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April 17, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Upper Cumberland Investment Alliance announces its first portfolio company

ATS Innovations Inc., maker of the MetaFlex Therapy Glove, gets the group's first check.

The Upper Cumberland Investment Alliance (UCIA) has announced its first investment, and it was made in ATS Innovations Inc., a pioneering medical device company, to support the development and commercialization of its groundbreaking product, the MetaFlex Therapy Glove.

This strategic investment marks a significant milestone for both ATS Innovations and UCIA, underscoring their shared commitment to fostering innovation and driving economic growth in the Upper Cumberland region. The exact terms were not disclosed.

Téa Phillips

The MetaFlex Therapy Glove, developed by ATS Innovations, is a revolutionary wearable device designed to assist individuals with hand impairments in regaining mobility, strength, and dexterity. Leveraging cutting-edge technology and advanced materials, the MetaFlex Therapy Glove offers a non-invasive, user-friendly solution for rehabilitative therapy, enhancing patient outcomes and quality of life.

The investment from UCIA will provide ATS Innovations with the necessary resources to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the MetaFlex Therapy Glove. Additionally, the partnership with UCIA will offer ATS Innovations access to mentorship, expertise, and networking opportunities, further supporting the company’s growth and success.

Téa Phillips, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ATS Innovations, expressed her gratitude for the investment and partnership with UCIA, stating, “We are thrilled to receive this investment from the Upper Cumberland Investment Alliance. Their support not only validates the potential of MetaFlex but also enables us to bring this transformative technology to market faster, helping more people to get a grip on their hand health. We look forward to collaborating with UCIA to drive innovation and economic development in Tennessee!”

As noted in this May 3, 2023 article in, Phillips is a Tennessee Tech University Mechanical Engineering grad who started working on the MetaFlex glove during her undergraduate years and won the “Eagleworks Innovation Contes”t in 2018. After graduating and working for Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge for a few years, she decided to pursue entrepreneurship and focus on bringing the MetaFlex to market, working with The Biz Foundry in Cookeville.

Gene Bressler, Chairman of UCIA, emphasized the significance of investing in local talent and innovative solutions.

“ATS Innovations exemplifies the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that define our region,” he said. “We are proud to support their efforts to develop cutting-edge healthcare technology that has the potential to make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals with hand impairments. This investment reflects UCIA’s commitment to fostering innovation, creating jobs, and building a thriving ecosystem of technology-driven businesses in the Upper Cumberland area.”

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