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VOL. 45 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 3, 2021

Belmont entrepreneur program ranked No. 30

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Belmont University’s Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program has been ranked No. 30 overall on the 16th annual “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship” list.

Belmont was also ranked No. 6 in the Southeast and continues to be the only program in Tennessee to be included in the Top 50 recognized schools.

The list is published by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Belmont provides entrepreneurship students with a comprehensive ecosystem that creates hands-on, experiential learning opportunities and real-time entrepreneurial activities through the on-campus Hatchery and Accelerator, student-run businesses, clinics, speakers, mentorship and advising.

Entrepreneurship majors at Belmont and other students who are interested in starting their own businesses can receive guidance and support from the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides a clear path to equip students through the entire entrepreneurship process and provides robust co-curricular offerings along with an emphasis on experiential learning.

Belmont entrepreneurs represent 724 businesses in 87 cities and six countries. These startups have raised more than $325 million in funding.

Roughly 70% of Belmont alumni businesses are still in business 10 years down the road, indicating the program is preparing students to start and sustain new businesses

The Cone Center is scheduled to hold its third annual Belmont Entrepreneur Awards event Dec. 13, honoring Belmont’s Top 100 alumni founders for their excellence in entrepreneurship and business.

State’s unemployment rate down in October

New data revealed the employment situation continued to improve for a majority of Tennessee’s counties in October 2021, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports.

Unemployment rates decreased in 65 counties during the month and remained the same in 20 counties. Ten counties saw increases.

The employment situation also improved nationally. The United States unemployment rate for October was 4.6%, down 0.2% from the previous month.

Ninety-three Tennessee counties reported October jobless numbers lower than 5%, and two counties had unemployment rates slightly higher than 5%.

Williamson County’s unemployment rate was the lowest of all the counties for the month at 2.2%, a 0.1% decrease compared to September. Moore County had the second-lowest rate at 2.3%, unchanged from the previous month.

Statewide unemployment was lower for the fifth consecutive month in Tennessee. The new seasonally adjusted rate of 4.2% was 0.2% less than September’s revised rate of 4.4%.

Gutterglove to move HQ to Williamson

Gutterglove, Inc. officials confirmed this week that the company’s headquarters will move from Roseville, California, to Franklin.

Gutterglove, a manufacturer of professional grade stainless steel gutter guards, will invest $720,800 and create 20 new jobs in Williamson County.

The relocation follows the company’s previous $5.4 million manufacturing expansion to Rutherford County in December 2020, which created 85 new jobs in La Vergne and positioned Gutterglove to be geographically closer to the majority of its customers.

In the last five years, TNECD has supported 30 economic development projects in Williamson County resulting in nearly 4,200 job commitments and roughly $387 million in capital investment.

Wildfire oral history being offered online

“For future generations, I think it’s really important for them to understand that in times of trouble, people do come together,” says Fran Day of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, recalling the Chimney Tops 2 wildfires that in 2016 ravaged the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding communities.

Her video-recorded comments are part of an oral history project undertaken by the University of Tennessee Libraries in partnership with Gatlinburg and the Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg.

Over the past few years, “Rising from the Ashes: The Chimney Tops 2 Wildfires Oral History Project” collected around 140 audio and video interviews with individuals who experienced the devastating and tragic wildfires. This November marks the fifth anniversary of the wildfires, and the Rising from the Ashes project will soon make those interviews available on the UT Libraries website.

Fourteen people perished in the Chimney Tops 2 fire, more than 200 were injured and thousands were forced to evacuate. More than 17,000 acres were burned, and nearly 2,600 buildings and homes were damaged or destroyed.

Chalkline, betting operator extend deal

Chalkline, with offices in Nashville, has extended its partnership with Hollywoodbets, the leading retail and online sports betting operator in South Africa.

Hollywoodbets also announced a partnership with Premier League side Brentford Football Club before the 2021-22 season.

Chalkline has been powering Hollywoodbets’ award-winning freeplay content for three years. Under the new agreement, the operator will license the provider’s BettorGames platform to launch additional freeplay and real money gaming products, serving Hollywoodbets’ audience in new and existing markets.

Franklin’s UPHE releases ‘Tyson’s Run’

Collide Distribution and Iconic Events are releasing an inspirational film, “Tyson’s Run.’’

Collide is a division of Collide Media Group that specializes in downstreaming home entertainment distribution through UPHE Content Group, based in Franklin.

The film will be released in select movie theaters nationwide March 4.

“Tyson’s Run is a film I felt compelled to make,” says writer and director Kim Bass. “We are using autism as a vehicle to explain that everyone is gifted, everyone is unique, and everyone has to be given an opportunity to flourish and be the best person that he or she can be.”

Bass is an Emmy-nominated writer best known for his work on “In Living Color,” “Sister, Sister” and the Nickelodeon sitcom “Kenan & Kel.”

HCA donates to MTSU Military scholarship

A recent $25,000 donation from HCA Healthcare Inc. and HCA Healthcare Foundation to the MTSU Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center will jump-start the new Avery King Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The establishing of the new scholarship fund will help many service members, veterans, spouses and their families live their best lives, a Daniels Center official said.

Announced by HCA earlier this month, the donation was part of $150,000 the company donated to veteran support organizations. They included REBOOT Recovery, A Soldier’s Child, Operation Stand Down Tennessee and MTSU’s Daniels Center. HCA Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading health care providers.

The late Avery King was a U.S. Air Force veteran who was instrumental in the creation of HCA’s Military Affairs Program for veterans and military spouses.

MTSU’s Daniels Center will begin awarding scholarships from the fund in 2022.

Since 2012, HCA Healthcare has hired more than 40,000 veterans, active-duty personnel and military spouses, and received national recognitions for hiring and benefits offered for veterans and military personnel.

Pharos Capital Group buys hospice provider

Pharos Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Dallas and Nashville, has announced that its post-acute care provider platform Charter Healthcare Group has acquired Silver Linings Hospice Care in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, metropolitan area.

This acquisition marks Charter’s first move into New Mexico and increases its footprint to eight states. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Silver Linings, based in Cedar Crest, New Mexico, provides hospice care to its patients throughout North Central New Mexico. Care is directed by a physician or nurse practitioner and supported by a full interdisciplinary team, including registered nurses, health aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers.

Alto unveils first national TV ads

Nashville-based financial technology company Alto has launched its first national TV campaign in partnership with All-Inclusive TV agency Marketing Architects.

Founded in 2018, Alto rethinks investing’s traditional complexity and barriers-to-entry. Their self-directed IRA platform provides a simpler way for individuals to invest in alternative assets including cryptocurrency, real estate, startups, securitized art, farmland, venture capital and more. The company offers traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs and partners with the most well-known names in the industry.

As the popularity of alternatives like cryptocurrency grows, Alto looks to build their reputation as the obvious choice for these investments. A national TV campaign provided the opportunity to raise brand awareness while attracting new investors in an exploding category.

Nashville International earns pet certification

Franklin’s Mars Petcare has announced the launch of a new Airport Certification1 through its ‘Better Cities for Pets’ program, naming Nashville International Airport as the first to attain the new pet-friendly designation.

The announcement comes in response to a rising demand for pet-friendly travel options, as a recent survey shows 85% of pet parents are likely to travel within the next year and 65% saying they would like to bring their pets along.

Following the company’s recently launched partnership with Hilton’s Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton brands, the new Airport Certification aims to accommodate the growing desire from pet parents to travel with their dogs and cats, and encourage other airports to make the travel experience more welcoming to both people and their pets.

As the first airport to obtain the new pet-friendly designation, Nashville International Airport has prioritized the safety and ease of traveling with pets and service animals, installing a variety of pet-friendly amenities before and after the security checkpoint.

To develop the new certification, Mars Petcare collaborated with the Civic Design Center, a leader in designing public spaces, and American Association of Airport Executives.

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