Transforming the Future Through Innovation
The ETSU Innovation Lab is a high-tech business incubator that assists aspiring entrepreneurs develop emerging technologies from concept through commercialization. With a focus on identifying and generating solutions to global problems, we are committed to championing entrepreneurs and building a cooperative entrepreneurial hub and network that is a catalyst for sustainable economic growth. Our worldwide scope and International Soft Landings Designation allow us to serve as a nexus between entrepreneurs, educational institutions, economic development councils and the international business community by offering physical and virtual business support to growing companies.
Our mission serves as the overarching framework that determines the direction, partnerships, decisions, and choices that we make on a daily basis. Being a university-based high-tech business incubator, the Innovation Lab’s mission aligns with, evolves with and supports ETSU’s Vision, Values and Mission; as such, we appreciate our unique role at the University and strive to represent the values of ETSU in the community-at-large.
- To create an environment that facilitates collaboration, innovation and shared learning for businesses during their critical developmental years.
- To provide opportunities to keep our best and brightest at home.
- To focus on the creation of high-quality jobs and wealth creation with emerging technology driven companies.
- To promote, stimulate and support economic development throughout the region by assisting emerging and/or expanding companies and in recruiting businesses from outside the community.
- To deliver virtual incubator assistance for non-residential companies.
- To enhance opportunities for “real world” experiences for faculty, staff and students.
- To offer a “Soft Landing” for International Companies to facilitate their transition to the US Business World.
- To assist and support our members in growing their business endeavors from concept to commercialization.
We wanted to make sure that all our members are aware of the steps that the University is taking at this time regarding the COVID-19 virus. Stay up to date with announcements at www.etsu.edu/coronavirus.
Keeping the health and safety of our staff and members as our highest priority, the ETSU Innovation Lab will not be scheduling any face-to-face meetings nor will we be scheduling any meetings or activities at the Innovation Lab for the time being.
Please note that Dr. Depelteau and Liz are still available for phone and or Zoom meetings. You can contact us at email@example.com to set up a Zoom meeting or by phone – Dr. Depelteau 423-439-8535 / Liz at 423-439-8500.
Startup Bootcamp Begins March 15th, 2021
Startup Bootcamp is a 9-week program that is tailored to the participating cohort. This program focuses on the needs of the Startups and provides customized education, mentorship, and access to potential customers.
Applications Must Be Submitted by March 1st, 2021
Founders Meetup is all about bringing Entrepreneurs, and those curious about Startups, together to share ideas while learning from each other. Some sessions have guest speakers and others have a topic of discussion the attendees focus on.
FoundersForge is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization on a mission to build the Startup ecosystem in the Appalachian Highlands. We believe in underdog Entrepreneurs and helping them on their Startup journey. Follow us @myFoundersForge to get connected!
LaunchTN’s Virtual Entrepreneurship Program is an online educational course designed for entrepreneurs and people interested in entrepreneurial careers in Tennessee.
The program is virtual, self-paced, and fully accessible online via computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Digital curriculum from The Entrepreneurial Mind teaches innovative entrepreneurship in more than 17 hours of video lessons, organized in modules.
This course will walk you through everything you need to know to start and grow a successful business. The virtual, in-depth material covers subjects from a deep dive into entrepreneurial thinking and the process of entrepreneurship to testing your business model, funding your idea, making your business legal, and hiring your first employee. Learn how to build a human resources system, manage your cash flow and debt (the bootstrap life), expand and scale your marketing plan, take on funding, exit your startup — and everything in between.
TSBDC at East Tennessee State University
Tues. March 2, 2021 6:00 PM to 9:00PM (8 sessions ending Tue, Apr 20)
Start-up Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship
TSBDC at East Tennessee State University - Main Office ETSU Innovation Laboratory
Wed. March 10th, 2021 - 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Government Contracting Online Webinar - Part 1 How to Get Ready
Online Facilitated by TSBDC at East Tennessee State University - Main Office
Thurs. March 11th, 2021 - 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Government Contracting Online Webinar: Part 2
Online Facilitated by TSBDC at East Tennessee State University - Main Office
Wed. March 17th, 2021- 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Tapping Into the Power of Social Media | Part I
Online Webinar Hosted by TSBDC at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office Online
SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.
This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”
“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”
Key PPP updates include:
- PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
- PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
- The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
- The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
- Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
The new guidance released includes:
- PPP Guidance from SBA Administrator Carranza on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran, and Women-owned Business Concerns;
- Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act; and
- Interim Final Rule on Second Draw PPP Loans.
### About the U.S. Small Business Administration###
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Region A.H.E.A.D. is a platform for businesses around our region to give updates on changes in their business. The goal of this platform is to keep our community informed and help support our economic network during COVID-19 .
The East Tennessee State University Innovation Lab is starting off 2021 with a new member, Tendaya Technology.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Mutombo Muvundamina and Tendaya Technology Group.
ETSU Innovation Lab welcomes two new companies into Soft Landings ProgramSuccessful collaboration continues with Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association.
JOHNSON CITY – Two companies with a German parent company, senswork Inc. and Steel Service Krefeld, USA, are receiving an accelerated introduction to United States business practices, regulations, and culture through the Soft Landings Designation held by the East Tennessee State University Innovation Lab.
Since 2015, the Innovation Lab, a high-tech business incubator located at 2109 W. Market St., has been a member of the International Business Innovation Association’s (InBIA) Soft Landings network that offers support for businesses entering or expanding into a new country. Soft Landings designees help companies make contacts in a new country more quickly and efficiently while providing access to the resources necessary to meet their business goals. Only 26 business incubators worldwide have a Soft Landings designation.
With headquarter of parent company in Burghausen, Germany, senswork is an expert in machine vision systems and specializes in optical inspection, industrial image processing and testing equipment manufacturing. Its ready‐to‐use camera technologies for automation and quality assurance are used every day in numerous sectors, including the automotive and medical industries.
Roman Rieger, managing director at senswork GmbH, first contacted the ETSU Innovation Lab in November of 2018 to see how the two entities could work together. Dr. Audrey Depelteau, director of the Innovation Lab, assisted senswork Inc. in securing a grant from the Bavarian government in the field of opening up new sales markets. Since then, the two have worked together with the Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association (NETVRIDA); Hebmüller Aerospace; and Steffen Bayer, director for Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development business development for Germany, Austria and Switzerland; to develop senswork Inc. in the United States. It became an affiliate member of the Innovation Lab in August.
Steel Service Krefeld, USA (SSK), based in Krefeld, Germany, is one of the largest independent warehouse traders for precision flat steels. One of its innovative products includes a high-grade metal powder for 21st century applications such as metal injection molding, powder metal metallurgy, plasma-spraying, laser cladding, and 3D-printing. The company also manufactures milling machines and 3D-printing machines for additive manufacturing. Steel Service Krefeld joined the Innovation Lab as a residential member in July.
Jürgen Beesen, managing director of Steel Service Krefeld, says the company adheres to a “vision of a symbiosis of steel competence and innovative e-commerce.”
Due in part to the ongoing partnership with NETVRIDA Executive Director Alan Bridwell and partnerships listed above, both German companies were recruited and chose the ETSU Innovation Lab as its entry point into the U.S. and surrounding markets. NETVRIDA President Lee H. Brown says the Innovation Lab’s Soft Landings site is one-of-a-kind and the efforts of Depelteau and Bridwell have had great success due to their cooperation and collaboration. “They truly work as a team recruiting international companies to Northeast Tennessee, a testament to their commitment to regionalism” he added.
Other collaborative efforts include:
- Wetekam Monofilaments, a German Company that makes high quality, progressive monofilaments for the global market located to a manufacturing facility in Dandridge, Tennessee in 2014. Wetekam has created more than 20 jobs.
- FWG Special Springs graduated from the Innovation Lab in 2015 when it purchased an 18,000 square foot facility in Johnson City. The company currently employs three people and has the long-term goal of establishing a manufacturing facility at the site.
- Hebmüller Aerospace, which develops valve solutions for modern flow control in aircraft, joined the Innovation Lab at the beginning of 2019 and continues to gain new business in the U.S. each year. Axel Hebmüller is partnering with NETVRIDA and the Innovation Lab as an international contact for companies wishing to start in the United States.
- GigaTera, former Innovation Lab affiliate member, provides energy savings solutions with its cutting-edge LED fixtures and core technologies and was introduced to the United States market.
- The International Soft Landings program assisted in translating a presentation into Korean for the Greene County Partnership, has assisted the city of Morristown as well as the International Group at Baker Donelson in Nashville in their recruiting endeavors.
Incubator cooking up new business.
Professional angler Aaron Martens was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor motivating outdoorsmen around the country to help. Proceeds of this virtual tournament from September 12-20 will go the Martens family.
ETSU Innovation Lab affiliate member, Connect Outdoors, is happy to help with this fund raising effort. The Connect Fishing League software will host the tournament.
Dr. Audrey Depelteau, director of the ETSU Innovation Lab, was chosen to be a mentor in the first Climate Reality global virtual training held in July. Five hundred Climate Reality Leaders from around the world served as mentors for more than 10,000 participants. Climate crisis training focused on diversity, equity, inclusion.
Hebmuller Aerospace’s initiative exemplifies the symbiotic relationship between the Innovation Labs’ International Soft Landings Companies and East Tennessee State University, faculty and students. Axel and his team are truly integrated in our community and we are so proud of them.
Connect Outdoors, an affiliate member of East Tennessee State University’s Innovation Lab, will host the Big Bass Shootout through its Connect Fishing League. A series of four one-day tournaments open to all ages is scheduled for May 30, June 6, June 13 and June 20 with the winner to be announced on Father's Day, June 21.
Affiliate Member Civic 365 is getting ready to launch.
Like their social media sites for updates.
by: Kaylyn Kluck
Posted: Dec 26, 2019 / 07:21 PM EST / Updated: Dec 26, 2019 / 07:21 PM EST
Vol. 68 Number 4 October 7, 2019
Great write up on our Director, Dr. Audrey Depelteau and her work with the The Climate Underground and as a Climate Reality Leader.
Posted: October 28, 2019
"Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks" Making the transition from a person without a care in the world to a heart disease patient. Featuring interviews with Cynthia Jan Blair, Lynn Frierson, Dr. Timir Paul, and Dr. Hadii Mamudu. A production of CVD Appalachia.
Thank you CVD Appalachia for the acknowledgement at minute 58.
by: Jackie DeFusco, WJHL
Posted: / Updated:
Innovation Lab Members, John Cannon and Jason Hudson discuss Opportunity Zones with local reporter Jackie DeFusco.
Congratulations to Innovation Lab Affiliate Member, Symply Data Centers, for being mentioned in this Forbes article on Opportunity Zones!
UNICOI — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee took a tour of Unicoi’s Mountain Harvest Kitchen on his visit to Northeast Tennessee Tuesday.
Asked about his impression of the regional food business incubator, the longtime businessman called said the kitchen is “a really good example of government partnering with communities to create private sector jobs.”
“What’s better than a job coming to Tennessee? It’s a job that is created in Tennessee,” Lee said.
“One job creates another job. When we can incubate jobs, that’s the thing we need to do and I’m very excited to be a part of it.”
Scott Morris, Connect Outdoors VP of Tournament Operations announces a partnership with Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation to help the organization with their fundraising efforts and to contribute to the organizations conservation efforts. Connect Outdoors will sponsor 13 tournaments across the state with 1800 anglers participating.
Nationally-known outdoorsman Garry Mason is joining an Affiliate Member of the Innovation Lab at East Tennessee State University – ConnectScale, LLC – to build a high school fishing and tournament fishing platform.
Affiliate member ConnectOutdoors/ConnectScale to Provide Tournament Platform for Middle Tennessee Fishing Club.
Affiliate Member, John Cannon is mentioned in this article about Opportunity Zones and possible investments headed to our region.
Check out the article about our Soft Landings Designation with partner NETVRIDA and International member, Hebmüller Aerospace, in this month's issue of Southern Business & Development (Tennessee).
1st place award and $7,500 – Lisa Ousley, DNP, RN, FNP, of INSTRUCTIDERM, LLC & ETSU College of Nursing for her team’s product, which creates two and three-dimensional models of skin lesions. These realistic-looking “lesions” can be placed on humans and mannequins to help educate clinicians detect skin diseases, such as melanoma.
More than just the Director of the Innovation Lab, Dr. Audrey Depelteau is also a dedicated Climate Reality Leader. She recently served as a mentor during leadership training in Atlanta with attendees from over 40 countries.
ETSU Innovation Lab affiliate member, enlistMD, aims to bring armed service enlistment into the 21st century. Check out the article on page 21 in the January 2019 issue of The Business Journal of the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia.
Dr. Noland mentions the work of Dr. Audrey Depelteau, Director of the Innovation Lab.
Congratulations to our Innovation Lab Member, TEVET, LLC, named Regional Subcontractor of the Year!
GOVERNOR HASLAM, COMMISSIONER ROLFE ANNOUNCE VAN HOOL NV TO ESTABLISH FIRST US MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN MORRISTOWN4/12/2018 by Scott Harrison, TNECD
3/27/2018 by Brandon Paykamian, Johnson City Press
Congratulations to ETSU Innovation Lab's member, HemispheresNeuro (Dr. Eric Sellers, Dr. Mike Adler and Bob Adler), for being accepted into the Life Science Tennessee State Mentorship Program. We are so proud of you!
Article on former ETSU Innovation Lab Member, Kitty Juul of the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium,
Check out our Facebook page for more updates.