The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC), an organization whose mission is to increase the formation and expansion of science and technology businesses in Tennessee, is hosting the 2011 Tennessee NEXT Conference May 5 – 6 in Nashville (the conference was previously known as the Tennessee Innovation Conference and Venture Showcase).

On May 6 from 10:15 – 12:15, a showcase will feature 18 presentations of early stage innovations from Tennessee universities and non-profit research institutions to panels of venture capital investors, business executives and intellectual property experts. Researchers will have 10 minutes to present their technologies and commercialization plans, and panelists will provide feedback on the commercialization strategies, helping to illuminate pathways to investments that could be 18 to 36 months in the future.

UTRF is only allowed to submit a total of six (6) proposals from across all campuses and institutes so an internal competition will be held to select the technologies. To aid UTRF in its deliberations, please send us a ½ page abstract by midnight on Sunday, Sunday, March 27. Following are the guidelines for the content:

1. Technologies should be tied to an invention disclosure on file with UTRF.
2. Technologies must fall within one of the following categories:
a. Healthcare & Life Sciences
b. Technology
c. Alternative Energy & Sustainability
3. It should not exceed one-half (1/2) page in length.
4. It should not include confidential information.
5. There are no formatting requirements, but following is information that should be included:
a. Project title
b. Principal Investigator(s)
c. The technology category
d. A description of the problem that is being solved in the market. This should include a discussion on who is the customer, and what “pain” they are experiencing with current solutions.
e. A non-confidential description of your solution, keeping technical details to a minimum. This should be described in everyday language — the panelists may or may not have in-depth technical knowledge.
f. A description of how your solution solves the problem better than existing solutions, again, written in everyday language.

The submission should be sent via email to joy.fisher@utk.edu no later than midnight on Sunday, March 27, 2011.

Winners of the internal competition will be notified by close of business on Thursday, March 31, 2011. Guidelines for the conference presentations will be provided at that time. Hotel accommodations for Thursday night will be provided free of charge for the presenters, and presenters will not be charged for attending on May 6 (there will be a charge for attending on May 5). TTDC is currently investigating funding for potential reimbursement of travel expenses.

You can learn more about the conference at www.tntechnology.org/conference.

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