Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
November 29, 2023 | Tom Ballard

TN company reaches commercialization 15 years after launch

Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. (SMTI) will invest $13.9 million to establish manufacturing operations and create 111 jobs as it launches production of its brand of high-efficiency gas-fired heat pumps.

Patience and persistence are two of the keys to entrepreneurial success.

If you don’t believe the importance of those two attributes, just ask Michael Garrabrant, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. (SMTI). The Northeast Tennessee-based entrepreneur started the company in 2008, founding SMTI on the belief that existing technologies for heating buildings, homes, and water had about reached their maximum efficiency, so new approaches were required.

We spotlighted his then seven-year journey in this January 2015 article where Garrabrant described how he was was recruited to the region in 2003 to become Vice President of Product Engineering for American Water Heater Company and transitioned to A.O. Smith Water Products Company when it acquired American Water Heater in 2006.

Our last article, which published in November 2022, described a successful Series A round that raised $15 million and brought the company’s technology to commercialization.

Now comes word that SMTI will invest $13.9 million to establish manufacturing operations in Piney Flats, an unincorporated community in Sullivan County, and create 111 jobs as it launches production of Anesi, its brand of high efficiency gas-fired heat pumps. Anesi products are ideal for a wide range of residential and light commercial heating needs, including forced air and hydronic space heating as well as water heating.

“We are excited to launch the manufacturing and engineering of our Anesi brand of very high efficiency heat pumps and water heaters for residential and commercial buildings in Northeast Tennessee, adding to the state’s growing advanced energy economy,” Garrabrant says. “We look forward to adding skilled manufacturing jobs and opportunities to the region.”

He added that SMTI is “starting to build inventory for filling the pipeline, with Manufacturing Reps signed covering most of the northern U.S. and all of Canada.  Looking forward to seeing our products save our customers lots of money on their heating bills this winter.”

When SMTI unveiled its residential furnace and water heater replacement product at the AHR Exposition 2022 in Las Vegas in late January 2022, it explained that the device was designed to be “plug-n-play” – simple enough for two technicians to install in a replacement situation in a single day’s work.

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