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“The TENN Demo Day” set for next week, profiles on eight teams begin today

The TENN 3(EDITOR’S NOTE: The eight teams that comprise the fourth cohort in Launch Tennessee’s “The TENN” master accelerator program bring the curtain down on their experience at a pitch finale set for March 29 at Well Placed Smile, 907 Gleaves Street in Nashville. To register, click here. Ahead of that event, we are running short profiles on each of the teams.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

A little more than five months after the eight teams were announced, Launch Tennessee brings the curtain down March 29 at a final pitch event for the fourth cohort in “The TENN” master accelerator program.

This year’s event has moved to a new venue – Well Placed Smile at 907 Gleaves Street in Nashville – with the festivities starting at 6 p.m. CDT. To register, click here. To see a complete list of the teams, review this summary (The TENN 16-17 Team Sheet).

“This has been my first year running ‘The TENN’ program, and it has been an incredibly rewarding four months,” John Lanaham, LaunchTN’s Director of Capital Formation, said. “We’re extremely excited to showcase our eight companies from across Tennessee and demonstrate all their accomplishments made during the accelerator.”

He explained that each company will present a “before and after” snapshot – where  they were prior to entering “The TENN” and where they are currently. The companies have generated new revenue, landed new customers and investment dollars, and some have even completely changed their strategic plan.

As noted in previous posts, five of the eight teams hail from East Tennessee, and the three from Knoxville have been the subject of numerous articles on teknovation.biz (click here to for links to all of them). One of those is Avrio Analytics which was the subject of this most recent post less than a week ago when the start-up unveiled its first product named Sibyl.

Co-founded in 2016 by Mik Bertolli and Alicia Caputo, Avrio Analytics is focused on helping companies maximize the value of their data.

“Human brains can only process about five different interactions simultaneously,” the company notes on its webpage. “Avrio uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to provide cognitive augmentation that increases you team’s ability by 100x or more.”

With the newly launched Sibyl product, Caputo says users can “seamlessly integrate with Twitter . . . not just key words, but the entire emotion behind the data. Sibyl lets companies leverage artificial intelligence without being an expert.”

As noted in the article announcing Sibyl, Caputo said the impetus was responding to the needs of a client that used a lot of social media in its marketing efforts and wanted to know what were people saying – positive, negative or neutral – so the company could respond quickly.

Avrio Analytics tried to find an existing product to meet the needs, but could not. So, the start-up created Sibyl. The platform imports all of a client’s Twitter feeds and other relevant data. Then, using machine learning technology, it learns the client’s business, ideal customers, and style of communicating and is able to better target Twitter users.

Bertolli and Caputo, who knew each other, joined forces midway through the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s “CodeWorks” accelerator that graduated its first class in late 2015. Bertolli started in the program as the sole representative of the company that was initially named Sigmatec Analytics. After Caputo joined, they renamed the company Avrio Analytics. She serves as the start-up’s Chief Executive Officer, focused on marketing and business operations, while Bertolli is the Chief Science Officer.


Tom Ballard

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer,
Pershing Yoakley & Associates. P.C.

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