Web firm iDesign bought by Atlanta company

Local Web design company iDesign has been acquired by Phase 3 Marketing & Communications, an Atlanta company that now has seven offices in five states. The 11-member iDesign team has won 18 ADDY Awards since the firm was founded in 2005. The MetroCenter outpost of iDesign will change names in the coming months.

Jan 20, 2015 1:52 PM

InvisionHeart names new board member

M*Modal CEO to join JumpStart alum
Jan 20, 2015 1:04 PM

M*Modal picking up Appalachian Regional work

Franklin-based medical transcription company M*Modal has won a contract to take over the work of an unspecified number of workers at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare system, which covers Kentucky and West Virginia. The deal starts next month and a number of ARH workers will become employees of M*Modal.

SEE ALSO: A wrap of M*Modal's busy 2014, which featured a Chapter 11 restructuring and the naming of a new CEO

Jan 20, 2015 8:37 AM

Company with ex-Titan launches Skim Doctor via Amazon.com

Goodlettsville-based Totally New Technologies has launched its Skim Doctor via Amazon.com, with the water-focused apparatus already having become a top seller for new products in the swimming pool, spa and patio sector, according to company officials.

Jovan Haye, one of Totally New Technologies co-owners, said the SkimDoctor hit market exclusively with Amazon.com on Dec. 28. Of the recently introduced pool, spa, patio and related supplies products relatively new to Amazon.com, Skim Doctor has ranked in the Top 5 in sales since its introduction, said Haye.

Haye (seen in center in below photo) said Skim Doctor has been licensed to Maytronics US, an international, publicly traded company that focuses on swimming pool equipment. Cookeville, Tennessee-based Encompass Manufacturing makes and assembles the product, with Franklin-based Prime Colorants part of the process, too.

Haye, a former Vanderbilt and NFL player, said Amazon.com bought a “sizeable number” of product (unusual for the online retailer, he said) and wanted it exclusively to begin. He said there are about 77,000 products in the pool, spa and patio category and that Amazon.com has informed Totally New Technologies that Skim Doctor already ranks highly among those companies for sales. He declined to disclose sales figures.

Haye said the company is pleased with the initial consumer response and is already formulating a plan for the future.
“We plan to be on other on-line retail sites soon and in actual bricks-and-mortar stores at some point,” he said.

Haye is joined at Totally New Technologies by co-owners Ron Smith (CEO and inventor), Shane Cortesi (patent attorney) and Sam Goldring (original seed investor).

(Image courtesy of TNT)

Jan 19, 2015 6:45 AM

Report: Comdata unit could fetch $600M+

Reuters' peHUB is reporting that private equity firms are fighting for Stored Value Solutions, the gift card and prepaid card subsidiary of Brentwood-based transaction processor Comdata, in an auction that could bring in more than $600 million. Stored Value Solutions, which is based in Louisville, has annual sales of about $90 million and will not make the move with Comdata into the world of Fleetcor, which last summer said it would pay more than $3 billion for Comdata. Sources have told peHUB that Barclays is managing the auction, which has entered its second round.

Jan 16, 2015 2:31 PM

Finding new EC CEO could 'take several months'

Spokesman: Look for job to move beyond what was needed in startup mode
Jan 12, 2015 7:11 AM

VU research to play key role in national manufacturing initiative

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation that President Barack Obama announced last week will see a key contribution via a Vanderbilt University laboratory that studies how materials, structures and machines operate under real-world conditions.

The $259 million IACMI consortium (the University of Tennessee is leading the effort) aims to develop cost- and energy-efficient composite materials and technologies for high-production industries such as automotive manufacturing. Doug Adams (pictured), Daniel F. Flowers professor of mechanical engineering, is spearheading Vanderbilt’s efforts.

The Institute will benefit from a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy and $189 million from IACMI's partners.

Supported by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, IACMI joins four other institutes backed by the Obama administration in a recent push to accelerate advanced manufacturing.

A 122-member consortium, the entity will connect the world's leading manufacturers across the supply chain with universities and national laboratories pioneering advanced composites technology development and research.

Read more here at vanderbilt.edu.

Jan 12, 2015 6:45 AM

Nissan, NASA team on autonomous vehicle systems effort

Officials with both Nissan and NASA today announced a five-year research and development partnership to advance autonomous vehicle systems and prepare for commercial application of the technology.

Nissan will undertake the effort through its Franklin-based Nissan North America Inc.

From a release:

Researchers from Nissan's U.S. Silicon Valley Research Center and NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., will focus on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification, all involving sophisticated hardware and software used in road and space applications.

Researchers from the two organizations will test a fleet of zero-emission autonomous vehicles at Ames to demonstrate proof-of-concept remote operation of autonomous vehicles for the transport of materials, goods, payloads and people. For NASA, these tests parallel the way it operates planetary rovers from a mission control center. The first vehicle of that fleet should be testing at the facility by the end of 2015.

"The work of NASA and Nissan – with one directed to space and the other directed to earth, is connected by similar challenges," said Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co. "The partnership will accelerate Nissan's development of safe, secure and reliable autonomous drive technology that we will progressively introduce to consumers beginning in 2016 up to 2020."

Nissan has set 2020 as the timeframe for the introduction of autonomous drive vehicles that have the ability to navigate in nearly all situations, including the most complex situation, city driving.

According to the terms of the partnership, NASA will benefit from Nissan's shared expertise in innovative component technologies for autonomous vehicles, shared research to inform development of vehicular transport applications, and access to appropriate prototype systems and provision of test beds for robotic software.

"All of our potential topics of research collaboration with Nissan are areas in which Ames has strongly contributed to major NASA programs," said director of Ames Research Center, S. Pete Worden. "Ames developed Mars rover planning software, robots onboard the International Space Station and Next Generation air traffic management systems to name a few. We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavors."

"This partnership brings together the best and brightest of NASA and Nissan and validates our investments in Silicon Valley," said Ghosn.


Jan 9, 2015 11:00 AM

High school sports app scores half a million

Former Titan joins team to oversee content add-on
Jan 8, 2015 12:02 PM

W Squared names CEO, announces other leadership changes

W Squared, a Brentwood outsourcing company providing back-office services, announced Wednesday changes to its leadership team, including naming a new CEO.

Company co-founder, former president and COO Tammy Wolcott Howell (pictured) has been named CEO. Casey Correnti, previously the senior vice president of business development, has been tapped to succeed Howell as COO.

Dave Roberts has been named chief information officer. Roberts was previously the CIO for one of W Squared's clients. Joe Cron has been named chief technology officer. Additionally, Chris Morgan, Ashley Patterson, Michael Smith, Donna Schilling, Debbie Long and Moreen Logsdon were promoted to vice president positions and Jordan Kendig and Kim Blair were named to director roles.

Jan 8, 2015 6:47 AM