Litigation support services company DSi has hired Brian McGraw to be its director of information technology. McGraw comes to downtown-based DSi from Des Moines, Iowa, where he was IT director at Belin McCormick, a 30-attorney law firm. A graduate of Upper Iowa University, he also has served as the IT manager at Feed Energy/Riverhead Resources.
Jumpstart Foundry announced today a new collaboration with Vanderbilt's Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization to boost Vanderbilt-based proposals into the Foundry's annual business accelerator.
Through the partnership, Jumpstart and CTTC will identify and evaluate select proposals from Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students, and CTTC will nominate select proposals for placement in Jumpstart's top 30 applicant pool. The accelerator will then rank the Vanderbilt group, and approximately the top dozen teams will be given an offer to participate in the business incubation program.
"This new engagement represents a dynamic extension of our growing relationship with Jumpstart Foundry that promises to create new and valuable opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded members of the Vanderbilt community," Alan Bentley, Vanderbilt's assistant vice chancellor of technology transfer and intellectual property protection, said in a release.
Vic Gatto, CEO of Jumpstart, said the accelerator is impressed with the potential at Vanderbilt. Last year the company selected Vanderbilt-based startup InvisionHeart, which was recently selected to pitch at Google Demo Day.
"The combination of Vanderbilt intellectual property and human talent with the Jumpstart Foundry curriculum and mentor network will create successful startups driving disrupting large industries and improving people's lives," Gatto said.
Shares of HealthStream are off 25 percent so far this year partly because investors have been digesting the lowered operating income guidance that came with word of the March acquisition of a compliance curriculum provider. But local Avondale Partners analyst Richard Close told clients Wednesday that the company's upcoming Q1 earnings report offers a way for the stock to recover some of those losses. What CEO Bobby Frist and his team will have to show, Close said, is continued subscription revenue growth of at least 30 percent and the addition of a minimum of 50,000 subscribers. (Last quarter, those numbers were 36 percent and 289,000.)
"Assuming organic growth exceeds 20 percent, we believe that the risk/reward scenario will lead to positive returns for investors," Close said.
HealthStream (Ticker: HSTM) was up slightly to $24.23 in the first hour of trading Wednesday. Close has a price target of $33.50.
State lawmakers on Monday sent to Gov. Bill Haslam a bill that will hit with damages and costs entities filing bad-faith patent infringement cases — so called "patent trolls" — against Tennessee companies. A trio of Bass Berry & Sims attorneys has some insights on the legislation.
Under the bill, intended recipients of communications that meet any of these requirements may file suit in any Tennessee circuit or chancery court. Those who prevail shall be awarded litigation costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, and may be awarded actual damages as well as punitive damages equal to three times the amount of actual damages. In addition, the office of the attorney general is empowered to enforce the bill through its investigative and prosecutorial authority.
The organizers of the Bonnaroo festival also are again organizing Hackeroo, a local hackathon where participants will build apps, services and technology that serve live events, in conjunction with sponsor Emma. The hackathon will take place at Emma's Bistro on Rolling Mill Hill on May 10 and 11. The winner will receive VIP access to Bonnaroo, where the winning product will be marketed to the festival's audience of 80,000 and to the Southland technology and entrepreneurship conference being held in Nashville just prior.
Travis Laurendine, who started Hackeroo last year, will once again host and mentor developers throughout Hackeroo. Also participating in Hackeroo will be Sarah Lacy, founder and CEO of PandoDaily, which is co-producing Southland with Launch Tennessee.
"Last year, we were empowered by Bonnaroo to test the concept of a hackathon that takes the technology developed and integrates it into the festival," Laurendine said. "Now, with the backing of Southland in addition to Bonnaroo producers Superfly and AC Entertainment, we are going to scale this event into the premier yearly music hackathon in Music City USA."
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Developers of the Nashville-based personal health management app Healthspek have been invited to pitch their product at AARP's national expo in May.
The expo, to be held in Boston, will showcase 10 startups in the "50 and over" health technology market, with access to consumers, venture capitalists and other investors. Healthspek is a free iPad tool that safely tracks, collects and disseminates personal health care information.
"Today's health care environment is putting the power back in the hands of the people, and we see that as very positive," Randy Farr, Healthspek CEO, said in a release. "Consumers now have an opportunity to manage their own care, working with their doctors to streamline the flow of information. The benefits in cost reduction, efficiency, disease prevention and peace of mind are significant, and we believe we're just scratching the surface of how this technology could revolutionize American health care."
A provider of legal discovery services headquartered in Kansas City has opened an office in downtown's Fifth Third Center. The outpost is the 12th for the seven-year-old company and is being overseen by Zeke Alicea, who is based in South Florida.
"We have experienced tremendous growth in this market and are excited to offer increased local service to firms with growing amounts of complex litigation," said the president of Iris, Major Baisden. "Real, comprehensive consultative services and support are requirements of electronic discovery. This office makes it easier for our clients to centralize all aspects of discovery so they can focus on delivering higher value to their clients."