Entrepreneurs Bring Fresh Ideas To Town

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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.’”

SMTEC previously hosted the “autoXLR8R” in Tullahoma for two years but moved the automotive accelerator to Oak Ridge.

According to JusticeXL Program Manager Jerry Wright, the purpose of JusticeXL is to coach entrepreneurs so they may better pitch and develop their ideas. Towards the end of the accelerator, entrepreneurs will be in contact with people who can transform their ideas into real, investable technology.

“What we’ve been doing is trying to transform an idea into an investable story,” said Marcum.

The Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers (SMTEC) launched JusticeXL Tuesday. The 12-week business accelerator cohort focuses on different aspects of the justice system. Of 12 total partic-ipating companies, eight representatives attended the launch. Front row from left: Clennon Steele, Spencer Rosenbaum, Yvette Kendall and Jeff Hammock. Back row from left: Vincent Perez, Turner Nashe, Robert Rodes and Joe Fields.  –Staff Photo by Chris Barstad

Representatives from each company were asked to give a two-minute pitch explaining their ideas. Of the 12 companies, eight were present at the launch.

The participating companies range in size and in the development level of their ideas.

Clennon Steele of REDOUBT.4, based in Tullahoma, provides fully integrated logistic support for the Common Remotely Operated Weapons System (CROWS).

Vincent Perez of Perez Forensic Strategies, based in Brentwood, invented a touch DNA recovery swab which picks up small amounts of DNA that can be stored at room temperature without risk of degradation.

“Anything you see on CSI, it’s kind of like that, only mine’s cooler,” said Perez. “I’m really happy to be here and have the opportunity with these guys because I think it’s going to be an extremely beneficial experience for me.”

Jeff Hammock of Mechoptix, Inc., based in Hunstville, Alabama, is in the early stages of developing a self-illuminating brake light bulb that lights up during deceleration whether the brake is being used or not. Hammock thinks the technology could be useful for motorcycle and vehicle safety.

“There’s one billion vehicles on the road,” said Hammock. “This is a gigantic market if we can get the recourses to go forward.”

Turner Nashe with Innertainment Delivery Systems, based in Nashville, hopes to increase the educational tools available to inmates inside of jails so that they may learn skills.

“When you look at the recidivism numbers, you’re generally looking between 68 and 75 percent over 35-year periods, which means many of these guys are going back in because they didn’t really learn skills that would allow them to gain employment upon release,” said Nashe.

Spencer Rosenbaum of Corvus Technologies Corp., based in Phoenix, spoke about indoor, through-wall tracking technology for first responders to find people more efficiently.

“I’m proud of the garage in Arizona where our startup is begun,” said Rosenbaum. “I’m super excited to become big. We all start small and we grow to where we grow.”

Robert Rodes of Affidata Solutions, based in Manchester, plans to find a way to store large amounts of data from police video cameras to ensure chain-of-custody and integrity.

Yvette Kendall of Ballisticks, based in Duluth, Georgia, explained that her company’s product, an anti-ballistic panel, can peel off and stick to any person or object for protection against bullets or projectiles. The panel is thin and can be doubled up.

Kendall described the product as multipurpose and versatile.

“When you’re building a house, think of projectiles that come from hurricanes and things like that,” said Kendall. “It can stop those projectiles from coming through the property.”

Joe Fields with X “Company Classified,” based in Tel Aviv, Israel, is looking to develop drone jamming technology for use at federal facilities.

JusticeXL will run through Friday, Dec. 18.