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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 12, 2023) — Hundreds of business leaders, students and investors came together today, both in person and online, to celebrate Knoxville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem at the Innov865 Alliance’s annual Startup Day pitch competition.
At the celebration, attendees voted for Jonathan Halley, Founder of B-Roll Bank, to take home the Crowd Favorite cash prize of $3,000, presented by Boston Government Services. In addition, Alex Stiles, Founder of Vitriform3D, won the $7,000 Judges’ Choice Award, presented by the Innov865 Alliance.
Judges’ Choice Award: Vitriform3D
Vitriform3D harnesses glass waste with a patent-pending method to 3D print synthetic stone from 95% recycled glass. This team of experts uses technology to 3D print recycled glass tiles with 4x lower embodied carbon than ceramic tiles and developed exterior grade paneling with less than half the carbon footprint of fiber cement board and brick cladding. Pitcher: Alex Stiles, Founder.
Crowd Favorite Winner: B-Roll Bank
B-Roll Bank is an AI Powered Digital Asset Management software built for production companies that makes content easily searchable, eliminates storage bloat, and turns one of their biggest expenses and untapped potential into a revenue source. Pitcher: Jonathan Halley, Founder.
“We are proud to support the Innov865 Alliance and its vital role in nurturing Knoxville’s entrepreneurial landscape through our sponsorship of the Crowd Favorite Award,” said Harry Boston, Founder and President of Boston Government Services. “Congratulations to this year’s winner, B-Roll Bank.”
The Innov865 Alliance selected six startups to reflect Knoxville’s diverse talent, including KnoxFill, Vitriform3D, B-Roll Bank, Orion Therapeutics, Farm Grub and Holocene. The finalists pitched their businesses live before a panel of judges and an audience of business leaders, investors and Knoxville enthusiasts. The judges’ panel featured: Chris Miller, CFO of Three Roots Capital; Nadim Jubran, Owner of InLieu and Partner at Capstone Concepts; and Courtney Jones, Senior Consultant, DiversityWorks Group and Founder of MomSource Network.
In addition to the pitch competition, CGI awarded the Innov865 Traction Award to Anna Douglas, Co-Founder and CEO of SkyNano Technologies. The award recognizes a Startup Day alum who has established significant traction since participating in Startup Day.
Since its creation in 2017, SkyNano has secured an impressive $16 million in non-dilutive funding for its novel decarbonization techniques. Anna and her team put Knoxville on the map as a hub for innovation through unprecedented accomplishments, including the first-ever production of carbon nanotubes from flue gas, obtained from Tennessee Valley Authority’s John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant.
CGI is honored to join forces with the Innov865 Alliance as the sponsor of this year’s Traction Award,” said Matt Kittrell, Director of CGI’s Knoxville Delivery Center. “We commend Anna Douglas for her hard work and well-deserved recognition as this year’s winner. SkyNano’s outstanding achievements align with CGI’s sustainability commitments and our corporate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2030, while laying the foundation for Knoxville’s entrepreneurial expansion.
In her opening remarks, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon spotlighted the Innov865 Alliance’s work to strengthen and celebrate the city’s entrepreneurs, along with her initiatives to attract talent to the city. The event also celebrated the success of other Knoxville businesses in a fireside chat with Bailey Foster, Real Good Kitchen; Damon Rawls, Innovation Digital Agency; and Mac Bartine, Smartria.
Innov865 Week continues with events, including Raising & Rising, Path To Profits, Devmoot 2023, Sunsphere Private Tour and a One Knoxville SC soccer match. To view the full lineup, visit the Innov865 Week event calendar.