"Welcome to Friday. In preparation for takeoff, please ensure all negative attitudes are properly stowed." Anonymous
- A sweet deal from Tulsa.
- A wad of tech jobs comes to Nashville
- Potential remedies for head trauma and Alzheimer's
- A look at kids' brain development
- Funding and deals
- New startups: from baby health to robots delivering grub
- Name that Flyover City!
January 24, 2020
Livin' on Tulsa Time … and earnin' $10K
$10,000 could be yours if you meet certain qualifications—and move to Tulsa for a year.
Here’s the deal:
Tulsa, like several other cities around the country, wants to attract “diverse, bright and driven individuals” to become a part of the community and reinvigorate the region. And what better way to attract those individuals than by offering money? But there’s a plot twist: You need to bring your job with you.
As the number of remote workers continues to skyrocket, the need to be tied to a particular location has all but disappeared. That trend has opened the door to so-called relocation incentives, such as Tulsa Remote. When the program launched last year, it received 10,000+ applications. From that pool, nearly 100 applicants were selected—and this year, the number is being bumped up to between 250 and 300.
To qualify for the program, you have to be at least 18, eligible to work in the US, and able to move to Tulsa within six months of acceptance. You also must have a full-time remote job or be self-employed outside Oklahoma.
What’s in it for you? A year’s membership at a local co-working space, assistance in finding housing, community-building opportunities, and oh yeah, money: $2,500 for relocation costs, a $500 per month stipend, and $1,500 when the program ends.
165 new tech jobs come to Nashville
More tech jobs are coming to Music City. Accenture, an Ireland-based Fortune Global 500 company specializing in professional services, is the latest company to announce an expansion in Nashville.
Accenture provides consulting, strategy, digital, technology, and operations services to clients in 120 countries worldwide. Although the company incorporated in 2009, it grew out of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm behind UNIVAC, the first commercially used computer at General Electric’s Appliance Park in Louisville, KY, back in the 1950s. A spokeswoman cited Nashville’s strong economy and growing technology community as reasons for the expansion.
Brain scans and kids' language development
What is going on in our brains when we learn to read? What is the difference between how we process written language and spoken language? Are there early interventions that could help struggling readers? These are a few of the questions Vanderbilt University researchers hope to tackle by publicly releasing two large datasets of MRI brain scans.
By sharing the data with researchers worldwide, the Vandy neuroscientists hope to advance the study of childhood reading and language development. The datasets include more than 3,000 MRI brain scans of school-age children.
The scans explore what’s going on in the brain during rhyming, spelling, and meaning tasks. The goal is to learn how kids process language, both written and spoken, as well as how the brain deals with disorders like dyslexia. The datasets also allow researchers to study how reading develops across childhood.
This new release comes on the heels of last year’s release of scans of school-age children performing math problems. Both datasets are publicly available to everyone.
UofK: Potential remedies for head trauma, Alzheimer's
A University of Kentucky chemistry professor has identified a protein that indicates a minor head injury. The protein can be identified in the blood by a finger stick and could change the way patients are treated in emergency settings. By quickly and non-invasively identifying the protein, emergency workers could better determine how to treat patients with potential head trauma. It could also prevent treatment errors that result when head trauma doesn’t show up on images.
The professor, Dr. Mark Lovell, has also developed a molecule that could lead to treatments for Alzheimer’s. The molecule appears to interrupt a pathway that has the potential to slow the process of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s patients. Lovell hopes to bring the molecule to clinical trials in humans.
WESCO, Anixter announce merger
Pittsburgh’s WESCO International, Inc. and Illinois-based Anixter International Inc. have announced a merger agreement. WESCO will acquire Anixter for roughly $4.5B and the transaction should close in Q2 or Q3.
Drive Capital closes on two new funds
Columbus, OH, VC firm Drive Capital has closed on two funds for a total of $6.5M. One is geared toward early startups; the other will invest in later-stage companies.
Recent funding could push Charlotte unicorn to $2B valuation
Fintech company AvidXchange has raised $260M in funding, which experts say could bring its valuation to $2 billion.
Pittsburgh private equity firm closes on billion-dollar fund
Middle-market private equity firm Incline Equity Partners has closed on a $1.165 billion fund, Incline Equity Partners V, LP. According to Pittsburgh Business Times, the firm received capital commitments from both domestic and international investors.
SkySpecs closes on $17M round
Ann Arbor startup SkySpecs, which provides operations and maintenance solutions for the wind farm industry, has closed on $17M in Series C funding.
Robot food delivery: How much do you tip?
Ann Arbor startup Refraction AI has launched a new food delivery service. But not just any service. The company is piloting the REV-1, an autonomous robot that will bring your lunch to you within a 2.5-mile radius delivery zone.
The three-wheeled REV-1, which costs $4,000 to build, is five feet tall and is billed as lightweight (100 pounds), nimble, and speedy enough to operate in bike lanes and on the road—although its maximum speed is 15 MPH, which seems a bit pokey. But hey, it’s a robot. It’s autonomous. And it’s bringing lunch from your favorite restaurant.
The vehicle was created by Refraction founders Matt Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan, who are both engineering professors at the University of Michigan.
Johnson-Roberson says the REV-1 offers the benefits of lowered emissions and fewer traffic issues.
“We’re hoping this will be transformative for the way that we move goods around dense urban areas. We like to reduce congestion. A large amount of traffic is from deliveries … or ride hailing drivers. We want to figure out a way of addressing that to make cities more sustainable and more effective.”
Participating restaurants say the service offers significantly lower fees over conventional food delivery companies, which typically charge as much as 30%. Refraction charges 15%.
Cribs that may reduce the risk of SIDS
A North Carolina startup wants to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The company, Pip & Grow, makes safe sleeping boxes for infants. The Smitten baby boxes are small, portable and designed to be used inside a crib or on the go. And at $45, they’re significantly cheaper than pack-and-play cribs.
Company founders Amber Kroeker, Kate Compton Barr, and Sarah Nau come from public health backgrounds. Kroeker came up with the idea when she worked as a child injury prevention expert at the University of Michigan children’s hospital. In her research, she learned that parents were relying too heavily on bouncy chairs, car seats, or swings for their sleeping infants, so she wanted to devise a safer space. Her product, based on a Finnish design, has taken off. The product is selling, the company won a grant from the NC IDEA Foundation, and a fundraising round is underway.
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
Useless information that is strangely fascinating.
- If you wanted to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, what city would you go to?
- If you prefer vehicles of the two-wheel kind, you can visit the Harley-Davidson Museum in this city.
- This city is home to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Click here for today's answers
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