Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
For the ninth year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business, according to Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best & Worst States Survey, released today. Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana also made the top five.
The results may alleviate some fears in North Carolina, where other such evaluations have not placed the state as high as in previous years.
The states rated worst for business are California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
It’s interesting that states with powerhouse venture capital sources and nation-leading business sectors such as California, Massachusetts, and New York top the list of worst states for business in these polls time after time. Makes you wonder just what these business-friendly state rankings really mean.
|Best 5 States for Business
|Worst 5 States for Business
The Best & Worst States Survey measures the sentiments of CEOs on a range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure. For the 2013 survey, 736 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states between Jan. 16 and Feb. 14, 2013.
Ohio was the biggest gainer in this year’s survey, rising 13 spots from #35 to #22. “Ohio is doing some amazing things to attract and support a pro-business environment,” said Don Taylor , CEO of Fairlawn, Ohio-based Welty Building Company. The biggest loser was Delaware, which dropped 13 spots to #27.
California hostile to business?
CEOs say California’s poor ranking is the result of a perceived hostility to business, high state taxes and onerous regulations, all of which drive investment, companies and jobs to other states. According to the California Manufacturers & Technology Association,California accounts for 12.6% of total U.S. GDP, but only has a 2.2% share of investments in new and expanding manufacturing sites.
“When you investigate acquiring businesses in some of the states rated poorly for business conditions, the anecdotes all wind up being true,” said Kevin Hawkesworth , President & CEO of Florida-based Shaw Development. “The horror stories about these states are real.”
“California, Illinois and New York are simply awful states to operate facilities or employ people,” according to another CEO. “We will do almost anything possible to minimize our exposure to these anti-business environments.”
Piles of regulations a problem
“Thank you, California!” responded one Texas-based CEO facetiously. “Keep applying pressure on your job creators and we will keep welcoming their moves to Texas.”
A common theme among CEOs is the burden of constantly changing regulations. “Business is too hard without dealing with piles of regulations that are constantly changing,” said Rick Waechter , CEO of Boston Magazine. “I believe there have to be controls, but keep them simple and straightforward—and most importantly, don’t make it a moving target.”
“CEOs continue to tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas Governor Rick Perry , by contrast, personally makes it his mission to lead corporate recruitment and economic development efforts in his state,” saidJ.P. Donlon , Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net.
Playbook for success
“The playbook for successful states boils down to three simple moves: engage in real dialogue with business leaders, adapt policies to create an attractive environment, and effectively communicate your story to real job creators,” said Marshall Cooper , CEO of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “This year’s rankings prove that smart policies result in increased investments, jobs and greater overall economic activity.”
|2013 Biggest Gainers
|2013 Biggest Losers
For complete results, including individual state rankings on multiple criteria, CEO comments, methodology and more, please visitChiefExecutive.net.
Friday, January 25th, 2013
State and local governments waste billions of dollars annually on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on creating truly new positions, according to a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.
“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country,” said Greg LeRoy , executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report.
“The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.”
Interstate job piracy is not a fruitful strategy for economic growth, LeRoy noted: “The costs are high and the benefits low, given that a tiny number of companies get huge subsidies for moving a small number of jobs.” LeRoy added: “Moreover, the availability of relocation subsidies allows companies that have no intention of moving to extract payoffs to stay put.”
Interstate relocations have microscopic job effects
Summarizing studies demonstrating that interstate relocations have microscopic job effects, the report also reviews the history of economic competition among the states and presents eight case studies of those areas where job piracy is most pronounced.
The case studies cover metropolitan areas such as Kansas City, Charlotte, New York and Memphis, where companies get subsidized to move short distances across state borders; states such as Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island that are aggressive users of relocation subsidies; and states such as Illinois and Ohio, which have given big retention or “job blackmail” packages.
The report recommends that states stop subsidizing companies for relocating jobs from other states, noting that four-fifths of the states already refuse to pay for intrastate job relocations.
The report also recommends that states end their business recruitment activities that are explicitly designed to pirate existing jobs from other states. It also suggests a modest role for the federal government: reserving a small portion of its economic development aid for those states that amend their incentive codes to make existing jobs ineligible for subsidies.
The report, entitled The Job-Creation Shell Game, is available at www.goodjobsfirst.org/shellgame.
Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Charlotte, NC – An easy and fast way to send video mail messages proved to be best in show at the 10th Annual Five Ventures Business Innovation Competition held at the University of North Carolina- Charlotte. The event is held in conjunction with the Charlotte Research Institute, the Ben Craig Center and the Office of Technology Transfer.
“Charlotte-based mailVU is an impressive company. They were selected by an experienced judging panel as the grand prize winner of our business innovation competition,” said Devin A. Collins, assistant director, Business and Entrepreneurial Development for UNCC’s Charlotte Research Institute.
“They also won the People’s Choice Award as voted by the audience, which is equally impressive and speaks to the future commercialization of their product. When investors give a thumbs up and consumers give a thumbs up you know you have something.”
Five Ventures offers opportunities for selected companies to receive assistance with their business plans and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs through a series of workshops held over several weeks.
Contest attracted entries from four Southeast states
“Five Ventures provides an outstanding way for Charlotte entrepreneurs to fine tune their business plans and to gain experience in presentations,” said mailVU CEO Alan Fitzpatrick. “The workshops in particular were great opportunities to hone our pitch and improve our plan.”
The annual contest attracted start-up applicants from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, attracting innovators in a variety of industries including automotive, biotech, business services, consumer marketing, renewable energy, and software as a service.
“The traction mailVU has gained in the market place with little to no marketing has been impressive,” said Paul Solitario, Managing Partner at Cerium Capital in Charlotte. Solitario served as a judge at this year’s competition.
“It’s been impressive how web users have embraced the technology and it’s impressive that there are paying clients asking them to accelerate their development.”
TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com
Monday, March 21st, 2011
NASHVILLE, TN – Eight startups have won Tennessee Technology Development proof-of-concept grants of $50,000 each.
The companies include 4D Medical Systems, Oak Ridge; Foundation Instruments, Collierville; LED North America; Nutraceutical Discoveries; Phenotype Screening Corp.,Nashiville; The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (2 grants); Venture Incite and Y12 National Security Complex.
For background information on the companies see: Company descriptions.
Founders of the winning firms told Milt Capps of Venture Nashville the grants will help them achieve a number of goals, from refining their software to achieving scale.
TTDC President Leslie Wisner Lynch told Capps the grants also increase the chances of the winning firms receiving future venture capital.
Applicants for the grants must be affiliated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Tennessee Board of Regents, the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, the University of Tennessee System, Vanderbilt University and-or the Y-12 National Security Research Complex.
Friday, April 16th, 2010
NASHVILLE, TN – OnFocus Healthcare, a company selling Web-based enterprise performance management software for healthcare services, has raised a $3 million funding led by Clayton Associates. Other investors include Limestone Fund, Tri-Star Technology Fund, NCN Angel Fund, Solidus Co., Kestrel Asset Management and Heritage Group Holdings.
Solidus led the company’s Series A round, which also included Kestrel and Heritage.
A portion of the latest round of funding came from the Tennessee Small Business Company Investment Credit Act (TNInvestco), which was created last year to fund innovative Tennessee companies. Limestone and Tri-Star are two of the venture funds selected to participate in the program.
The company will use the financing to support ongoing sales and marketing of its onFocus|epm or “Enterprise Performance Management” or EPM software. Executive teams in hospitals and other healthcare settings use the software to ensure accountability and consistently achieve critical business objectives across the organization.
The company says the software allows healthcare leaders to integrate business intelligence data from any source with strategic goals, action plans, progress tracking and management accountability.
“OnFocus has created a unique platform that supports a healthcare organization’s ability to quickly and effectively execute and adjust strategy and operational plans based on real-time information,” said Matt King, managing partner at Clayton Associates.
The company is headquartered in Brentwood, TN. The company spells onFocus with a small “o.”
Friday, April 9th, 2010
FRANKLIN, TN – MyOutdoorTV.com, a site providing videos about hunting, fishing and shooting, has hooked nearly $1.3 million in equity, according to a regulatory filing.
The company serves up hundreds of well known outdoor television shows including Bill Dance Outdoors, Hank Parker Outdoors, Fishing with Roland Martin, Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal, Larry Csonka’s North to Alaska and Jimmy Houston Outdoors on demand.
The site provides tips on such things as how to handle a hunting dog who is also a home pet, offers a knot library, fishing and hunting tips, and news about those activities.
Considering that the last time we tied any knots, we were 16 and in the Boy Scouts, a knot library sounds like a good idea. We wonder if any of the site’s users actually access it from wilderness areas?
The company disclosed its equity raise in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It cites 13 investors in the round.
It also provides a free online newsletter.
It appears to be primarily advertising supported.
Monday, March 29th, 2010
KNOXVILLE, TN – Provetcus Pharmaceuticals (OTC BB: PVCT) has raised $8 million of a projected $10 million mixed securities private placement. The company is developing small molecule drugs that selectively target cancer cells and has ongoing clinical trials of treatments for metastatic melanoma, recurrent breast cancer and severe psoriasis.
Peter Culpepper, the Company’s CFO and COO said in a statement at the close of the first $7.5 million of the investment March 10 that ” We believe we have now raised enough capital to fully finance existing clinical trials through to completion, and do not anticipate the need for any further capital in order to bring our existing metastatic melanoma therapy to completion of clinical trials.”
We think the company has one of the more unique treatments for cancer currently in the pipelines of drug development companies. It may prove useful, the company notes, as a weapon against many forms of cancer.
Finding treatments that target cancer cells directly, thus avoiding the side effects such as nausea and hair loss that accompany many of the chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments, is one of the “Holy Grails” of oncology research.
Provectus’ PV-10 is based on a proprietary injectable formulation of Rose Bengal, a compound that has been used for nearly fifty years by ophthalmologists and optometrists to assess damage to the eye, and has also been used to detect ailments of the liver.
Provectus has discovered a novel use for Rose Bengal based on the observation that it is selectively toxic to cancer cells via a process called chemoablation whereby cells undergo a form of cell death.
It’s PH 10 treatment for psoriasis is also based on the Rose Bengal formulation although in a less concentrated topical formulation.
The company says its has also developed groundbreaking biotechnologies to augment vaccine production and detect viruses (including an innovative “virus hunter” method); preparing to spinout the subsidiary that contains its over-the-counter skin care products; and seeks to license patented technologies for therapeutic and cosmetic medical devices.
By Allan Maurer
Friday, March 19th, 2010
By Allan Maurer
OAK RIDGE, TN – Meritus Ventures is the only venture capital firm between Cincinnati and Atlanta and between the NC Research Triangle and Nashville, says Grady Vanderhoofven, a partner and fund manager with Meritus. “It’s a big, wide open, tech rich area in a capital starved region,” he says.
Meritus is a Rural Business Investment Company established in 2006 in response to the creation of the Rural Business Investment Program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Meritus is a $36.5 million fund that invests from $250,000 to $2.5 million in rural areas of central and Western Appalachia. “One million is the sweet spot for a first bite for us,” says Vanderhoofven, “and we might invest $2.5 million over time.”
The competitive advantage of tech
The fund’s roster of investors includes a number of banks and several private financial institutions, including member institutions of the Farm Credit System, several large foundations, a number of high net worth individuals, and regional stakeholders such as the University of Kentucky, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. In addition, the fund is partially capitalized via the sale of debentures guaranteed by USDA.
“We’re generalists and we’ll look at most things except life sciences,” says Vanderhoofven. “We like technology and the competitive advantage technology can provide,” he adds. So the firm looks at firms in IT, software, medical devices, diagnostic tools, and semiconductors.
Working in a captial-starved region has its advantages. “We don’t have to fight over deals,” says Vanderhoofven. “We just look and sift.”
The fund’s portfolio companies include Greenville, SC-based Zipit Wirelss, which develops and makes wireless communication and entertainment devices that allow consumers to access the Internet; SinglePipe a facilities-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider that delivers residential and business services to the wholesale and channel markets; Kentucky-based Wazoo sports.com; and Oak Ridge-based Aldis, which focuses on the transportation logistics and advanced infrastructure management markets.
Oak Ridge Labs getting huge funding
Vanderhoofven tell us he previously worked at Oak Ridge National Labs, first as a materials engineer, then in its tech transfer office. “That’s what led me into this,” he says. “I became enamored of spinning out Oak Ridge Lab technology.”
But, he says, companies would spin out, then go where they found a source of capital, landing in Austin or San Diego or Long Island.
“So this is an effort to establish a local source of venture capital with the idea that we can capitalize on some of the technical resources in the region.”
He points out that there is a “huge amount of money flowing into Oak Ridge National Labs right now. They’re receiving something like a billion dollars from the stimulus package and building new one-of-a-kind facilities. You wouldn’t recognize it from five years ago.”
But Oak Ridge isn’t the region’s only source of technology expertise. There is also the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, the Army Missile Command at Huntsville, Alabama, and more.
Fund shifted from early to expansion stage firms
Vanderhoofven says Meritus “plays will with others” and prefers to co-invest and isn’t opposed to deals that include angel investors.
“Historically we have been early stage investors, but in the last year or so we migrated toward more expansion stage investing.”
Early stage investing, he says, “Is a riskier proposition than it was five years ago, so we migrated to the expansion stage where some of the risk is taken out.”
That follows a trend we have seen from venture capitalists generally in the last several years.
Over time, however, Vanderhoofven says Meritus may “Swing back to earlier stage investments.”
For those entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina lo0king for funding, here’s a tip: “We’d like to do a deal in Western NC, but just haven’t found the right one yet,” says Vanderhoofven.
Monday, February 1st, 2010
VONORE, TN – One of the world’s first cellulosic ethanol demonstration plants has opened near Vonore, Tennessee.
Ethanol made from cellulosic stocks such as switchgrass and corn cobs is one of the leading goals in providing clean, alternative energy sources.
We’ve seen research and development efforts on cellulosic ethanol underway in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
This $50 million facility is expected to have an output of 250,000 gallons of ethanol annually and serve as a testing ground for new technologies that can be used in larger scale production.
A partnership of DuPont Danisco Celllulosic Ethanol and the University of Tennessee, the 74,000-square-foot plant has already started producing ethanol from corncobs and switchgrass.
For more information, visit www.knoxvilleoakridge.com
Friday, January 29th, 2010
OAK RIDGE, TN – A therapy that could restore both mass and function to damaged hearts and other muscles is a step closer to development. Batelle Ventures, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory contractor, has licensed patents on inventions based on the Nell-1 gene to NellOne Therapeutics,Inc., a company spun out of research performed at the Department of Energy laboratory.
The protein therapy treatment under development takes advantage of the Nell-1 gene’s cell-signaling pathway that controls tissue growth and maturation in mammalian organs.
It is based on research by Oak Ridge researcher Dr. Cymbeline Culiat, who is leading NellOne’s research efforts to translate the Nell-1 pathway discoveries into a therapy that restores both mass and function to damaged human tissues, such as heart and skeletal muscle.
Currently, there are no highly effective, permanent treatments for the restoration of heart muscle cells and function due to damage from heart attack.
If successful, the protein therapy could improve the lives of victims of heart attacks and severe muscle wounds. Other therapies, such as stem-cell treatments, have succeeded in triggering tissue formation but fall short in restoring the actual function of the tissue.
Battelle Ventures and its Knoxville-based affiliate fund, Innovation Valley Partners created NellOne as a “virtual company” with a $1.5 million seed investment in 2008.