By Tricia Martinez, Managing Director of the Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator
Oak Ridge-Knoxville, TN (Feb 2022)—Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, today announced the inaugural class of the Industries of the Future Accelerator run in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee System. Based in the Oak Ridge-Knoxville, Tennessee, metropolitan area, the accelerator program will focus on supporting and advancing world-class startups focused on emerging technologies across industries, including artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information sciences, biotechnology, clean energy and 5G cellular. This marks the first of Techstars’ accelerator programs based in Tennessee.
“I am honored to announce the first Techstars Industries of the Future class with 10 exceptional founders building breakthrough technologies that will change this world,” said Tricia Martinez, Managing Director of the Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator. “These Techstars companies will gain access and hands-on support from global leaders and top scientists in emerging technologies at our partners ORNL, TVA and UT. Now is the time for startups, investors and industry to put eyes on the growing deep tech innovation hub in East Tennessee. This is just the beginning.”
The inaugural Industries of the Future class includes:
Armada IQ: Building a vision-based intelligence platform for integrated human-autonomous fleet operations.
Augurisk: Helping mitigate crime and natural disaster risks anywhere in the US by providing predictive analysis and advanced risk scoring.
Be Global Safety: AI powered software to detect and prevent workplace safety incidents and near-misses in real-time.
EzSec: Democratizing cybersecurity using AI and automation technologies.
FLUIX Inc: Unlocking the full power of high performance computing by eliminating the challenge of heat through Turbulent Liquid Cooling.
Grayscale AI: Enabling robots to see using neuromorphic vision and computing.
Modicus Prime: Bringing Self-Service AI to the Life Sciences for comprehensive R&D and commercial product quality.
Silvis Materials: Developing 100% bio-based emulsions for the $26B polymer emulsion market for adhesives, binders and coatings, reducing dependence on petroleum while helping clean up our world.
Skintelligent: Developing AI skin analysis solutions to power the future of skin health.
Spiky AI: AI-based online meeting enhancement platform.
“We are excited to welcome these 10 companies to the Oak Ridge Corridor,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia said. “We are committed to translating scientific breakthroughs into new technologies that improve lives all over the world, and Techstars’ inaugural class is full of innovators ready to make an impact.”
“Congratulations to the first class of innovative startup companies who have been selected as part of the Techstars program,” TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash said. “We welcome you to the Oak Ridge Corridor, as you have the opportunity to deliver impactful benefits, similar to the benefits of nearly 90 years ago when TVA first brought electricity that transformed the lives of the people of the Tennessee Valley. We look forward to working with you to help drive advanced solutions with potentially enormous energy, economic and environmental benefits.”
“We are thrilled about the first class of future accelerators in the Techstars program,” UT System President Randy Boyd said. “These industries represent the ‘best in class’ in innovation and revolutionary technologies as we seek to work together in solving the grand challenges of our community, our state and our world.”
The accelerator will run in partnership with ORNL, TVA and UT in support of the organizations’ shared missions of identifying, developing and implementing innovative solutions across the Industries of the Future and staying at the forefront of these competitive and evolving industries.
The inaugural class of the Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator will operate over a three-month period beginning Feb. 21 and conclude with a demo day at the end of the program on May 26.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,900 companies with a combined market cap of more than $189B. www.techstars.com
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy laboratory in the Department of Energy system, translating fundamental discoveries to demonstration and deployment. The Laboratory is home to the nation’s most powerful supercomputer and stewards scientific programs in fields including advanced materials, neutron science, clean energy, systems biology, nuclear science, isotope production, and national security. UT-Battelle, LLC operates the Lab for DOE’s Office of Science.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 51,000 students statewide; produces about 12,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 422,000 alumni around the world.