Demo Days Are Happening Across Tennessee
By Charlie Brock
One of the best ways to experience the energy and excitement of Tennessee’s vibrant entrepreneurial scene is to attend the demo days that wrap up our state’s accelerator programs. On demo day, when startup founders make their pitches to potential investors, you’ll hear an incredible array of business concepts presented in rapid fire fashion. Because each founder has a limited amount of time to make his or her pitch, every word must count.
Two of Tennessee’s nine accelerators have already hosted their demo days this summer, but we still have five demo days coming up. Tennessee’s unique statewide accelerator network includes cohorts focused on a variety of industries, including healthcare technology, digital media, 3D printing, automotive technology, medical devices and logistics. Each program consists of several weeks of intensive startup development.
Chattanooga’s GIGTANK program held its demo day July 29. Click here for a recap of the event, which included pitches from startups in the 3D printing/additive manufacturing, healthcare and smart grid industries. The first MediaWorks cohort in Knoxville concluded Aug. 5. A recap of the digital media startups’ pitches at the MediaWorks demo day is here.
Next up is autoXLR8R, the automotive technology accelerator based in Spring Hill. autoXLR8R will host two demo days for its graduates – one on Aug. 12 at Northfield in Spring Hill and one on Aug. 13 at Tech 20/20 in Oak Ridge. Several technologies from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) were accepted into this year’s program, so pitching in Oak Ridge is a great way to wrap up the year.
ZeroTo510, the Memphis-based medical device accelerator, will host its demo day from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14 at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. ZeroTo510 is a unique program because in addition to helping startup founders with traditional startup issues, it also helps them achieve the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) premarket notification filing.
Memphis’ Start Co. accelerator cohorts will participate in a single demo day. Start Co. is home to the Seed Hatchery, Upstart, SparkGap and Sky High cohorts, which focus on technology, women-led companies, logistics and social entrepreneurship, respectively. Entrepreneurs from all of the companies currently going through these programs will pitch from 1 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 21 at the Orpheum Theater.
Jumpstart Foundry – recently named one of the top accelerators in the country by TechCrunch – wraps up the month of demo days in Tennessee. This is Jumpstart’s fifth demo day. It will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 21 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. For more information on each cohort and their demo days, click here.