LAUNCH TENNESSEE is fielding more than a dozen Tennessee-based startups to present for cash and-or kudos! during its 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, which is being held at five venues in downtown Nashville, Aug. 28-29.
The high-profile pitch sessions (details below) are embedded in a broader two-day agenda of keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and celebrations designed for entrepreneurs, technologists and investors with interests across the innovation spectrum.
The overall program features sessions that appeal to attendees from across the entrepreneurial ecosystem; and, the conference includes more than 100 different industry, pitch team members, elected officials, host executive speakers and moderators.
Last year's attendees totaled about 1,200, and included well over 100 individual, institutional and corporate-venture investors. Last year's crowd was drawn from 33 states, and 41% of the gate was said to be comprised of serial entrepreneurs, according to LaunchTN data.
36|86 sponsors this year include Asurion LLC, Insperity Inc. (NYSE:NSP), Cherry Bekaert LLP, and FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), among others.
► Current ticket prices are scheduled to rise by about 43% after July 31. The lower admission price is in-place, til then.
The LaunchTN Pitch companies, each of which is associated with a Launch Tennessee partner, will vie for a $50,000 Judges' Award and a $10,000 Crowd Favorite Award.
► The nine LaunchTN Pitch firms -- which are described in the conference agenda as "the top startups from across the state" -- are set to pitch at Blake Shelton's Ole Red venue at 1 p.m. on Aug. 29.
► In a second event on Aug. 29, several firms associated with the U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories will demonstrate their technology commercialization efforts. No cash prizes are involved. More on that later in this story.
► A day earlier, on Aug. 28 at 2:30 p.m. at B.B. King's, university Student teams will present in the Student Edition Live Pitch for prizes. LaunchTN has not yet disclosed the presenting Student teams. Earlier release here.
Here are the LaunchTN Pitch firms and their partners or affiliates:
C4 Solutions (theCo, Jackson) - C4 Solutions is working to create a virtual reality simulated platform to help companies educate and train employees for a specific skill set in a safe, controlled and repetitive environment. Barrett Gay, a cofounder of theCo, is owner of C4.
CPRwrap (The Company Lab, Chattanooga) - CPRWrap is a single-use CPR template that addresses responder hesitation by having an easy-to-use template with clear, numbered instructions, a built-in, one-way valve breathing barrier, and visual hand placements that gives the victim the best chance that a bystander might have the confidence to give effective, immediate care. CPRWrap is also currently in the Nashville Entrepreneur Center's Project Healthcare. Felicia Polk Jackson is founder and CEO. Related VNC coverage here.
DOTready (Biz Foundry, Cookeville) - DOTReady has taken the stress and learning curve of the regulations put in place by the Department of Transportation and made them simple, easy to comply with and totally digital. Instead of companies worrying about if they can get through an audit without fines, they manage their operations directly in DOTReady Software. CEO: Tyna Bryan is CEO and founder. Related VNC coverage here.
HEALING INNOVATIONS (Life Science Tennessee, Nashville) - Healing Innovations is a medical device company from Nashville that has developed a revolutionary neurorehabilitation device called the Rise&Walk. CEO: Luke Benda. Related VNC coverage here and here.
IDYLL TECHNOLOGIES - (Bunker Labs, Nashville) The Idyl Cloud provides software developers with the space to create, room to grow, and a platform to bring their applications to life. We want software developers to focus on building innovative applications, not configuring infrastructure. With no prior knowledge of computing infrastructure and within minutes of arriving on the Idyl Cloud you can launch your application into a first-class production environment. Built for developers by developers, we're here to accelerate your journey from code to production. CEO: Grayson Adkins.
Nth CYCLE - (Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, Knoxville) - Nth Cycle provides a recycling technology to enable a secondary source of rare earth and specialty metals for a sustainable, secure energy future. CEO: Megan O'Connor. Nth Cycle is also a member of Innovation Crossroad Cohort 2.
POSSIP - (Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville) - Possip helps organizations get better, starting with simplified feedback loops to engage and learn from the people that matter most to their success - starting with schools. CEO: Shani Dowell. Related VNC coverage here.
SECOND KEYS - (EPIcenter and Start Co, Memphis) - SecondKeys is a property-tech startup out of Memphis that focuses on maintenance management for residential properties and community associations. They offer end-to-end ticket tracking, predictive analytics and a service professional network on a modular platform, to support property managers, renters and maintenance contractors. CEO: Amber Hayes.
STORAGE PUG - (Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Knoxville) - StoragePug helps self storage facilities raise their visibility and attract customers with marketing and web tools built specifically for the industry. CEO: Matt Huddleston.
Regarding INNOVATION CROSSROADS Demo Day business presentations (4 p.m., Aug. 29):
Innovation Crossroads backers -- including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TVA, and the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office -- have not to our knowledge disclosed their presenting teams.
However, two things seem clear:
First, according to the 36|86 agenda, Innovation Crossroads teams may be demo'ing in concert with teams from other incubators or accelerators associated with DOE, such as the Chain Reaction incubator at Argonne National Laboratory.
Second, while we don't yet know which of these companies might be presenting Aug. 29, based on information online elsewhere, the current Cohort 2 of Innovation Crossroads program based in Knoxville includes these entrepreneurs and their companies: Donald DeRosa, CTO Eonix Energy; Shane McMahon | Lux Semiconductors; Justin Nusbaum | Ascend Manufacturing; Megan O'Connor | Nth Cycle; Matthew Smith | TCPoly. Our earlier reporting on Innovation Crossroads is here and here.
Note on 36|86 scholarships: LaunchTN staff said July 18 that the nonprofit plans to issue later this month an invitation for application for a limited number of scholarship tickets, via an initiative backed by FedEx and others, as part of an effort to ensure attendance by underrepresented startup founders.
Enacted into law by the Tennessee General Assembly and then-Gov. Don Sundquist in 1997, Launch Tennessee was chartered 21 years ago in 1998. It is officially registered as Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, or TTDC. It is a nonprofit public-private partnership, the budget of which has since inception been mostly funded by the state, via Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD).
The chairman of the LaunchTN board is State ECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and LaunchTN's CEO is Margaret Dolan.
The "36|86" conference brand is an abbreviated reference to the official latitude and longitude of Metro/Nashville. VNC
. last edited 0800 22 July 2019