On the heels of setting up shop in the downtown tower formerly known as the Regions Center, global bank UBS has committed to be the presenting sponsor of Launch Tennessee’s The TENN master accelerator program for the next two years. The investment has a value of $150,000.
“We are thrilled to partner with UBS for the second and third cohorts of The TENN,” said Charlie Brock, Launch Tennessee CEO. “UBS has a long history of helping Tennessee’s economy grow, including its recent commitment to creating 1,000 news jobs at the company’s Business Solutions Center in Nashville. They are a perfect partner for Launch Tennessee and we look forward to working with them in building on The TENN’s inaugural year successes.”
The TENN gathers a group of promising startups from the state’s nine accelerator programs and exposes them to investors and entrepreneurs around the state (via a bus tour) and elsewhere. (Check out more info here.) The Launch Tennessee team will begin accepting applications for the second cohort in late August.
"We are excited to partner with a first-class organization like Launch Tennessee in support of their incredibly innovative The TENN program," said Lori Feinsilver, head of community affairs and corporate responsibility for the Americas at UBS. "We look forward to supporting and working with early-stage ventures from across the state, as they grow their businesses and create jobs in local communities."
Leaders of the United Auto Workers say they plan to launch a local union for workers at Volkswagen's factory in Chattanooga, where it lost an organizing vote earlier this year. VW officials say there has been no formal agreement between the company and the union, which both have said they want to work more closely via a works council in Chattanooga.
From the Wall Street Journal's story on the UAW's plans:
The strategy raises questions about the long-term potential of a local union office that initially serves as a works council without bargaining rights. In theory, if that office grew large enough, management could recognize it as a bargaining unit for the purpose of contract negotiations, and any deal reached would apply to other workers, whether or not they were in the union.
Union officials have scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. today.
The state's Department of Human Services has laid off more than 120 people in its Family Assistance division, which has seen a drop in the number of people using some of its main programs. Chris Bundgaard at News2 has more info on the layoffs and the prospects for more cuts in the near future.
Healthbox, the industry-specific startup incubator, is aiming to build on its inaugural year in Nashville by growing its pool of companies. The Healthbox team worked with seven companies last fall and Senior Manager Chris Sherrill is targeting 10 this time around by casting a wider regional net. Ben McIntyre at SouthernAlpha has more details.
A push by the Tennessee Department of Labor to stop construction companies ducking their workers' compensation and unemployment insurance obligations has resulted in a $300,000 fine. Blake Farmer has the details and how the state will beef up its enforcement efforts going forward.
Matthew Paul Turner at The Daily Beast has written a captivating and pretty damning piece on the lengths financial planning guru Dave Ramsey will go to to snuf out chatter about him and his Cool Springs-based Lampo Group. The narrative includes a secret Facebook group of former Lampo employees, Twitter callouts, meetings at Bosco's accompanied by pastors and rewards for those willing to give up info. Check it all out here.
The public criticism enraged Ramsey, who, according to one current employee, went on a “warpath” to expose the Twitter critics. During an all-staff meeting on May 7 that was described by several current employees, Ramsey offered thousands of dollars in bounties in exchange for the identities of the tweeters. (Employees’ accounts differed on the dollar figure, but ranged from $5,000 to $20,000). Ramsey was especially intent on identifying the tweeter behind @LampoLeadership, a parody account that had begun tweeting about the inner workings of Lampo, suggesting it was run by someone inside the company.
Gov. Bill Haslam hopes to give the hint to state lawmakers that they should reconsider revising the payment terms between those who own restaurants, bars and hotels and the wholesalers that sell them liquor.
Haslam told reporters after a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony Friday he would let HB2027/SB2415 into law without his signature, adding the matter didn't rise to the importance of a veto but he wanted to send a message.
“To me, that’s an issue between two different classes of business and I’m just not certain we need to be in the position of dictating what the terms should be between those businesses, so I would love for the legislature to reconsider that,” he said. “In my opinion, that’s better off to let those businesses decide.”
The Nashville Post reported Thursday the governor was on the receiving end of pressure from small business groups to veto the legislation, but that he would let the bill go into law without his endorsement.
Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Career Partners International announced the addition of two new offices in Nashville and Franklin. The new offices expand Career Partners' footprint to more than 220 offices in 48 countries. The company provides career transition, management and outplacement services.
"Our clients benefit the most from our continued strategic expansion," David Hemmer, president and CEO of Career Partners, said in a release. "We are committed to brining them the most accessible and respected resources to help with their most challenging talent management issues."