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Grid Modernization

TVA, Oak Ridge Lab and Univ. of Tennessee program aims to foster tech innovation

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee System, earlier this month announced a program aimed at fostering “industries of the future.”

The Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator program will work with 30 startups over the next three years that use clean energy, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cybersecurity, digital currency, 5G broadband cellular technology, and other innovations.

The program’s leaders expect start-ups in several energy related fields to participate, including clean energy, smart cities, robotization and autonomy, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, edge computing, sharing economy, cybersecurity and cryptography, Internet of things (IoT), 5G and advanced communication, grid scale energy storage, digital currency, industry 4.0, and battery technology.

Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator aims to attract start-ups to the Oak Ridge-Knoxville area. The program will begin accepting applications for its inaugural class in July. Members of that group will have the chance to refine their technologies, receive mentorship, find and develop talent, and connect to organizations that could become customers while gaining access to Techstars’ global network.

The Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator is being run in partnership with an international organization founded in 2006. Techstars operates accelerator programs and venture capital funds and brings together start-up companies, investors, corporations, and cities. The organization says it has invested in more than 2,500 companies with a combined market capitalization of more than $209 billion.

The Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator will be the first Techstars operated accelerator in Tennessee, the first affiliated with a national laboratory, and the first focused on industries of the future.