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Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
March 31, 2024 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | Numerous items from Knoxville

There's also a big announcement later in the week at the Birthplace of Country Music.

From Knoxville:

  • Anthony Hopson, who previously served as Director of Real Estate at the University of Tennessee (UT), has agreed to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer at the UT Research Park during the search for a successor to Tom Rogers. As previously noted in this article, Rogers’ will retire on April 12.
  • Union Ave Books will host a free event from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT this Sunday, April 7, spotlighting Lilly Tench and her new book, Good Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Better World. While it a free event, the bookstore asks that those planning to attend register at this link. Tench is Director of the Spark Innovation Center and its Spark Cleantech Accelerator, both at the UT Research Park. You can read more about her motivation for writing the book in this recent article.
  • The latest issue of the UT Research Foundation’s (UTRF) newsletter casts the spotlight on Ryan Spencer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of ThermaMatrix. He and his company are members of the 2023 cohort of the Innovation Crossroads” program operated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As described in the article, Spencer developed the technology during his Ph.D. work and has subsequently signed an option to commercialize the technology. He joins two other  UTRF Innovators who have been selected for the “Innovation Crossroads” program. They are Hicham Ghossein, Founder and CEO of Edeavor Composites, who is an alumnus of Cohort 3, and Alex Stiles, Co-Founder of Vitriform3D, who participated in Cohort 6.

From Bristol:

Three State of Tennessee organizations are joining forces to launch the “Northeast Tennessee Music Initiative” at 11 a.m. EDT this Thursday, April 4, at the Birthplace of Country Music in Bristol, VA.

Described as a community-led effort aimed at nurturing and advancing the music community in the region, Thursday’s event will unveil the initiative, reveal the primary partners, outline its objectives and activities, and extend an invitation to organizations and individuals across Northeast Tennessee to participate as community partners.

Collaborating on the initiative are the Tennessee Entertainment Commission, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Interested in attending? Click here.

From Kingsport:

The U. S. Small Business Administration has announced the selection of 17 new Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), 13 of which will be hosted by established Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across 10 states. One of the 17 is operated by the Kingsport Chamber Foundation.

From Chattanooga:

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported last week that U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann had secured nearly $330 million of special community projects for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District. The largest is $237 million to pay for cost overruns by the contractor building a new lock at the Chickamauga Dam. However, others include $4 million for Chattanooga’s EPB to build out its quantum communications network and $5.9 million for new research at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) to: (1) expand the University’s mobility ecosystem and smart corridor research to Cleveland; and (2) establish a UTC Quantum Center to fund more research using EPB’s first-in-the-nation commercial quantum network.

From Nashville:

WPLN, Music City’s National Public Radio affiliate, reports that the music business is becoming something much closer to a tech business in the age of generative artificial intelligence (AI). That was never more evident than with the launch of ViNIL, which has rolled out a digital licensing and tracking service that wouldn’t have been needed just a few years ago.

The company is offering a way for artists to control — and get compensated for — how their voices are used, whether in recorded or AI-generated form. The platform will also allow companies to verify that the sound it’s licensing is legit. ViNIL’s three founders have been operating out of a small conference room in a co-working space on the edge of downtown Nashville. They introduced their platform to the music industry and allowed their first users to sign up at the SXSW Conference in Austin last month.

Click here to learn more.

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