White House welcomes Nashville entrepreneur Marcus Whitney

Nashville entrepreneur and Jumpstart Foundry President Marcus Whitney visited the White House on Monday as part of the South by South Lawn festival.

The festival highlights ideas and innovation underway across the U.S.

Whitney co-founded social media advertising company Moontoast, now called Spendsetter, and is involved in several technology and entrepreneurship initiatives in Nashville. Most recently, he launched the Unlikely Company, which seeks to help other entrepreneurs build businesses.

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What you need to know about Vanderbilt's new 'Wond'ry'

Say goodbye to the Innovation Center, and hello to the Wond'ry.

What's the Wond'ry, you ask? It's the new brand for Vanderbilt University's Innovation Center, part of the school's effort to foster innovative, entrepreneurial thinking among its students, faculty and stuff.

“Universities, at their very heart, have always served as catalysts of discovery — places where experts from many disciplines converge to learn, to teach and ultimately to create. The Wond’ry at the Innovation Pavilion builds upon that most basic instinct by fostering collaboration across Vanderbilt’s vibrant intellectual tapestry to explore new ways to benefit humanity in measures both small and large,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said in a news release. “The center also represents one of the boldest outcomes to date of Vanderbilt’s Academic Strategic Plan, which was unveiled three years ago as a course charting the university’s future success.”

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October is now Techtober 2016

For the second year in a row, Arkansans will celebrate Techtober in October. This time, however, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has put his stamp of approval on the celebration.

The governor announced that October would be Techtober in 2016 according to a recent press release, “Governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed the month of October as Techtober in Arkansas — an opportunity to attend the many technology and entrepreneurship events passionate Arkansans have created, to celebrate Arkansas’ tech heritage and build the future of innovation and entrepreneurship here in Arkansas.

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Start Here LR launches with event for local entrepreneurs

Start Here Little Rock, an organization composed of various partners from the city, held the organization’s kickoff event in late August with more than 100 people attending the event at Ron Robinson theater. The event was originally scheduled to be hosted by the Clinton School, but the event was moved to Robinson theater due to interest and to accommodate more people.

The organization is a pilot program of the national Start Here Initiative. The mission is to engage minorities and women in the Central Arkansas area in accessing resources and training for entrepreneurship.

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St. Louis is the New Startup Frontier

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In 2013, when I was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, I flew to St. Louis to learn about the city’s budding startup scene. The city, like the rest of the U.S., was stuck in a decades-long entrepreneurial slump that had left its economy dependent on a handful of big, staid corporations — corporations that were pulling up stakes to head overseas at a rate that alarmed local leaders. (The city’s iconic brewer, Anheuser-Busch, had been sold to a Belgian conglomerate five years earlier.) But an informal coalition of local business leaders, wealthy investors and ambitious 20-somethings were trying to spark an entrepreneurial revival in the Arch City. They had launched a fund to invest in local ventures, created entrepreneurship clubs at local universities, and converted part of a massive downtown office building into an unlikely startup hub.

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