Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
February 21, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | Several developments with ties to the region

Jay Rogers, Co-Founder of Local Motors, is leading a new 3D furniture manufacturer in Florida, while a company tied to Greater Sum Ventures has an Operating Partner serving as its Interim CEO.

From Clemson, SC:

President James Clements announced at last week’s 12th annual “SC Automotive Summit” that Clemson University would start offering a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering, the first undergraduate degree of its kind in the nation. The first batch of students will begin the program this fall.

Clemson launched a graduate-level automotive engineering program in the mid-2000s and graduated the nation’s first Ph.D. student in automotive engineering in 2009 and the nation’s first female Ph.D. in automotive engineering in 2012. Lessons learned from the M.S. and Ph.D. programs will assist in launching the country’s first true B.S. in Automotive Engineering

From St. Petersburg, FL:

Haddy Inc., a 3D furniture-printing company, has opened a more than 20,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District. The company, led by former Local Motors Co-Founder Jay Rogers, is pioneering artificial intelligence-powered, 3D printing at large scale for Industry 4.0 and the circular economy. Materials that Haddy uses are recycled, including plastics and found fishing nets.

From Orlando, FL:

Orlando Inno reports that Stax, a payment processing company, is seeking a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following the departure of siblings Suneera Madhani (CEO) and Sal Rehmetullah (President). The Interim CEO is John Kristel, an Operating Partner at Knoxville’s Greater Sum Ventures LLC, which took a majority stake in Stax in 2020.

From Birmingham, AL:

Atlanta Inno reports that Birmingham, AL-based delivery service Shipt has opened applications for a new business accelerator program to fuel the growth of local retailers in Atlanta, Birmingham, Detroit, Houston, and Washington, DC. Named LadderUp, the program is accepting applications through March 6. It is open to grocery, beverage, health, beauty, floral and gift retailers. More information and a link to the application can be found here.

From Miami, FL:

Miami Inno reports that a Canadian venture capital firm has opened an office in the city with a focus on the space industry. According to the article, Florida is already home to more than 16,000 aviation and aerospace ventures, with many based on the Space Coast.

From Athens, GA:

The University of Georgia (UGA) ranks #2 among U.S. universities for the number of commercial products that are now in the market based on its research, according to an annual survey conducted by AUTM. It is the ninth straight year UGA has ranked among the nation’s top five in this metric and the seventh straight year among the top two. The latest rankings are based on FY21 when 49 new products were released based on UGA research. They included new poultry vaccines, animal health diagnostics, research and educational tools, and new blueberry, wheat, pearl millet, and ornamental plant varieties.

From El Paso, TX:

The City of El Paso is offering to cover 100 percent of the rent and operational costs associated with manufacturing technology businesses looking to start or relocate their company to El Paso’s Innovation Factory. The city’s Economic and International Development Department has joined with the El Paso International Airport, the Aerospace Center, and the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) to offer manufacturing workspace and support to early-stage, new or existing manufacturing technology businesses targeting the aerospace, defense or other advanced manufacturing markets.

“The City’s strategy to grow existing and attract new target industries, including advanced manufacturing and international development creates an innovation-driven culture of technology that promotes economic growth,” said Economic Development Director Elizabeth Triggs. “This partnership with UTEP also creates high-paying career pathways for our region.”

Located in the Airport’s Cargo Facility, the 30,000-square foot Innovation Factory, officially known as El Paso Makes, offers start-up businesses an opportunity to: (1) collaborate with other manufacturers and research and design teams; (2) access the infrastructure necessary to successfully compete for aerospace and defense contracts; and (3) obtain the needed incubation and acceleration services needed to move into the commercialization of their product.

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