.
  • Separately, TNECD has announced significant changes to the department’s Site Development Grant Program, which helps prepare rural industrial sites to attract new businesses and investment to Tennessee. The changes are designed to mitigate the time and risk associated with industrial development projects across the state and will include increased funding, reduced match requirements for eligible sites and the introduction of speculative building construction. Click here to learn more.

From Memphis:

Epicenter, the entrepreneur center serving the Memphis and Shelby County region, is partnering with Truist to host the “Good Food and Fixins” program to support emerging consumer packaged goods (CPG) food companies. Participants of the three-phase program will have access initially to a three-day business accelerator that runs August 22-24. That will be followed by a food showcase on two nights in late October and finally a pitch competition on January 25, 2024 with prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.

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