Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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January 06, 2022 | Tom Ballard

PART 5: More hopes for the local ecosystem and goals for their start-ups for 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 fifth article in a series capturing their responses.)  

The 11th, 12th and 13th respondents to our questions were Caleb Alexander, Founder of DayLyte Batteries; Bruce Ramshaw, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at CQInsights PBC; and Shane McMahon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lux Semiconductors.

  • DayLyte Batteries, a member of Cohort 5 of “Innovation Crossroads” programoperated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is focused on making the best batteries in the world for grid scale and electric vehicle storage. His technology involves development of a sodium-air battery.
  • CQInsights is focused on something that has consumed Ramshaw for much of his profession career as a surgeon – the transformation of healthcare based on data analytics and patient outcomes. His passion for the work earned him the Judges Award during the October 2021 “Startup Day” Knoxville competition (see follow-up article here.)
  • Lux Semiconductors is focused on delivering a new class of semiconductor substrates, ones that are flexible, large area, and low cost, to serve as a next generation platform. The company participated as a member of Cohort 2 of “Innovation Crossroads” and recently received a $1.7 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award from the U.S. Space Force to develop radiation-tolerant microelectronics to support next-generation space missions.

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

  • ALEXANDER: I wish that West Knoxville had lab space with lab equipment for hard tech companies in the area to use like SEM/EDX (Scanning Electron Microscope and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy), TGA (Thermogravimetric Analysis), XRD (X-Ray Diffractometer), XPS (X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy), metal/ceramic/polymer 3D printers, roll-to-roll processing, potentiostats, flow cells, machine shop, and electronics shop.
  • RAMSHAW: Our main wish for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem is to make access to capital more readily available for early stage and growth companies.
  • MCMAHON: More deep tech focused venture capitalists.

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

  • ALEXANDER: Our goal for 2022 is to demonstrate the feasibility for two important technical aspects of the battery and get non-provisional patents on them.
  • RAMSHAW: Our aspirations and goals for 2022 are: (1) demonstrate significant revenue growth (we booked over $500,000K in 2021, we would like to see over $2-3 million in revenue in 2022); (2) develop our technology platform that supports our CQI method for measuring and improving value for patients; (3) have our method deployed in over 20 – 30 clinical sites; (4) secure growth revenue that will support the technology platform development and key hires to support our growth in 2022; and (5) to achieve the above, we’re planning to start new projects with new clients including Medtronic, Applied Medical, Acacia Pharmaceutical, WL Gore, Pacira Pharmaceutical and Via Surgical in the first quarter 2022.
  • MCMAHON: Transition into pilot-scale production and expand the size of the company to 10 employees. Our pilot scale production tool has been installed in Lux’s Albany (NY) lab.

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