Each year, top early stage companies graduating from each of the nine accelerator programs in Tennessee are nominated to participate in The TENN, the state’s Master Accelerator Program. The nominees then enter a multi-tier screening process
after which, a select group are offered an opportunity to participate in the program. The TENN, which is supporting the selected companies in their efforts to reach their next level in the growth cycle as an objective, focuses on a tailored, individualized curriculum, networking, business development and fundraising. Program components include specialized learning days on a variety of topics specific to the startup, a statewide roadshow visiting Tennessee investors, entrepreneurs and corporate partners and curated business trips to San Francisco and New York to network with investors and other stakeholders.
With the statewide roadshow commencing in early February, FundingSage decided it would be appropriate to provide readers some background on the participants of this 2015 – 2015 class, the master accelerator’s third.
The companies participating in The TENN’s 2015—2016 cohort include:
Branch Technology – A Chattanooga based company which attended the GIGTANK , Branch Technology combines 3D printing technology, large industrial robots and conventional building materials enabling new ways to construct buildings. The company’s technology, which is patent pending, is focused on reducing the waste and inefficiencies of the existing construction industry including the significant waste materials sent to landfills. Platt Boyd is the Founder & CEO of the company. Platt is joined at Branch by Co-founder Chris Weller, an Algorithmic Design Specialist. The early stage company received a $150K NSF Grant award in 2015 and banked $219k in Revenues in fiscal year 2015. They have obtained more than $275K in financing to date and have established partnerships with KUKA Robotics, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Science Foundation and Techmer Polymer Modifiers.
DivorceSecure – A Memphis company and StartCo graduate, DivorceSecure is led by Hirsch Serman, who serves as CEO & Founder and Co-founder Noam Davidovics, who serves as CTO. The company claims to be the first workflow and collaboration platform for divorce attorneys to streamline and automate the client information intake process, create a negotiation strategy based on the clients’ preferences and enable attorney’s to increase their case volume. Advisors include attorneys John Lewis, Steve Libby and Pat Chafetz, entrepreneur Michael Burnham and Launch Tennessee’s Jason Denenberg. This pre-revenue company, founded in 2015, has completed its MVP and has investment from Innova South and the Wolf River Angels.
Innovasan – Led by Jeff Hubrig, President & Co-Inventor, Innovasan has created an affordable technology solution for sustainable and safe on-site treatment of fluid medical waste in hospitals, surgery centers and other medical treatment facilities. The Knoxville based company participated in the CO.LAB accelerator program. Co-Founders include, Ellen Hubrig, Joseph Dooley, Sam Crockett and Jeff Hubrig, Jr. The pre-revenue company which has developed a portfolio of patented technologies has booked more than $1.0M in capital investment to date. Advisors include John DePasquale of Medical logistics, Chris Mainini, PhD of radio System Corporation, Christina Marasco, PhD of Vanderbilt University and Richard Maner, of the A. Zahner Company.
KaraoQ – Founded in 2014, KaraoQ of Nashville graduated the Project Music program. The company’s mobile app and SaaS web platform enhance how people interact and engage in music venues by digitizing the karaoke experience. Co-Founders Michael Amburgey and Randy Hall lead the company which has obtained more than $175K in financing to date. This seed based startup touts Stryker Warren, Chris Blanz, Laurie Hughes, Dawn Gates, Tony Grotticelli, Shawn Yeager and Brian Rawlings as advisors.
LendMed – LendMed of Memphis participated in the StartCo accelerator program. LendMed’s Kiosk / smart-phone / web based platform provides hospitals a controlled environment for borrowing and lending medical supplies. The platform permits them to initiate and approve requests, and keep itemized accounting of debts. The company is led by Founder Ryan Freiden and has secured approximately $65K in financing. Their advisory board includes Gyasi Chisley, CEO of Methodist Healthcare North of Memphis.
Preteckt – Preteckt of Memphis, predicts vehicle breakdowns before they occur utilizing hardware placed into the vehicle’s sensor data system. The hardware extracts over 16,000 signals in real-time. The company attended the StartCo accelerator. Current investors include the Innova Fund and the Wolf River Angels. Their management team includes Peter Bassa, CEO; Sasha Kucharczyk, COO; and Ken Sills, CTO.
Remix Hits – Remix Hits of Nashville, a Project Music graduate, touts itself as “ the world’s first start to finish, automated licensing and distribution system for remixes and derivative works.” The company, which is led by Sam Brooker has obtained more than $270K in previous financing. Investors include Project Music, Bullpen Ventures and inCrowd Capital. Matt Wilder, CTO and Seth Johnson, CMO join Brooker at the company. This seed stage company projects a public launch in mid-2016.
Sing and Spell – A product of the Children’s Media Studio of Knoxville and MediaWorks, Sing and Spell is an animated, musical program with the purpose of teachings pre-preschoolers their alphabet letter basics through original songs and lessons. The Children’s Media Studio, a seed stage company, is led by Cathy Vangieri. Mark Radice, Creative Music Director and Todd Carter, Animation and Technology Director, join Vangieri as Co-Founders of the company. Advisors include Joe Vangieri of DigiTrax Entertainment and Joy O’Shell, formerly of AOL and Amazon. The company has banked approximately $225K in capital from previous funding efforts.
We encourage those interested to participate in the state roadshow by attending one of the public events scheduled for Tri-cities, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville or Memphis. See the attached for details:
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