Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
March 23, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Several area companies spotlighted during latest “Southeast Capital Call”

Two local start-ups and a third company with a facility in West Knoxville were among those participating on a panel during yesterday’s “Southeast Capital Call” hosted by Launch Tennessee.

The focus of the midday discussion was on auto and mobility technology that started with a presentation by Bob Rolfe, Commissioner of Economic and Community Development for the State of Tennessee. Later, the discussion turned to companies in the sector in a panel discussion moderated by Tom Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cherokee Farm Development Corporation overseeing the University of Tennessee Research Park (UTRP). Joining Rogers in the discussion were:

  • Don DeRosa, Chief Technology Officer of Eonix, LLC and a member of the inaugural cohort of the “Spark Innovation Center” at the UTRP. His company, which captured second place in the just announced PYA-powered “Ballard Innovation Award” competition, is developing a non-flammable electrolyte that is more stable and holds more power than the ones found in current batteries. It will support the state’s strategy to be the top producer of electric vehicles.
  • Sanjiv Malhotra, Founder of SPARKZ Inc., that is focused on providing a faster charging, safer alternative that is also not as susceptible to foreign countries for materials. As noted in this recent article, SPARKZ has executed licenses for six technologies from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and has plans to open a Gigafactory in the Knoxville region.
  • Jay Rogers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LM Industries, parent of Local Motors that has a microfactory in the Hardin Valley area of West Knoxville.

Those participants are pictured above in a screenshot from yesterday’s event.

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