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Teknovation News and Notes
October 01, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | UTRF issues its annual call for maturation funding proposals

Several items from Chattanooga, Cookeville, Nashville, Shelbyville and Washington, DC.

From Knoxville:

The University of Tennessee (UT) Research Foundation has announced its annual call for the maturation grant funding program that assists UT innovators in advancing new technologies on the path to market by awarding up to $20,000 in direct costs to the highest ranking proposals. UT researchers, faculty, staff, and students may submit applications for maturation grant funding. Proposals are due to the appropriate campus research office by 5 p.m. October 20.

The program is open to all UT researchers, faculty, staff and students at all campuses and institutes. Eligibility criteria include:

  • Projects must be related to an existing UT invention disclosure or a proposal can be accompanied by a new UT invention/creation disclosure;
  • Researchers who have not received a maturation grant award in the past two years are especially encouraged to apply;
  • All proposals should clearly respond to the four questions outlined in the proposal application; and
  • Proposals that only generate basic research results should not be submitted.

More information and a link to apply can be found here.

From Chattanooga:

  • Solas BioVentures, a leading venture capital firm investing in early stage biotech, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies, has announced the addition of senior healthcare technology executive and investor Lana B. Caron as a General Partner and Chief Operating Officer. She joins the firm to grow the its digital health and health tech practice and build on Solas’ impressive track record, which includes early investments in well-known biopharma and medtech companies like Francis MedicalVesalioArrivo BioVentures LLC, and Tvardi Therapeutics. She will remain based in the Boston, MA area. “Lana will be an exceptional addition to our investment team and resource for our portfolio company executives,” said David Adair, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Solas. He explained that the firm had “made a strategic decision to double-down on digital health and healthtech investing. We were lucky to find Lana Caron to help make that happen. The opportunity in Health Tech and Digital Health VC (venture capital) is massive and with Lana on board, we increase Solas’ capacity to pursue these opportunities and expand our investments into new categories.”
  • The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce is soliciting nominations for its annual “Small Business Awards.” There are four categories: (1) 20 employees or less; (2) 21 to 50 employees; (3) 51 to 300 employees; and (4) nonprofit. For more information about eligibility and a link to the nomination form, click here.

From Cookeville:

The Biz Foundry is partnering later this month with the Upper Cumberland Development District, Tennessee Small Business Development Center, Launch Tennessee, Upper Cumberland Investment Alliance, Tennessee Rural Development Fund, Bright Bridge Capital and FirstBank to host a panel discussion titled “Find Your Funding.” It is designed to help business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs understand the variety of options to fund their business.

In addition to the panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with area lenders and partner organizations to learn more about all they offer.

The free event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. CDT October 17 at The Biz Foundry, 114 North Cedar Avenue, Cookeville. Snacks and beverages provided. To register, click here.

From Shelbyville:

Téa Phillips reports that the MetaFlex Therapy Glove, developed by a team of students (including Phillips) during their time at Tennessee Tech University, is now available on Amazon. “Now it’s easier than ever to help people get a grip on their hand health,” she wrote in a social media post that ATS Innovations Inc. has opened its seed round.

From Nashville but with Statewide Implications:

Tickets are now on sale for LSTCON, the annual meeting of Life Science Tennessee. The conference is set for November 8 at the Westin Hotel in Nashville. After a day of sessions, LSTCON will conclude with the annual Venture Forum, where life science start-ups will pitch their prospective companies to the full conference audience for a chance to win $10,000 followed by a reception on the hotel’s rooftop bar.

To purchase a ticket, click here.

From Washington, DC but with Statewide Implications:

Four Tennesseans are among the 40 individuals selected by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the 2023-2024 class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a free leadership and economic development training opportunity for individuals currently living and/or working in one of ARC’s 13 Appalachian states. They are:

  • Brad Collett, Director, Tennessee RiverLine Initiative, Knoxville;
  • Jeff Mason, County Mayor, Smith County Government;
  • Susan McKinney, Executive Director, Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council, Johnson City; and
  • Leigh Anne Riggs Broesch, Founder, fern+daisy, Knoxville.

Fellows will spend nine months skill-building, networking, and visiting communities during six sessions around the region.

“Growing and supporting the next generation of Appalachian leaders is integral to future success,” said ARC Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “I send my sincerest congratulations to the newest round of Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows, as well as my appreciation for all their work and passion.”

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