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May 16th, 2016

May 16th, 2016


It’s launch day for the 2016 edition of Chattanooga’s “GIGTANK 365,” and the always exuberant Mike Bradshaw is literally over the top as he describes the 12 teams that comprise the summer cohort. The effervescence that CO.LAB’s Executive Director feels is the result of two developments – the quality of the teams that applied for this year’s program and the fact that so many of them are homegrown.

#MyStartupStory: Tanika Harper, Founder of Harper’s Naturals
Startup Southerner
Tanika Harper is a single mom and small business owner out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome, a systemic autoimmune disease that affects fluid-producing glands in the body. As a result of the disease, Harper is hyper-sensitive to the chemicals found in many store-bought cosmetics; when she was diagnosed, she realized that the soaps and shampoos she used left her with pain and inflammation. That was when Harper decided to make a change.

ORNL Exclusively Licenses Carbon Fiber Processing Inventions to RMX Technologies
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
RMX Technologies of Knoxville, Tenn., and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have signed an exclusive licensing agreement for a new technology that dramatically reduces the time and energy needed in the production of carbon fiber. Lowering the cost and expanding the use of strong, lightweight carbon fiber will improve the energy efficiency of products including cars, trucks, and aircraft without sacrificing safety.

Regional One Health Seeks to Harness Entrepreneurs with Innovation Center
The Commercial Appeal
Regional One Health’s chief executive officer, Dr. Reginald Coopwood, doesn’t hesitate to say that the nation’s health care system is resistant to change. Disrupting that normal environment to become a gateway for entrepreneurial-minded staff among its nearly 3,000-person workforce and for entrepreneurs elsewhere with potential solutions to health care’s problems is the strategy behind a new Regional One Health Center for Innovation in Memphis.

Skuid Reaps Gig Benefits, Continues to See High Growth
Although there has been some criticism in the past about access to EPB’s high-speed internet, Chattanooga company Skuid is reaping its benefits. “I’ve lived and worked all over the world, and nothing compares to the reliability and speed in Chattanooga,” co-founder and CEO Ken McElrath said via email. “Even snow days (though rare in Chattanooga) are not a problem. Our local employees all have EPB and can work from home just as reliably and quickly. I wish our California employees could get this kind of speed and reliability.”

TTU Students Develop Unique Food App
Some very creative dishes come out of home kitchens, so with that in mind, a few Tech students have developed an app to do just that. The app is called Gigamunch and it connects home chefs with hungry consumers. “The idea came to us as we were eating some really good Indian food at (co-founder) Atish (Patel’s) house,” Chris Sipe, iOS developer, said. “It got us thinking about ways to connect home chefs with other people who want to experiment something different.”

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