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October 30, 2023 | Tom Ballard

CO.LAB, TennSMART schedule sustainable mobility reverse pitch

Four problem areas have been identified for the event scheduled for December 5 and 6.

The Company Lab (CO.LAB) in Chattanooga and TennSMART, a statewide organization, have announced a virtual reverse pitch that is focused on sustainable mobility (the future-forward movement of people, goods, data, and energy).

“There are major challenges that we’re facing now in the way that we move about our world,” said Tasia Malakasis, CO.LAB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “We’re working with major players to identify these problems and we’re looking for innovators to solve them. We believe startups are the answer to helping us move in the right direction.”

This challenge will feature key players in the sustainable mobility space, including former U.S. Xpress CEO Eric Fuller; Mina Sartipi, Founding Director of the Center for Urban Informatics and Progress at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; and Kristi Montgomery, Kenco Logistics Vice President of Innovation, Research and Development.

“The idea of bringing together innovators and Tennessee’s top leaders in this space through a reverse pitch was unheard of,” said Bryan Barringer, TennSMART Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Director. “This isn’t just going to highlight the brightest innovators in the country, but it’s also going to put the United States ahead of other countries focusing on sustainable mobility.”

The partners have identified four major problems across supply chain, electrification, connected autonomous, and Quantum industries:

  • Problem Area #1: Smart Integration / Insight Integration
    Example: scalability + algorithm optimization, supply chain route optimization, supply chain visibility, and clean data collection.
  • Problem Area #2: Workforce Optimization
    Examples: scalable solutions in recruiting and retaining transportation and logistics workforce.
  • Problem Area #3: Charging Infrastructure
    Example: supporting grid infrastructure for electric vehicles and bidirectional charging.
  • Problem Area #4: Quantum Connection
    Example: connecting a Quantum computer to the Quantum network.

Applications to enter the “Sustainable Mobility Reverse Pitch” are currently open and run until November 10. A panel will determine finalists for each of the four problems and select four winners, one for each problem, at the end of this program. The four winners will pitch live at the Tennessee Smart Mobility Expo on December 6 in Nashville. Prizes for winners include capital, pilot program opportunities, and accelerator acceptance.

More information about the four areas can be found here. To register with a solution, click here.


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