autoXLR8R,a mentor-driven accelerator program focused on bringing new automotivetechnologies to market, will host its first-ever Road Show later this summerwith stops planned for Kingsport (July 31), Spring Hill (Aug. 12) and Oak Ridge(Aug. 13).
Thesuccess of last year’s Demo Day, coupled with the incredible progress made bythis year’s companies, prompted autoXLR8R officials to expand this year’send-of-program format and agenda. The group of start-ups represents the futureof automotive technology with applications ranging from electrification tolight-weighting plastics to smart car tech.
â€œThisyear’s cohort has attracted a great deal of interest from the manufacturingcommunity, and we are excited to share our stories in Kingsport, Spring Hilland Oak Ridge this summer,â€ said Jack Sisk, autoXLR8R program manager. â€œTheunique technologies that have been developed address immediate needs within theautomotive marketplace, and I am especially interested to see how OEMs andsuppliers utilize them moving forward.â€
The goalof the autoXLR8R program is to identify, commercialize and fund high-potentialtechnologies applicable to the automotive industry. The program is supported bya network of auto industry executives, engineers and researchers from acrossthe Southeast. The autoXLR8R team seeks to help regional companies grow theirproduct pipelines by connecting with entrepreneurs, early stage technologiesand new products.
Thisyear’s Road Show will provide an opportunity for the autoXLR8R companies tonetwork and receive valuable feedback from investors and industry executives inNortheast, Middle and East Tennessee. Six of this year’s companies have ties tothe eastern part of the state, demonstrating the region’s strong presencewithin Tennessee’s thriving automotive manufacturing community.
The lonecompany from outside the state’s borders is Cyberloop, which arrived at theautoXLR8R from Hong Kong, China. Cyberloop’s founders have developed a product(ISAAC) that connects to a car’s onboard diagnostic port to add predictivesafety, navigation and other features to old and new model cars.
The RoadShow will begin July 31 at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce in Kingsport withthe program running from 9 â€“ 11 a.m. ET. Less than two weeks later, theNorthfield Workforce Development and Conference Center in Spring Hill will hostthe Road Show on August 12 with the event scheduled from 3 â€“ 5 p.m. CT. Thefinal stop on the Road Show will be held at Tech 20/20 headquarters in OakRidge on August 13 from 3 â€“ 5 p.m. ET.
AccelNow,the Tri-Cities entrepreneurial accelerator, along with Eastman ChemicalCompany, will host the first stop on the Road Show. autoXLR8R company foundersand champions will spend the morning delivering their pitch presentations torepresentatives from Eastman Chemical, along with industry suppliers from localtier 1 and 2 companies, regional economic development officials and members ofAccelNow.
â€œAccelNowis pleased to co-host the first stop on autoXLR8R’s Road Show,â€ said AccelNowInterim Executive Director Kanishka Biddanda. â€œThe Tri-Cities is home toseveral thriving automotive and related companies. As a result, we look forwardto showcasing autoXLR8R’s technologies for the potential business opportunitiesfor companies in our region.â€
TheNorthfield Workforce Development and Conference Center, autoXLR8R’s â€œhome baseâ€and the former site of the GM-Saturn corporate headquarters, will welcome thelocal mentors, investors and media members for the second stop of the RoadShow.
Tech20/20, a venture development organization that provided program support,mentorship and in-depth training in business plan development to this year’scohort, will host the third and final stop on the Road Show. As a full partnerin this year’s autoXLR8R program, Tech 20/20 has played an integral role inhelping the companies refine their technologies so that they are primed forinvestment.
â€œThroughour work over the past 13 weeks it has become clear that these companies havethe potential to take off,â€ said John Morris, president and CEO of Tech 20/20.â€œWe are excited to welcome the autoXLR8R Road Show to Oak Ridge where we cancontinue to foster the companies’ connections with the manufacturing communityand introduce them to local investors.â€
NortheastTennessee autoXLR8R Road Show â€“ Stop 1
When:Thursday, July31, 9 â€“ 11 a.m.
Where: Kingsport Chamber of Commerce
400Clinchfield Street, Suite 100 Kingsport, TN 37660
MiddleTennessee autoXLR8R Road Show â€“ Stop 2
When:Tuesday, August12, 3 â€“ 5 p.m.
Where: Northfield Workforce Development and Conference Center (formerGM-Saturn headquarters)
5000Northfield Lane Spring Hill, TN 37174
EastTennessee autoXLR8R Road Show â€“ Stop 3
When:Wednesday,August 13, 3 â€“ 5 p.m.
101 Commerce Park Drive, OakRidge, TN 37830
Severalof this year’s autoXLR8R technologies were born in Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory (ORNL) or the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). Byutilizing the region’s research institutions as resources with significantinnovation and automotive manufacturing ability, autoXLR8R is helping to fostertechnology commercialization and to cultivate an innovation ecosystem that willlead to increased investment and more high-tech jobs.
â€œThemarket validity of these seven technologies has been thoroughly vetted over thepast 13 weeks,â€ said Dan Marcum, executive director of autoXLR8R. â€œI believeseveral of the companies in the cohort are well positioned to receiveinvestment, and I’m excited for them to share their stories with investorsacross the state.â€
Technologiesincluded in this year’s autoXLR8R are:
Ã˜ APLAIRManufacturing Solutions: Software and hardware integratedsystems that utilize infrared and laser technologies to improve quality controlin assembling sub-components of automobiles and detect discrepancies to preventthe production of defective/non-conforming materials.
Clodico (product â€œOdorCRUSHâ€): Powerful andenvironmentally-friendly odor control and biocide product that has the power tocompletely eradicate smoke and other odors from cars, thereby restoring themarket value of the car.
Ã˜ Cyberloop(product â€œISAACâ€): Software and hardware application thatconnects to a car’s onboard diagnostics port to add predictivesafety,â€‹ â€‹navigation and other features to old and new model cars.
Ã˜ GrowPlastic: Oak RidgeNational Lab technology which uses the complex polymer lignin to producea non-petroleum-based 100% biodegradable plastic, which can be used inmaking light-weight car components.
Ã˜ New Hybrid(product â€œInDriveâ€): New technology which replaces a torqueconverter to generate electricity and provide auxiliarypower for a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Ã˜ NoWire: New technologydeveloped by Oak Ridge National Lab that provides wireless power transferto electrify or charge any device or moveable object.
Ã˜ PlateMatch: Self-learninglicense plate reading technology developed by the University ofTennessee which greatly improves on current technology by increasingefficiency and accuracy.
autoXLR8Ris a 13-week automotive accelerator program developed by the Southern MiddleTennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC). The program’s mission is to identify,commercialize and fund promising new technologies applicable to the automotiveindustry. For more information visit autoXLR8R.com.
Aboutthe Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers
SMTEC isone of nine regional entrepreneurial accelerators that have been establishedthroughout Tennessee to assist entrepreneurs. SMTEC provides mentoring,education and training, strategic and technical support, and assistanceidentifying sources of capital.