Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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April 13, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Newest cohort of local Techstars accelerator introduced at two events

The first was an opportunity for the Knoxville Chamber's "Premier Partners" to meet the start-ups. There was also a community opportunity two days later.

Twice in three days, the community was introduced to the 10 teams that comprise Cohort 2 of the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator” that began its three-month run this week.

Photo provided by the Knoxville Chamber.

First up was an event hosted on Tuesday night by the Knoxville Chamber for its “Premier Partners” at the TenHats data center just east of the Old City.

One of the dignitaries who dropped by was Knoxville Mayor Indy Kincannon, pictured here with Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Odom (behind the Mayor); TenHats CEO Brian Strong; Maha Krishnamurthy, President of the University of Tennessee (UT) Research Foundation; and Caleb Knight, the Chamber’s Director of Business Attraction.

Photo provided by the Knoxville Chamber.

At the Tuesday event, each of the start-ups had an area where team members greeted the visitors, described their companies, and explained what they wanted to achieve during the 13 weeks. On the left side of this photo, Narayan Iyer, Founder and CEO of Laminar Scientific, chats with Matt Kittrell, Director of Consulting Delivery for CGI Inc., while the Founder of Arizona-based Crow Industries chats on the right with Mike Shamblin (back to the camera), PYA’s Managing Principal of Audit and Assurance Services, and Pat Lewis, Principal overseeing PYA’s Client Accounting Advisory Services.

On Thursday, there was another opportunity to meet each of the companies during a general event at the Techstars space on Gay Street. Top executives from the three sponsoring organizations attended and briefly spoke. They were Jeff Smith, Interim Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Jeff Lyash, President and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority; and Done Plowman, Chancellor of UT, Knoxville.

Smith (far right in this picture) is engaged in a conversation with David Castley (center), Founder of RAEV, and Tom Rogers, President and CEO of the UT Research Park.

The 10 companies selected for the 2023 class of “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator” are:

  • Allosense  (San Antonio, TX) is making advanced sensors and measurement systems, specializing in electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing, test automation, and logistics.
  • Crow Industries (Scottsdale, AZ) is building a fully autonomous robotic labor force that will allow critical mineral producers to exceed production targets while keeping their people safe.
  • Eolic Wall (Lima, Peru) is providing homes, communities, and businesses with cheap and highly efficient on-site wind energy to reach net zero.
  • Ex Lattice (Raleigh, NC) is providing software for additive manufacturing users that have time-consuming build preparation and setup challenges that can generate real-time physics-based analytics and simulation-driven setup solutions that make precision and speed a reality.
  • HyperTunnel (Jersey City, NJ) is enabling real-time (synchronous) and time-delayed (asynchronous) collaboration between frontline workers and domain experts, from remote physical worksites to centralized immersive digital twins through a mixed-reality software platform.
  • Laminar Scientific  (Iowa City, IA) is tapping into the ocean to capture the steadiest renewable energy source. Its revolutionary wave energy device brings ocean energy to even the smallest of operators with simple surface-level installation, low-cost design, and replaceable components.
  • RAEV  (Philadelphia, PA) is the new transportation option for individuals traveling less than 5 miles through their city. RAEV is a fleet of shared, small, electric vehicles available for use on a pay-per-drive basis.
  • Team Wildfire (Boulder, CO) is using revolutionary technology and tactics for fighting wildfires.
  • Undesert (Los Alamos, NM) is producing electrical power, deionized water, and dry salt with no liquid waste, called Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD).
  • Wing Driver (Wilmington, DE) is supporting driver safety by avoiding accidents with next-level computer vision and AI designed for mobile operating systems.

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