Surprising SBIR Matching Fund Recipients Around Tennessee

Our LaunchTN team hit the road to surprise a few of our newest SBIR Matching Fund Grant Recipients in Knoxville, Johnson City, Nashville and Chattanooga. This year over 40 businesses were awarded by LaunchTN – more than double the amount from last year.

Our newest SBIR Matching Fund grant recipients are announced and we wanted to surprise a few with their funding award. Think Publishers Clearing House but way cooler. We had a chance to visit some of our SBIR recipients in Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Johnson City. For those not familiar, The SBIR/STTR Matching Fund is a strategic initiative developed and administered by LaunchTN to advance the commercialization of tech forward innovation across the state. Why is this important? We are helping to fund amazing companies in Tennessee to help them grow, innovate and create jobs across the state. Check out the places and companies we surprised along with our complete list of winners.


W. Shannon McCool, D.Ph, RX Bio, Inc.; Abby Trotter, LaunchTN and Heath Guinn, Sync Space

Stop 1: Johnson City with RX Bio, Inc.

Our Interim CEO Abby Trotter and network partner Heath Guinn at Sync Space surprised RX Bio, Inc. with their big check in Johnson City. A pharmaceutical company founded by alum from the University of Tennessee pharmacy school, they are on a mission to discover and develop novel and proprietary medications for the benefit of humankind. “We look forward to great things happening in Tennessee that will one day benefit mankind throughout the world, as well as fellow Tennesseans,” shared Martin L. McCool, RX Bio, Inc. Chief Information Officer.


left to right: Lt. Gov. Randy McNally; Cortney Piper, TN Advanced Energy Business Council; Mitchell Ishmael, Active Energy Systems; Tom Ballard, LaunchTN Board Member; Thomas Hood, Rentech, Mahni Ghorashi, LaunchTN; Front row: Bem Culiat, NellOne; Besma Abidi, Phelps; Abby Trotter, LaunchTN; Ayyoub Momen, Ultrasonic Technology Solutions

Stop 2: Knoxville at ETEC

The great folks at ETEC welcomed us in to surprise our Knoxville grant recipients during their monthly breakfast. We had a chance to connect with over 6 of our awarded companies in East Tennessee and recognize all the work they are doing. Plus, we were able to meetup with our network partners over at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.


(l to r) Joseph O. Rolwing, CET; Chase Spurlock, IQuity, Charles Layne and Ashley Currie, LaunchTN

Stop 3: Nashville with Yaya Scientific and IQuity

We had a chance to share in the good news right here in Nashville, thanks to our friends at Cumberland Emerging Technologies. They helped us coordinate surprising two of their Life Sciences tenants: Yaya Scientific, a biotech company and IQuity, a data science company. Our team including Innovation Manager, Charles Layne and Marketing + Communications Director, Ashley Currie had a chance to tour each companies lab and learn more about the work they are doing in the life sciences space.

Surprising SBIR Matching Fund Recipients Around Tennessee

Lindsey Cox, CO.LAB.; Chuck Layne, LaunchTN; Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, LaunchTN Board Member; Abby Trotter, LaunchTN; David Goodloe, Branch Technologies; Platt Boyd, Branch Technologies and Sen. Bo Watson, LaunchTN Board Member

Stop 4: Chattanooga with Branch Technology

Our last stop was a lot of fun as we meet up with our friends at Co.Lab to surprise Branch Technology in Chattanooga. The team at Branch Technology are really leading the innovation push, creating solution driven construction products inspired by nature. We had an opportunity to tour their space and see where all the magic happens. “The support we have gotten from Tennessee was definitely a draw to bring us here and have really aided in our company’s growth,” shared Platt Boyd.

Additional companies awarded grants from the LaunchTN SBIR/STTR Matching Fund include the following:

Active Energy Systems; Addiguru, LLC, American Nanotechnologies, Inc., ARMS Cyber Defense, Inc., Assured Bio Labs, LLC, Branch TechnologyCarbon Rivers; Coulometrics, LLC; Couture Technologies, Daxor Corporation, Eden Concepts LLC; Endeavor Composites; EndoTheia, Inc.; Eonix LLC; Grid Fruit, LLC; Groundstar, LLC; Healing Innovations; HeroWear; IQuity; IDBiologics, Inc., Immuno Technologies, Inc.; LiBAMA; Lux Semiconductors; mobius pbc; Muzology, LLC; NellOne Therapeutics Inc.; NeuroDyne, Inc; Oculo Therapy; Phelps2020, Inc.; PixelEXX Systems, Inc.; Preteckt Inc; Qardian Labs, LLC; RenTec LLC; RxBio, Inc.; SEAK Therapeutics LLC; SkyNanoStony Creek ColorsTetrahive TechnologiesUltrasonic Technology Solutions; Very Real Help, Inc; Virtuoso Surgical, Inc; Winter Innovations; Xtallized Intelligence, Inc. and Yaya Scientific

For more information on LaunchTN, the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund, and other commercialization opportunities, contact chuck@launchtn.org.

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