OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Ten developing automotive technology companies gathered at Tech 2020 on Tuesday, July 7 to officially begin the 2015 autoXLR8R program, an entrepreneurial boot camp focused on bringing high-potential automotive technologies to market.
“As the needs of the automotive industry continue to change and with vehicle technologies continually evolving, it is our job to deliver applicable solutions to carmakers and their suppliers,” said Sisk. “The 10 companies that we have brought into the autoXLR8R are working on developing innovative technologies that will directly address some of the most pressing needs of auto manufacturers and have the potential to impact how vehicles are designed moving forward.”
The autoXLR8R technologies demonstrate a wide range of expertise and exemplify major trends in car technology today including driver apps for mobile phones, advanced hub motor design, innovative manufacturing technology and personalized mass transit.
Technologies included in this year’s autoXLR8R are:
• CASCI – A new, automatic guided vehicle deliver material in manufacturing operations.
• CBA – Developing data analytics to monitor production processes in automotive manufacturing.
• Drive & Live – Mobile application that monitors drivers for conditions that indicate drowsiness and other impaired driving conditions.
• IVRTrain – Immersive virtual simulation, allowing physical training, for the operation of vehicles in manufacturing plants
• OptoLogistics – Developing software to optimize logistics within the automotive manufacturing industry.
• The PT Solution – Personal transportation service designed for metro areas and campuses.
• Sleep on Trucking – Device that levels and stabilizes the sleeping quarters of a semi-tractor to make it easier for drivers to sleep.
• The Smart Seat – Application to remind drivers of presence small children and pets about to be left in an automobile.
• SRM – Developing innovative hub motor technology.
• Twitch Technologies – Device which utilizes a new alphanumeric keyboard and novel system for manually inputting data.
autoXLR8R company founders will receive one-on-one mentorship from auto industry insiders and accomplished entrepreneurs. This mentorship is coupled with a structured curriculum, designed to help the young companies navigate obstacles and speed the path to revenue.
Launch Day began with a welcome by Tech 2020 CEO Kevin Kragenbrink, followed by an automotive industry overview from Tennessee Tech University Associate Vice President Tom Brewer. Tom Rogers, director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), then provided a glimpse into the future of lightweight materials and additive manufacturing, two critical aspects to the future of automotive manufacturing.
Rogers later joined Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association president Ron Davis, South Carolina Automotive Council president Catherine Hayes and Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association president Rick Walker on a panel discussing the impacts of the international supply chain and the development of autonomous vehicles.
Launch Day concluded with a keynote by Ted Townsend, Chief of Staff for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Townsend presented a picture of Tennessee’s economic climate with a focus on the tremendous growth in the auto industry.
“I was excited to meet the teams participating in this year’s autoXLR8R program,” said Townsend. “We are seeing, through these efforts, Tennessee truly becoming an international destination of choice for automotive entrepreneurs to develop their technologies and companies with proven programmatic methods and mentors. We look forward to supporting autoXLR8R and commend the group at Tech 2020 for its leadership.”
Kickoff week festivities continued for company founders the following day with a class on business model development and mentorship meetings. The week concluded with a tour of ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, where Lab experts are expanding the region’s capabilities in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.
Instead of a traditional Demo Day, the autoXLR8R will culminate with Road Show stops in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on August 28, and in South Carolina on Sept. 27.
autoXLR8R is an accelerator program dedicated to advancing promising new technologies applicable to the automobile industry. The program is headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
About Tech 2020
Tech 2020 is a regional venture development organization (VDO) and is a Tennessee non-profit corporation established in 1995. The organization initially was chartered to assist with the creation of small businesses through technology transfer from Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge, TN. Among the first VDOs in the nation, Tech 2020 has won national awards from the State Science and Technical Institute (SSTI) and the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). Tech 2020 has been recognized by the University Business Incubator Index as one of the nation’s top four incubators and one of the top six internationally. Tech 2020 provides physical and virtual incubation services, as well as coaching and mentoring, to small businesses.