VOL. 131 | NO. 102 | Monday, May 23, 2016
Start Co. Expands Downtown Footprint
The venture development organization Start Co. is expanding its footprint.
The organization will now encompass the sixth floor of 88 Union Ave., increasing its current footprint by 50 percent to more than 13,000 square feet. The additional 4,500 square feet on the sixth floor will house Start Co. operations and offices for staff as well as startups, allotting the Start Lab significantly more space on the second floor for growing accelerator operations.
High-speed fiber will also be installed throughout the offices.
The space on the second and sixth floors will give startups dedicated co-working facilities so they can focus resources on other things before making a commitment to a long-term commercial lease.
The hub of activity, community meeting and educational space called The Start Lab is serving as the headquarters for the Summer of Acceleration, which kicked off May 2 with joint programming for 18 accelerator teams from Start Co., Start MMT, ZeroTo510 and EPIcenter.
There the startups receive business development and strategy workshops, educational seminars, trainings, networking, office hours and more. The space also contains breakout areas, including conference rooms, a digital living room, other meeting spaces, and an outdoor patio for events and networking opportunities.
– Andy Meek
Grizzlies’ Drew Graham Selected Trainer of the Year
The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) has named Memphis Grizzlies head athletic trainer and vice president of player care Drew Graham as its 2015-16 Joe O’Toole Athletic Trainer of the Year.
The award is chosen each year for exemplary achievement or outstanding service to the NBATA.
Graham, who recently concluded his 10th season as the Grizzlies’ head athletic trainer, has been on the executive committee and foundation committee for the last four years.
This was an especially challenging season for Graham as the team was beset by injuries and set an NBA record by using 28 different players.
Graham joined the Grizzlies in 2006 after working the previous six seasons (2000-06) as an assistant athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach with the New Jersey Nets. In addition to his NBA experience, Graham served three years (1997-2000) as the director of athletic training at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and three years (1994-97) as an athletic trainer for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. Before beginning his career in professional sports, Graham worked for four years at Ohio State as an athletic trainer for men’s hockey (1994-95), football (1993-94) and baseball (1992-93).
The award is named for Joe O’Toole, the long-time former head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Hawks who is regarded as the father of the NBATA.
– Don Wade
Journey, Doobie Brothers Playing FedExForum May 25
Journey and the Doobie Brothers will bring the “San Francisco Fest 2016” tour to FedExForum on Wednesday, May 25, bringing together two of the iconic groups that helped define the “San Francisco Sound.” The show, produced by Beaver Productions, includes special guest Dave Mason.
New lower-level seats have been released and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or the FedExForum box office.
Journey founding members Neal Schon and Ross Valory, and longtime members Jonathan Cain and Arnel Pineda, are welcoming virtuoso drummer Steve Smith back into the band, marking the first time he will perform with them since 1998.
The Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and John McFee, meanwhile, are adding Little Feat co-founder Bill Payne on the 2016 tour. Payne performed on many of the Doobie Brothers’ studio albums.
– Don Wade
Paragon Bank Reports Another Record Quarter
For Paragon Bank, the first quarter of 2016 was the most profitable in the bank’s more-than-10-year history.
Total revenue increased to $4.2 million, up from the bank’s previous record of $3.5 million during the fourth quarter. Revenue is also up 40.7 percent from the first quarter of 2015.
The bank says the improvement in earnings was due in large part to increased loan volume, income from the Paragon Small Business Capital Group and interest recovered on a previously charged-off loan.
In addition to a stronger-than-budgeted revenue for the first quarter of 2016, the Small Business Capital Group continued to have an increased number of loan approvals from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Furthermore, the bank says the group’s recent Preferred Lenders Program status from the SBA will expedite loan approval and continue improving customer service.
During the first quarter, Paragon also started a specialty lending division, which makes short-term build-out loans to franchises, through which the borrower has a commitment for permanent SBA financing from another lender.
Other highlights from the first quarter include net income hitting $418,835, up from a loss of $152,839 during the year-ago quarter. Total deposits increased $13.1 million, or 5.2 percent, during the first quarter of 2016.
– Andy Meek
Lawson Withdraws From NBA Draft; Tigers Get Coppin State Transfer
University of Memphis rising sophomore forward Dedric Lawson has pulled out of the NBA Draft, according to multiple reports, following poor evaluations of his athleticism at the recent NBA Draft Combine.
Lawson, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder as a freshman last season (15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds), did not score so well in agility and other measurements at the Combine.
The following assessment from CBSSports.com was typical: “Lawson put up the worst vertical score, the worst shuttle score and second-worst lane agility score. In the games, Lawson was highly ineffectual, struggling to do anything at even a marginal level.”
Meantime, the Tigers also will be getting a new player in 6-2 guard and graduate transfer Christian Kessee, who played last season at Coppin State and led the team in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game, while making 88 three-pointers and making 39.5 percent of his three-point field goals.
– Don Wade