Launch Tennessee Commercialization Resources Workshop

Register for this workshop to learn about commercialization resources available specifically to Tennesseans.

RSVP HERE!

Tennessee is one of few states with an entrepreneur-resource infrastructure operating at the state level. Through our statewide partner network, we deliver curriculum, mentors and more to entrepreneurs building high-growth-potential businesses.

LaunchTN maintains a portfolio of resources for Tennessee-based entrepreneurial researchers to advance their commercialization efforts. These resources include:

  1. Networks programs that pair mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs;
  2. Microgrants that provide financial support for grant-writing assistance to Tennessee-based early-stage companies; and
  3. the SBIR Matching Fund that provides non-dilutive capital to Tennessee-based companies upon their successful federal grant award.

Lunch will be provided. Please direct questions about this workshop to allie@launchtn.org.

This workshop is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

One Scientific technology one step closer to commercialization

TAEBC member One Scientific has made a breakthrough in its technology that dates back to its inception in the 1970s.

When the earliest prototype of the company’s technology was first tested, it shot a jet of flame across a 30-foot distance and singed the eyebrows of a bystander. This incident caused the founder Michael Redwine to shelve his invention until scientific advancements could make the technology safe.

The problem stemmed not from a flaw in the technology but from the volatile nature of pure hydrogen and pure oxygen when exposed to one another. One Scientific’s unique method of splitting water produces a gaseous stream made up of 2:1 hydrogen and oxygen. Michael tested various filtration medias to separate the two gas streams – including pure gold leaf – but was unable to successful devise a method that was both efficient and cost-effective.

Fast forward to March 3, 2017. Thanks to years of experience and advancements in additive manufacturing, One Scientific has finally produced a solution with the company’s 3D printer. With this key component, the company has achieved over 99% separation of both gases.

One Scientific’s 3D printed part has a short life due to the filament material limitations. The company is now looking to outside vendors who can manufacture this component from sturdy materials. This ultimately means another round of experiments to finalize the breakthrough and another step closer to commercialization.

One Scientific can now safely produce hydrogen gas from water almost anywhere and on-demand.

Click here for the original announcement.

Renewable Algal Energy has won four Small Business Innovation Research awards

TAEBC member Renewable Algal Energy (RAE) was featured in a two-part series on Teknovation.biz for its successful use of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to scale its business model.

RAE’s CEO, Jeff Kanel, has been very focused and purposeful in using the SBIR program to strategically advance the company.

Kanel describes his keys for success in submitting and winning the awards: utilization of solid project management tools, inclusion of well-defined milestones and deliverables, and a clear understanding of the critical success factors.

RAE has created what is describes as “novel breakthrough technology to produce a sustainable, economically viable product from micro algae.” Those offerings range from algal oil as a feedstock for renewable diesel fuel to protein, carotenoids, and omega-3 fatty acids for animal and human nutrition.

“Our model is to be a technology licensor,” said Kanel. “We are trying to make algae a profitable endeavor that also solves a lot of global problems.”

Three of the four SBIRs that Kanel submitted were directly related to evolving RAE’s technology. The fourth, also focused on algae, was submitted by Kanel before RAE was founded.

Over a roughly six-year period, RAE has successfully won Phase I, II and III awards that have proven the viability of the technology, helped fund work to validate the financial model and scalability of the technology, and deploy a semi-works facility.

Today, RAE has strategic relationships, customers, and a technology proving ground in Arizona as well as a North-American developer with a site that is permitted for the deployment of RAE Technology.

“By going through the SBIR Phase I, we matched-up a proof on concept (that showed) what we were doing had a chance of success,” Kanel said. The proposal was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2007. The award and work were conducted in 2008.

Phase II, again funded by DOE, ran from 2009 to 2012, with RAE collecting considerable amounts of data to show financial viability and technology scalability.

“We were moving the proof of concept to commercialization,” Kanel says in describing that period.

Phase III, which ran from 2012 into 2014, was an accelerator period when RAE deployed the technology in a semi-works scale effort designed to reduce the technology risk. This final phase helped RAE to secure contracts with interested partners.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series on the Teknovation.biz website to learn more about why and how SBIRs had a solid impact on RAE’s development.