Knoxville start-up growing by mimicking the way a dog shakes after a dip in water
Ayyoub Momen of Ultrasonic Technology Solutions LLC shares his journey from researcher and inventor to commercialization of his invention.
The February edition of the “Innovation Crossroads Founders’ Forum” from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) featured one of the lab’s former researchers.
Ayyoub Momen (pictured right), Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ultrasonic Technology Solutions LLC, shared his journey from ORNL researcher to the leader of a Knoxville-based start-up commercializing a technology that he invented during his slightly more than seven years at the lab. While the technology was invented to improve household clothes dryers, Momen’s license from ORNL allows him to apply the technology for commercial and industrial drying applications, not residential machines.
“We’re using vibration to dry things,” much like a dog shakes after a dip in a lake or river, Momen explained.
He launched the company in 2018 and left ORNL two years later to scale-up for broad commercialization. The company, which is housed in a building in West Knoxville, has already expanded into adjacent space, is up to nine employees, and has five pilot projects in addition to four government contracts.
After describing his journey, Momen answered questions from attendees. One related to the I-Corps process for which he had both positive comments and a few suggestions.
“It was the best program,” he said, citing how it helped him “learn the language of business. I-Corps helped me focus on the customer.”
Momen said that the programming was lacking when it came to areas like legal matters and partnership formation.