NewsBits, May 11, 2011
By Milt Capps updated 3:10 p.m.
► Louisville-based Chrysalis Ventures has added healthcare services and technology VC Roy Ziegler, previously with Health Evolution Partners, the private equity firm founded by former federal health IT czar David Brailer; as well as First Consulting Group, Accenture and Partech. Ziegler will be based in San Francisco.
► HCA announced mid-morning today it has branded its new business unit Parallon Business Solutions, and it will provide revenue cycle and other business processes, workforce management solutions, supply chain services and access to HealthTrust Purchasing Group economies, under leadership of HCA veteran Beverly Wallace, as president.
► Greene Turbine, How's the Living, WorkForPie and Care Technology Systems took home a total $65,000 ($35K to first-place Greene Turbine) from last week's Tennessee NEXT Conference venture showcase, convened by Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. Release here and companies' backgrounds here.
►The Amazon.com thing gets more interesting. Spotted at random: Startup Friendfinder added Tennessee's debate over sales tax for online transactions to its list of business risks (SEC filing). Yesterday, the KNS' Tom Humphrey reports, legislators postponed a vote on the issue. Some TN legislators complain about incentives given Amazon.com to settle facilities in the Chattanooga area. Now, Amazon wants to ship us more jobs, if the state's earlier commitments hold. Gov. Haslam told Nashville Public Radio the matter's still under review.
►Investor Days: The 2011 JumpStart Foundry crop of companies pitches to investors August 25, while Memphis Seed Hatchery hatchlings bow June 2.
► State ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty says in a CA column he's begun engaging with businesses that are candidates to relocate to Tennessee, and he told VNC that ECD Asst. Commissioner-Business Development Kingsley Brock is point man for that effort. Hagerty said in his column that Tennessee can recruit new business while putting priority on existing in-state business.
► Innovation Valley (IV) - Knoxville Mayor Tim Burchett says he's considering cutting funding for the IV economic-development organization, citing austerity and inadequate evidence of value added. The IV defends its contributions, in the KNS story. The mayor says Tennessee having no state income tax was among reasons industry has relocated to the region.
Nutraceutical Discoveries, which is moving to Middle Tennessee from Knoxville, is focused on "mammalian metabolic health" and is researching opportunities to commercialize its compounds for animal and-or human health. The company is preparing to develop "products with anti-obesity and metabolic health properties" according to its website and has named Doug Grindstaff II, 46, its new president and CEO, succeeding Curtis Jones. Grindstaff previously led a strategic growth initiative for Sylvan Learning and spent seven years as VP-marketing and president of the Invisible Fence unit of Radio Systems Corp. (PetSafe). He was also president and CEO of consumer pesticides marketer Bioganic Safety Brands. He earned an engineering degree at Purdue University. Grindstaff's father is a former CEO of Genesco and of pesticides-maker EcoSmart Technologies, the latter a 12-year-old firm that has attracted capital from at least eight VC's, according to information online.
► Tech resource: VU School of Engineering's Engineering Management Program offers marketing and system design and reengineering help from students led by John Bers, Ph.D. For details, visit here.
► Bradley Arant Boult Cummings' Mark Bledsoe, a partner, has brought his intellectual-property portfolio to Nashville from the firm's Huntsville office. High-profile IP/tech attorney Chris Sloan left Bradley Arant two months ago for the Nashville office of Baker Donelson, reported here.
► Awards: Nine business luminaries were honored during last week's Pinnacle Awards in Knoxville, including under-40 "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" Brian Winter, owner of the Pyxl interactive agency. Other winners included ORNL and oft-touted TrakLok and Sword and Shield. The KNS reports.
► CentreSource, the Nashville interactive agency led by Nicholas Holland, has snapped-up Marc Krejci, an early advocate for advancing Nashville's techie community. Krejci is now a CentreSource strategic consultant. CentreSource's Holland has for several months been reviewing strategic options, including the option of selling.
► Tennessee Clean Fuels - West: Memphis-based BioDimensions is piloting production of biofuel from sugar beets, with ecosystem support from Memphis BioWorks. The CA reports. East: The UT-allied East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCFC), founded in 2002, is very busy, it seems. They're tied into the UT-Knoxville Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE), and apparently allied with Genera, ECOtality and others.
► Complete Holdings Group, parent of workers' compensation revenue recovery startup EnableComp, announced Thursday it has raised an unspecified amount of A-round capital from Memphis-based SSM Partners, plus friends and family. CHG's CEO is Jim Lackey, who remains chairman of Passport Health Communications. CHG's founder and Chairman is David Iskowe.
► Howard McLure, former president of CVS/Caremark, is transitioning to takeover the helm of Change Healthcare as CEO, succeeding Chris Parks, who'll lead the company's tech and strategic-partner development.
Memphis-based TECWorks explains "liquidation preference," which motivates management and provides some risk-mitigation for VC's. Right here. TECWorks also maintains an online map of Memphis tech startups here. ED Jan Bouten leads TECworks.
Foundation Instruments, the Collierville water-testing tech startup, won a half-million in "virtual" investment in a Kauffman Foundation-spawned FastTrac program in Memphis, the CA reports.
► Chattanooga, already vying for Smartest City honors in a contest to identify America's "Smartest City" from the grid standpoint, is now pushing its wireless mesh network for industry. The meshnet has been developed off EPB's high-speed broadband infrastructure. Also: Recent storms gave EPB reason to push harder for smart grid upgrades, the TFP reports.
► CKx, the parent of Elvis Presley Enterprises since 2005, has been bought by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, with Goldman Sachs financing. The MDN reports.
► Talent Dividend: The Nashville Metropolitan area, plus Knoxville, Memphis and Chattanooga are all eligible to compete for the $1 million Talent Dividend Prize that will go to a region that adds the most newly degreed people in a four year period, culminating with the award in September 2014. The Tennessean reported the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is already in hot pursuit of the prize, which will give the winner added bragging rights in recruiting talent and industry to the region. VNC