Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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January 02, 2022 | Tom Ballard

PART 1: Here are the first two wishes of area entrepreneurs for local ecosystem, their ventures in 2022

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked individuals who had been spotlighted in the past year or so in two questions ahead of the dawn of 2022. One concerned their hopes for their local entrepreneurial ecosystem, the other about their aspirations for their company. This is the first in a series capturing their responses.)  

The first two respondents to our questions were Jenna Johns, Chief Operating Officer of RDI Technologies Inc., and Ayyoub Momen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ultrasonic Technology Solutions LLC (UTS). RDI is marketing a proprietary technology platform powered by its Motion Amplification® that enables users to see and measure motion that is impossible to see with the human eye and could previously only be measured by contacting sensors, while UTS has developed industrial and commercial ultrasonic dryers that are two times faster and three to five times more efficient than the conventional heat-based drying system.

What one or two wishes do you have for the entrepreneurial ecosystem where you and your start-up are located?

  • JOHNS: I would love for the larger established companies in the area to support and buy local from entrepreneurs more often and be open to piloting new technologies developed here. I would also like for all of the wonderful resources here to communicate more and work together to create a holistic environment for entrepreneurs where we can benefit from what each place has to offer.
  • MOMEN (Updated): Wish #1 – I wish the TN entrepreneurial ecosystem was more connected. The ecosystem needs to convince large and small companies to think about their local companies first, before reaching out to the nationwide community. As a suggestion, I recommend having an annual TN small businesses show/expo so that large local companies could be more familiar with what is out there (i.e., TN industry expo).  Wish #2 – A local job search engine. I wish there was a dedicated, well-known website there where local engineering students could drop their CVs (curriculum vitas) there and local companies could search through the list. Hiring takes a lot of time and resources from businesses. Let’s don’t lose the pool of talent to Silicon Valley companies. If we can make a low resistance path for engineering students to be hired locally, that will help the ecosystem in the long run.

What specific aspirations/goals do you have for your start-up in 2022?

  • JOHNS: We are gearing up to grow 40 percent year over year in 2022!
  • MOMEN: My goal is to have multiple successful pilot demonstrations this year so that we can launch our product the following year.

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