Contact: Hannah Whitson | | (423) 408-4203

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Innov865 Alliance handpicked six Knoxville-based startups as pitch competition finalists for Startup Day 2022 on Sept. 20 at the Mill and Mine. Registration for the general public will open a week from today, Tuesday, Aug. 9. 

Startup Day is the headlining event of Innov865 Week, an annual celebration of Knoxville’s thriving entrepreneurial community taking place this year Sept. 16 – 23. The competition is held before a live audience and a panel of judges. Two prizes will be awarded amongst the pitchers, both a Judges’ Choice and Crowd Favorite for the chance to win a total of $10,000 in cash prizes. The $3,000 judge’s choice prize is sponsored by Truist

The Innov865 Alliance nominated the following startups to compete at Startup Day 2022:

D3D VR Studios 

D3D LLC provides extended reality software development and IT consulting services. We specialize in connecting our clients to both custom and off-the-shelf extended reality solutions in key areas like training, engineering and design, quality control, inspections, and workflow management for all major platforms including Oculus, Steam, Windows Mixed Reality and more.


Eonix has created the first semi-autonomous materials R&D system, ATLAS-system, that drastically reduces the time and cost to design new materials for lithium-ion batteries. This breakthrough process shrinks product development cycles of application specific lithium-ion battery chemistries from years to months. Eonix’s novel ATLAS-system enables the rapid design of drop-in compatible electrolyte solutions that address the market specific barriers to electric vehicles, grid storage and hybrid defense systems to drive cleantech adoption. 


Primeaux is a small manufacturer of world class hand-made kitchen cutlery and cookware. Producing the finest and most sought after work in their class, all crafted in downtown Knoxville, TN.

The Lotus Program

The Lotus Program, an auxiliary of Meik Meals, LLC., aims to nourish mothers post-birth to include those mothers recovering from child loss. The concept of “postpartum chef” is not radical, but it is a niche practice. While in ancient cultures, a new parent would have a community to offer support, nourishment, and knowledge, in this day and age many parents are left to provide for themselves. This postpartum meal service is tailored to mothers that includes a weekly meal preparation service for a minimum of one quarter post-birth providing lunch, dinner and herbal teas. This program is inspired by my own experience along with my beloved friends’ birth stories placing an emphasis on black maternal health and its disparities. As a postpartum chef it is one of my duties to educate and encourage a whole foods/plant based eating regime to include herbal wellness. We offer 3 experiences: Enlight, Regenerate and Rebirth.


ThinkUp is a cognitive development consultation organization. By using cognitive science to develop more effective talent strategies, and improve the soft skills of employees that build the relationships that secure the strategic goals within an organization.


Windfall recycles end of life fiberglass composite products, like wind turbine blades, cars, boats, building materials, and so on, and converts them back into raw materials for making new wind turbine blades, cars, boats, building materials, and so on. At product end of life, Windfall provides waste recycling services to large generators like wind farm owner-operators decommissioning a farm. Windfall then upcycles this waste into raw materials purchasable by original equipment manufacturers for new products, like wind turbine producers building more turbine blades. By creating value through the flow of material from waste generators to raw material consumers, Windfall truly closes the loop on fiberglass composites. The results are a new, reliable, domestic source of materials with lower associated carbon emissions for cleantech manufacturing that eliminates reinforced plastic waste going to landfill.

Media is welcome to attend all events through Innov865 Week. To request an interview with pitchers or the Innov865 Alliance in advance, please contact For more information about the startups pitching at Startup Day, click here.


Innov865 Week is a weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, makers, investors, business leaders, students, and community leaders from across East Tennessee for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events. It is presented by the Innov865 Alliance, a coalition that develops, supports, and promotes the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Founding members of the Innov865 Alliance include the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PYA, UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Three Roots Capital, Tennessee Valley Authority, Launch Tennessee, Knoxville Chamber, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, the City of Knoxville and Bunker Labs Knoxville. To learn more, visit