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August 27, 2018 | Tom Ballard

“Startup Day Knoxville” pitch, traction finalists named

Finalists to pitch for dollars at next month’s “Startup Day Knoxville” event have been announced as have the three finalists for the annual “Traction Award” that recognizes progress by a “Startup Day” alum.

The six companies selected for the pitch competition are, in alphabetical order:

  • BrewFund (see our article from last year here);
  • GeoAir (see our most recent post here);
  • Lux Semiconductors, one of five participants in cohort two of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” program;
  • Nth Cycle, another participant in cohort two of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” program;
  • Real Good Kitchen; and
  • StoragePug (see our article here).

WATE-TV, the media partner for “Startup Day,” has videos on each team posted at this link.

The three finalists for the “Traction Award,” again in order, are:

  • MomSource Network, the company founded by Courtney Jones and focused on helping individuals reenter the workforce after leaving for a variety of reasons such as having a baby;
  • Smart RIA, a start-up led by Mac Bartine that markets a software platform that simplifies compliance for the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) industry; and
  • T&T Scientific, a company co-founded by Graham Taylor and Nima Tamaddoni that produces low-cost, single use liposome extrusion devices that simplify the process of preparing liposomes for research laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and clinical settings.

The pitch competition will feature two prize categories: “Judges’ Choice” and “Crowd Favorite.” The latter, presented by SunTrust Bank, allows the audience to cast their vote for their favorite pitch through an interactive voting process. Cash prizes will be awarded in both categories, equaling $10,000.

The UT Federal Credit Union sponsors the “Traction Award.” Last year’s winner was RDI Technologies, which offers video camera-based technology to find faults in machinery, infrastructure and human performance not visible to the human eye. Its clients include Fortune100 companies such as Honda, Nissan, Dow Chemical and Shell Oil.

“Startup Day Knoxville” is set to run from 2 to 5 p.m. September 25 at The Mill & Mine at 227 West Depot Avenue. To register, which is free, click here.

The annual celebration of Knoxville entrepreneurship is the capstone event of “Innov865 Week” which is presented by the Innov865 Alliance. Founding members include the University of Tennessee (UT) Research Foundation; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; PYA, the power behind; UT Knoxville’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Three Roots Capital; Launch Tennessee; Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and TVA.


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