As an attention as aged as Henry Ford and a Model T, automobile prolongation might not open to tip of mind in a contention about entrepreneurship in this epoch of Google Glass and cyber innovation. But in Tennessee, automobile prolongation startups are on a arise and an increasingly critical matter for a mercantile future.
The automotive attention is Tennessee’s largest prolongation industry, and it happens to be one of a many innovative and technologically modernized in a country. Tennessee is home to 3 strange apparatus manufacturers — Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen — and some-more than 1,000 tools suppliers that are formulating cars and tools that are lighter, stronger and “smarter.”
Given a vitality of Tennessee’s automobile attention and a concomitant innovative forces, we are going to see some-more automotive companies birthed from a state’s accelerator network.
The autoXLR8R program, a Launch Tennessee-supported automotive-focused accelerator in Spring Hill, Tenn., is personification an critical purpose in joining entrepreneurs with a automotive village and identifying new technologies that will advantage a industry.
After successfully navigating a severe 13-week foot camp, this year’s stand of companies will be prepared to representation to investors on Tuesday in Spring Hill and on Wednesday in Oak Ridge.
CEOs and founders of several earnest immature companies are scarcely finish with a accelerator’s mentor-driven program, that was designed to oldster marketplace intensity of technologies, bond entrepreneurs with intensity business and eventually position them for investment. The technologies in this year’s category have a intensity to impact how destiny vehicles are designed.
AutoXLR8R is a nationally singular enterprise. It is because entrepreneurs like Dennis Wong, owner of Hong Kong’s Cyberloop, might have a destiny in Tennessee. His association — that is in autoXLR8R’s stream conspirator — has grown a module and hardware focus to capacitate a car’s onboard diagnostics pier for safety, navigation and other intelligent features.
The pivotal to success in this margin is connectors to a industry, and autoXLR8R companies have been given a event to work with mentors from a OEMs and vital suppliers from opposite a region. One company, for example, is operative on an industrial focus of their product with a vital automobile manufacturer and was means to exam a product on a plant floor. This knowledge helped a owner establish what refinements to make to a product and a business model.
This year, autoXLR8R supposed several technologies from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a University of Tennessee Research Foundation into a foot camp. AutoXLR8R is vetting a marketplace intensity of a lightweight, nonpetroleum-based biodegradable cosmetic grown during ORNL. The plastic, done from a formidable polymer lignin, might be ideal for creation lighter, stronger automobile components.
By leveraging and joining a region’s resources in research, entrepreneurship and automotive prolongation expertise, we are flourishing an creation ecosystem that will lead to increasing investment and some-more high-tech jobs.
More than 100,000 Tennesseans work in automotive manufacturing. In 2013 alone, an additional 7,000 new jobs and $1.7 billion in designed investments were announced. Additionally, a new proclamation by Volkswagen that a association will be adding a new car to their prolongation line in Chattanooga, while also adding a 200-person RD center, is a outrageous boost to a state.
The attention is on a upswing and staid for growth. Our idea in charity an automotive-focused accelerator module is to emanate some-more Tennessee-based companies and boost jobs within a state’s communities. Tennessee is famous for world-class automotive production. As we encourage this creation ecosystem, we supplement some-more value to manufacturers who do business here and give others a reason to call Tennessee home.
Charlie Brock is CEO of Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership focused on ancillary a growth of high-growth companies.