The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation's Venture Showcase competition, held May 5-6 in Nashville, proved lucrative for the business development award winners, including one Nashville-based venture.
Memphis-based Greene Turbine won the top award of $25,000 for business development. The company has designed a novel engine turbine that can produce electricity while submerged in rivers or oceanic streams.
Other first-stage winners, each receiving $10,000 business development awards, were:
• Work For Pie, a Memphis-based company that allows software developers and technical content producers to create an online showcase of their skills and work;
• How’s the Living, a Knoxville-based company that operates the website howstheliving.com, which provides an online community for college students; and
• Care Technology Systems, a Nashville-based company that provides a cost-effective solution to remotely monitor the well-being of the elderly or disabled people living independently.
The Tennessean this weekend reported on the TNInvestco program, pointing out how the program for funding early-stage companies has plugged money into more than a few businesses that have been operating for years and that it has created few jobs thus far. The story appears not long before Governor Haslam receives a report on the program's progress.
Vic Gatto tells Jeff Cornwall at Belmont about the first-year successes for Jumpstart Foundry, an angel capital fund that comes with mentoring and other support services. One of the keys, Gatto says, is not to rush in too fast.
Last year we ran at a rate of 1 per month as we built the infrastructure. This year we will have a cohort of 6 over 14 weeks in the summer. This may grow to 8 or 10, but we believe that quality trumps volume. We will build Nashville one small group at a time over the next 5-10 years. There is no shortcut that can maintain quality.
Note: Gatto also is a partner at Solidus, one of the main investors in SouthComm, the parent of the Nashville Post.
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