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Teknovation News and Notes
January 22, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes TN | Several new roles for individuals

Here's a statewide innovation news roundup to start your week.

From Knoxville:

  • After a little more than six and one-half years with the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF), Robyn Geron has moved from the former TVA East Tower in Downtown Knoxville to the UT, Knoxville campus. The former UTRF Assistant Commercialization Manager is the new Director of Operations for the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) in the Haslam College of Business. That position was last held by Tom Graves who retired. ACEI is best known for its three student-focused competitions: twice-a-year “Vol Court Speaker Series & Pitch Competition”; “Graves Business Plan Competition,” named for Graves; and “Boyd Venture Challenge.”
  • The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) is hosting a special livestream event celebrating the launch of “Belonging to the Brand,” the 10th award-winning book from Knoxville resident Mark Schaefer, a well-known brand and marketing expert. The discussion, set for 6 p.m. EST January 25, will be led by Chris McAdoo, KEC’s Chief of Strategy and host of the Big Ideas Welcome podcast. To register, click here.
  • Corey Tyree (pictured right), President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of  Trillium Renewable Chemicals, shared his entrepreneurial journey during the first “Founders Forum” of 2023 last Thursday. Hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” program, the monthly series is designed to expose participants in the program, as well as other local entrepreneurs, to those who have stories to share about the lessons they’ve learned. For Tyree, he’s on a fast track, raising $24.1 million in 20 months after the start-up was launched (see recent article here).

From Chattanooga:

Mike Bradshaw, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has an additional gig. He’s now serving as CIE’s Interim Director following the departure of Libby Santin. Bradshaw also led the city’s CO.LAB entrepreneur center for several years.

Another Item from Nashville but with Statewide Implications:

The University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS) is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. As noted in this post from Paul Jennings, the organization’s Executive Director, UT CIS was one of the first two or three university-based industrial extension programs in the country when an act by the Tennessee General Assembly became law. Most people do not even know that the original name of UT CIS was the Tennessee Industrial Research Advisory Service. It was changed in 1971 when then UT President Ed Boling created the Institute for Public Service and made the renamed UT CIS a key component.

From Idaho but with Knoxville-Oak Ridge Ties:

Hempitecture, a member of Cohort 5 of the “Innovation Crossroads” program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will hold a ribbon cutting for its new manufacturing plant in Jerome County, ID on February 17. As noted in this October 2021 article, the Sun Valley-based company specializes in sustainable building materials. “We create healthy, energy-efficient materials that positively impact both people and the planet by capturing carbon dioxide and replenishing farmland,” the company declares on its website.

From Franklin:

Core10, a financial technology company that provides lending and account opening products as well as software development services, raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. The round, which brought total funding to $12.5 million, was led by Patriot Financial Partners, with participation from JAM FINTOP and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). The company intends to use the funds to scale the development growth of the Accrue platform and business unit and strengthen its banking technology and integration services line of business.

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