(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a series spotlighting the five start-ups that comprise Cohort 4 of the “Innovation Crossroads” program operated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory with support from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Today’s focus is on Actinic LLC.)
We saved the final “introductory article” on the fifth participant in Cohort 4 of the “Innovation Crossroads” (IC) program for what we think is a good reason. The company should be familiar to our regular readers since we first spotlighted Erica Grant in this February 2019 article in teknovation.biz.
She’s the Founder of Quantum Lock Technologies LLC, and her progress in the more than 18 months since that article posted has been significant. Grant recently successfully defended her dissertation and is now officially “Dr. Grant.” Her honors include:
- Winning the “Innov865 Crowd Favorite” prize and $3,000 during Knoxville’s recent “Startup Day” event;
- Having the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issue patent number 10,797,872 on October 6 for the “Quantum Random Number Generator Lock” that is foundation for her technology that brings quantum computing technology to home security;
- Being one of five graduate student finalists in the “Collegiate Inventors Competition®” organized by the USPTO;
- Securing a term sheet during the prestigious “Rice Business Plan Competition”;
- Being one of 12 start-ups from around the world invited to compete in the semifinal and final rounds of the inaugural “Heartland Challenge” hosted by the University of Arkansas;
- Being invited to pitch at the “Stu Clark Investment Competition” at the University of Manitoba before it was cancelled due to COVID-19; and
- Representing the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in late 2019 at the fourth annual Southeastern Conference “Student Pitch Competition.”
Now, Grant is part of the IC program operated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory with support from the Tennessee Valley Authority. We asked her two questions for this article.
- As you began your two-year IC Fellowship, how would you describe the evolution of the technology behind Quantum Lock and the evolution of your business plan? Beginning the IC program has brought a lot of validation to the technology and has opened doors with potential partners and collaborators. We are about to launch our cybersecurity testing and product development plan for various access control system applications, namely the hotel market and advanced manufacturing. However, we have a plan to reach markets like hospitals, government facilities, vehicles, etc.
- What do you hope to accomplish during the two years? Within the next year, I hope that Quantum Lock will be in the hotel market and revolutionizing security and convenience in hospitality. After piloting in the hotel market, we hope to expand to many vertical markets which require high security. By the end of the second year, we hope to partner with access control organizations to pair Quantum Lock with existing access control as the brains for security to begin securing every facility’s people, information, and resources.