The Innov865 Alliance announced Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank as title sponsors for Startup Day’s pitch competition $5,000 cash prize. Six Knoxville-area startups have been selected to pitch their businesses for the prize at the U.S. Cellular Stage at The Bijou Theatre in Downtown Knoxville, Thursday, September 22. Startup Day is the signature event of Innov865 Week, a week-long series of events that celebrates entrepreneurship and showcases Knoxville as a great place to start and grow a business.

“Shining a spotlight on East Tennessee’s most promising startups is so important for the economic growth of our region,” said Tom Rogers, Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORNL is a founding member of the Innov865 Alliance. “The six startups selected to present at Startup Day 2016 represent a continuation of the great tradition of innovation in East Tennessee,” added Rogers.

“Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank are so pleased and honored to give one deserving local startup a financial kick-start to grow its business right here in East Tennessee,” said Monty Montgomery, President, SouthEast Bank. Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank are both title sponsors of the Startup Day pitch competition cash prize.

After winning the 2015 Startup Day cash prize, Bryan Crosby has made progress with his business, FunLPro Technology. Crosby has since graduated from the University of Tennessee with his MBA and is focused on FunLPro full time. The company’s 38 mm standard pouring device—that eliminates the need to purchase, store, and reuse separate pouring devices such as a traditional funnel– is now available at convenience stores in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

The Innov865 Alliance selected the following six startups to present their businesses before a panel of investor judges on September 22 at the U.S. Cellular Stage at The Bijou Theatre. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, presented by Three Roots Capital and SouthEast Bank.

Daniel Lawhon, AirFlare   AirFlare partnered with NASA to use its metabolic analysis technology to develop a fitness tracker that can personalize a person’s workouts, diet, and fitness plans based on their metabolism. With this technology, a person can determine whether he or she is burning fat or carbohydrates when working out; at what pace he or she should be exercising for maximum athletic performance or weight loss; and whether more recovery time is needed.

Jay Crawford, Hot Transfer Network  Hot Transfer Network is an online, HIPPA secure marketplace that allows regional networks of credentialed doctors to actively facilitate hospital to hospital transfers. An orthopedic surgeon, Crawford is familiar with the problems that can arise when a hospital needs to transfer a patient to a different facility to receive treatment. Using this system, hospitals can save time and money, reduce conflict, and improve patient outcomes with faster treatment.

Alicia Caputo, Avrio Analytics  Avrio Analytics leverages proprietary technology to offer data analytics services at a fraction of the cost, as well as providing predictive capabilities not available from visualizations alone. Its services put the power of a data scientist at the fingertips of anyone.

Dimitriy Petrov, RushBrush, LLC   RushBrush, LLC is a company that creates innovative personal hygiene products. Its latest innovation is the RushBrush, a hybridized toothbrush that makes oral health on the go both more effective and convenient. Unlike ordinary toothbrushes, the RushBrush’s nylon bristles are coated with dehydrated toothpaste and the brush can be used right out of the package, no water required. The brush is produced using biodegradable materials, making it an environmentally-friendly option for consumers.

Graham Taylor, T&T Scientific Corporation   T&T Scientific created LipX, a time-saving, single use extrusion device that researchers can use to prepare liposomes for use in a wide range of research applications. Unlike the gold standard device which requires 45-60 minutes to assemble and clean with each use, LipX is ready to use out of the package. As a result, the extrusion process time is reduced to only a couple of minutes. With researchers performing this process over a million times each year, LipX has potential to make a big impact in the industry.

Eva Mutunga, TechSmarrt   TechSmarrt’s data analysis software for materials research streamlines the process of material discovery and has shown gains in computational efficiency by over 100,000 times compared to a supercomputer. This allows users to obtain data on a material and its properties within seconds, saving time and reducing the amount of energy consumed during the process.


Startup Day is free and open to the public. Registration is required at


About Three Roots Capital 

Three Roots Capital provides impact capital products and advisory services that create successful outcomes for client companies and attractive returns for financial partners. They fuel sustainable business growth by providing capital, connections, and expertise.

About SouthEast Bank  

SouthEast Bank operates branches throughout East and Middle Tennessee, delivering exceptional quality, service, and innovative banking products to its clients. Our experienced staff diligently serves our communities with integrity and a sense of pride by offering exceptional service and value to not only our customers, but also the community as a whole. Because we are operated by local employees who live and work alongside the people we serve, SouthEast Bank is a true community bank that uses state of the art technology both inside and outside of our branches to reinvest in our schools, organizations, and neighborhoods.