Innov865 Week is a week-long series of events, taking place September 19-23, 2016, to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. We have partnered with the Innov865 Alliance to bring you stories of innovation born in East Tennessee.
Startup Day’s pitch competition has become a must-see event in Knoxville to get a good idea of the depth and breadth of innovation coming out of the 865 region. And in its fourth year, six new east Tennessee startups have been chosen to take the stage at the U.S. Cellular Stage at The Bijou Theatre in Downtown Knoxville on Thursday, September 22.
“Shining a spotlight on East Tennessee’s most promising startups is so important for the economic growth of our region,” said Tom Rogers, Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORNL is a founding member of the Innov865 Alliance. “The six startups selected to present at Startup Day 2016 represent a continuation of the great tradition of innovation in East Tennessee.”
At stake is $5,000 cash prize from the competition’s title sponsors, Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank. While only one startup can claim such prize, this year’s event structure (or what’s around it) may give all the startups some extra exposure.
Startup Day itself was exciting on its own in the past, but this year’s competition is the signature event that comes at the closing of Innov865 Week, a week-long series of events that celebrates entrepreneurship and showcases Knoxville as a great place to start and grow a business.
The finalists and descriptions of their products are below, which is sure to make you want to come to the competition, which is free and open to the public. But register now before they are sold out.
AirFlare partners with NASA to use its metabolic analysis technology to develop a fitness tracker that can personalize a person’s workouts, diet, and fitness plans based on their metabolism. With this technology, a person can determine whether he or she is burning fat or carbohydrates when working out; at what pace he or she should be exercising for maximum athletic performance or weight loss; and whether more recovery time is needed. Founder Daniel Lawhon, a UTK Engineering graduate, is currently part of the CodeWorks accelerator at Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.
Avrio Analytics leverages proprietary technology to offer data analytics services at a fraction of the cost, as well as providing predictive capabilities not available from visualizations alone. Its services put the power of a data scientist at the fingertips of anyone. The team was part of the inaugural CodeWorks cohort in 2015. Presenting the pitch will be Alicia Caputo, CEO of Avrio Analytics.
TechSmarrt’s data analysis software for materials research streamlines the process of material discovery and has shown gains in computational efficiency by over 100,000 times compared to a supercomputer. This allows users to obtain data on a material and its properties within seconds, saving time and reducing the amount of energy consumed during the process. The team won the 2015 Vol Court Pitch Competition. Co-founder Eva Mutunga will pitch the product.
Amerus Enterprises creates innovative personal hygiene products, including its latest innovation, the RushBrush, a hybridized toothbrush that makes oral health on the go both more effective and convenient. Unlike ordinary toothbrushes, the RushBrush’s nylon bristles are coated with dehydrated toothpaste and the brush can be used right out of the package, no water required. The team was recently honored at an undergraduate business plan competition at University of Tennessee. Co-founder Dimitriy Petrov, a UTK senior in mechanical engineering, will present the product.
Hot Transfer Network is an online, HIPAA secure marketplace that allows regional networks of credentialed doctors to actively facilitate hospital to hospital transfers. An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jay Crawford, the founder of Hot Transfer Network, is familiar with the problems that can arise when a hospital needs to transfer a patient to a different facility to receive treatment. Using this system, hospitals can save time and money, reduce conflict, and improve patient outcomes with faster treatment.
T&T Scientific Corporation created LipX, a time-saving, single use extrusion device that researchers can use to prepare liposomes for use in a wide range of research applications. Unlike the gold standard device which requires 45-60 minutes to assemble and clean with each use, LipX is ready to use out of the package. (An in-depth profile can be found on Teknovation.) CTO Graham Taylor will present the pitch on September 22.
Photo Credit: Mike Steinhoff (Flickr)