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March 12, 2020 | Tom Ballard

More coronavirus-related cancellations announced that affect Knoxville start-ups

Here’s our daily update on the impact of the coronavirus on Knoxville-based start-ups with the most recent news courtesy of Lindsey Lieb of Happego LLC. In her case, it’s three postponed or cancelled events, the first this week.

“We were scheduled to host a booth at the HIMSS conference in Orlando,” she told us in an afternoon email. The event, officially known as the “HIMSS 2020 Global Health Conference & Exhibition,” was scheduled to run from March 9-13. It was cancelled late last week.

Then, week after next, Lieb had been one of 20 founders invited to attend something called the “VIP Invent Health Lunch” in San Francisco. The three-hour event on March 25 was designed to help the invitees learn how to integrate into the healthcare ecosystem.

“That was canceled,” Lieb wrote. “Plus, the Vator event that Happego sponsors has also been postponed until May.”

We’ll be posting an update on Happego and its patent pending psychological priming tool that works behind the scenes to help people achieve their personal goals in the next week or so.

Separately, two start-ups that are participating in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” program were among 17 finalists that had been selected to to participate in the latest “Challenge Pitch Day” during EPRI’s “Electrification 2020 International Conference and Exposition” before the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The two are:

  • Active Energy Systems that is developing an innovative ice thermal storage system to provide cooling that is affordable, efficient and resilient (see our most recent article here); and
  • Grid Fruit that is bringing data-driven intelligence to food retail operations (see our most recent article here).

Shortly after announcing the finalists, EPRI posted the following message on the conference webpage: “Given the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have determined that we must postpone our ‘Electrification 2020 International Conference and Exposition.’ We are working on rescheduling our event in Charlotte for early 2021.” The event had been scheduled for April 6-9.


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