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Tullahoma: JusticeXL accelerator announces inaugural cohort

By: Milt Capps Updated 2 Nov. 2015 1:09pm  Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 4:45 pm

Update 2 Nov. 2015: Eight startups will present during JusticeXL Demo Day Nov. 18, 2015, Noon to 5pm. Our original Aug. 25, 2015 story below has been annotated with changes.-Ed.

JusticeXL, the rural Tennessee accelerator for startups in the law-enforcement, public safety and corrections sector, has admitted 13 startups to its first accelerator cohort. [A total 9 of that the original 13 startups remain, with one unable to present on Demo Day due to business travel abroad.]

JusticeXL is operated by the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC), based in Tullahoma, south of Nashville.

Six of the JusticeXL portfolio companies are based in Tennessee, with the balance drawn from Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, California, New York and from Tel Aviv, according to a release issued today by SMTEC Executive Director Dan Marcum and JusticeXL Program Manager Jerry Wright. Continue Reading

Wright provides update on JusticeXL

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.


We caught-up with Jerry Wright earlier this week to get a quick update on the new JusticeXL. He serves as Program Director for the start-up accelerator that launched right after Labor Day at the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers in Tullahoma. As the name implies, the focus is on companies in the law enforcement, corrections or public safety space. “Our teams are hitting their stride, and we are having some great successes as we hit approximately the halfway point.” Wright says. “Demo Day” is set for December 18. Wright listed a number of key milestones.

  • One company received funding within the first week of the accelerator.
  • A second start-up is in the final stages of negotiating a licensing deal with a Fortune 50 company.
  • Another company has placed in the top five in a recent pitch competition.
  • One company has entered due diligence for an angel round.
  • Not unexpectedly in these situations, two companies have pivoted and are focusing on new customer value propositions.
  • Finally, one company has been dropped after JusticeXL and the start-up mutually agreed that they would be better served attending a later accelerator.

“The remainder of the companies are doing well, moving forward at different paces (as expected),” Wright say. “I feel that we are going to have three to five investable companies total out of the group.”

SMTEC accelerator’s Marcum retires, LaunchTN Rural plans nears debut

Dan Marcum

DAN MARCUM plans to retire Dec. 31 from his post as founding executive director of Tullahoma-based Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC), the ongoing role of which is to be determined. SMTEC aims to have a successor aboard prior to Marcum’s retirement. Marcum’s resignation date coincides with the terminus of SMTEC’s accelerator contract with LaunchTN. In a brief interview with VentureNashville, Marcum said only that it’s time for him to focus more on mentoring, family and leisure. The SMTEC board of directors’ selection of Marcum’s successor in the job, as well as some of SMTEC’s future funding, are among truly strategic issues facing the nonprofit. Marcum, 69, conveyed his plans to the SMTEC board earlier this month. At the same time, he pledged his continued strong support for SMTEC and its mission. Marcum told VNC that potential successors in the SMTEC executive directorship include, possibly among other candidates, SMTEC JusticeXL Accelerator Director Jerry Wright; or, startup mentor, former commercialization professional and long-time Monsanto executive Gary Rawlings, Ph.D. LaunchTN is officially Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, TTDC, and was founded in 1998. Marcum served earlier in TTDC’s history as the organization’s chairman, and is credited by some long-time observers with having kept TTDC alive during periods of lean funding, a decade or so ago. Continue Reading

Tullahoma Firm Primes Tech Startups In The Business Of Public Safety

By Emily Siner • Sep 21, 2015 • Nashville Public Radio

A screenshot from Corvus Technology’s promotional video, which created a way to track first responders. The goal of the Tullahoma accelerator is to ready startups like it for investors.

Hear the radio version of this story.

Middle Tennessee is already home to business accelerators for startups in health care technology and music technology. For the next two months, an accelerator in Tullahoma will work with a dozen new companies that are creating technology for law enforcement, prisons and public safety.

One company in JusticeXL, as the accelerator is called, is working on storage for police videos. Another has a device that tracks first responders who run into smoky buildings where it might be hard to find them. A startup from Tel Aviv, Israel, is creating technology to prevent drones from dropping contraband into prisons.

Dan Marcum oversees the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center, which launched its first JusticeXL cohort earlier this month. He says there’s certainly demand for new technology in these fields, but end users can be slow to implement it.

“If a police officer or a sheriff wants to employ new technology, he’s got to go get the funding for that, and the funding cycle takes a while,” Marcum says.

JusticeXL is putting its startups through a business boot camp and pairing them with mentors. The accelerator’s goal is to help them attract investors.

The Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center is one of nine regional business accelerators in the state that have gotten funding from Startup Tennessee, a public-private grant rolled out in 2011.

Entrepreneurs Bring Fresh Ideas To Town

Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm —– Tullahoma News STAFF WRITER jordan scott

On Tuesday, Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC) launched JusticeXL, a 12-week business accelerator cohort with a focus on three components of the justice system: law enforcement, public safety and corrections.

SMTEC Executive Director Dan Marcum opened the program by saying, “We don’t have to be in a metropolitan area to do economic development, particularly entrepreneurial economic development.

“I applaud all of you who have reached into your hearts and said, ‘Hey, I’ll take a chance and go to this rural town called Tullahoma.’”

Continue Reading

Cohort Application Period Opens

‘A business accelerator for advancing the next generation of technology for policing, public safety and corrections’

The Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center (SMTEC) is pleased to announce that it’s intense 12-week Justice Accelerator (JusticeXL) is taking applications for its inaugural cohort that begins the week of September 6, 2015.

Applications must be received by August 14, 2015. Applications can be completed online at

Justice XL will focus on three components of the justice system: law enforcement, public safety and corrections. Please visit our web site at for additional information.  Continue Reading

SMTEC: A Grand Design

SMTEC constantly adapts and evolves to meet growing demands
By Courtney Corlew | Published June 26, 2015

It doesn’t matter where the idea comes from; it only matters how you apply it and how it works in the overall environment. That’s the guiding principle behind Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC).

Under the leadership of Executive Director Dan Marcum, SMTEC helps entrepreneurs by providing educational programs, mentoring opportunities, and access to capital resources. His team’s astute analysis of the marketplace continues to give industry-specific context for entrepreneurs in a variety of niches.

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SMTEC Announces JusticeXL™

A business accelerator for advancing the next generation of technology for policing, public safety and corrections.

Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC) is announcing a new business accelerator initiative entitled “JusticeXL™”. JusticeXL™ is a 12-week program accelerator cohort with a specific focus on three components of the justice system:

  1. Law enforcement
  2. Public safety
  3. Corrections

“It’s not ground-breaking news that law enforcement agencies around the nation are being faced with unyielding personnel and resource deficits while crime and public pressure continue to escalate,” says Dan Marcum, Executive Director of SMTEC. “Whether it’s a federal, state, or local agency, the goal is to safeguard the lives and property of each and every citizen.”

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SMTEC Announces CO.STARTERS Facilitator

Tullahoma TN [June 01] – Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC) is pleased to announce experienced entrepreneur and businessman, Morgan McChesney, CEO of Next Solutions, LLC as facilitator of the CO.STARTERS program.

CO.STARTERS is a nationally renowned platform that helps communities grow local business. The nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. Unlike traditional platforms, CO.STARTERS applies the lean business modeling methods popular among high-growth startups to businesses of all kinds.

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