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Teknovation News and Notes
March 12, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | Technologies selected for two pitch challenges

Several other opportunities for established or would be entrepreneurs are available including free co-working space in the Upper Cumberland area and the annual "iBUCS Student Venture Pitch Competition" at ETSU.

From Across Tennessee:

Bryan Barringer has announced the four technologies around which teams of undergraduate and graduate students and Post Docs will be formed for the “Scipreneur Challenge” and “Smart Mobility Challenge.” There are two technologies selected for each program.

  • Nanoparticle Drug Formulation for Cancer Therapy offered by Cumberland Emerging Technology and Auburn University (Scipreneur);
  • Shielding System for Wireless Power Transfer from Oak Ridge National Laboratory  (Smart Mobility);
  • Tamper-Aware Anti-Counterfeiting Solution from Vanderbilt University (Smart Mobility); and Lysosomal Drugs for Cancer from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Scipreneur).

Between now and the final pitch event on April 27, the teams will work to develop commercialization strategies around the donated intellectual property. There are weekly educational sessions each Thursday evening.

From Johnson City:

The deadline for East Tennessee State University (ETSU) students to signup for this year’s “iBUCS Student Venture Pitch Competition” is this Wednesday, March 15. Up to $6,000 in cash awards is up for grabs, and mentors will be assigned to students to help develop the pitch deck.

Students participating in the competition will have the opportunity to present their ideas to local entrepreneurs and business leaders. This year’s judging panel consists of: (1) Tony Lettich, Managing Director, The Angel Roundtable; (2) Chris Sloan, Managing Director and attorney at Baker Donelson; (3) David Nelson, serial entrepreneur, Executive Director of FoundersForge and ETSU faculty member; (4) Logan Craft, crypto/software start-up consultant; and (5) Aaron Sims, Managing Director, Sims Venture Capital.

To apply, click here.

From Chattanooga:

Registrations are now open for the 13th annual “Road to Nightfall” competition scheduled for April 6, 7, 8, 13, and 14 at The Granfalloon at 400 East Main Street. The multi-day event is a local band development effort and music competition designed to prepare up-and-coming local acts for the big stage.

One winner from each preliminary night will be chosen by audience vote and will advance to the finals set for May 6. The overall winner receives a 90-minute headline performance spotlight on June 30 at the “Nightfall Concert Series” at Miller Plaza, which pays $1,000 with alongside a host of other prizes. Applicants must have a minimum of three performing band members with at least one member playing a live musical instrument such as keyboards, drums, bass, or guitar. A registration fee of $25 is to be paid upon registration acceptance.

From the Upper Cumberland Region:

The Biz Foundry has announced free co-working at its three locations on Friday, March 31. The sites are in Cookeville, Sparta and McMinnville. To take advantage of the offer, send an email to

From Cookeville:

Rayne Herrington, a Tennessee Tech University (TTU) student and also a survivor of domestic violence, is co-founder of White Ribbon Tennessee, an educational non-profit that aims to engage men in education and advocacy against all forms of violence against women and children. The senior political science major with a concentration in legal studies and a minor in history launched the organization in 2022 with her husband, Eric, Andy Burgess, Tenika Burgess, a Tech employee, and Leisa Loftis.

The target reach for White Ribbon Tennessee is the entire state. They are starting in Cookeville, however, because they are completely self-funded, so they must start small. Eventually, as they can raise more money, they will expand to the entire state, one community at a time.

TTU spotlighted their efforts in this recent news release.

From Nashville:

Deanna Meador is Co-Founder of Couture Technologies and also Director of Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University’s The Wond’ry. On International Women’s Day, the Nashville-based start-up that she launched in 2019 with veteran technologist Marcellino Rodriguez-Cancio announced that it had secured $1.5 million in seed funding. “This marks a historic achievement as it is the largest seed round raised by a female tech founder in just eight hours,” the company posted on its website. “We are proud to share that all 11 investors who signed the checks are based in Tennessee. We are grateful for their support and excited to use this funding to continue our mission of revolutionizing the apparel industry through innovative Virtual Try-On technology!” TennBeat captured the news in this article.

From Jackson:

The Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association has announced a one-day conference titled “How to Make the Transition to EV.” It will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT April 13 at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee AgResearch & Education Center,  605 Airways Boulevard. To review the agenda and register, click here.

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