autoXLR8R road show kicks off August 26



autoXLR8R, a mentor-driven accelerator program focused on bringing new automotive technologies to market, will host its second Road Show later this month with a series of three stops planned for Birmingham, Ala. (Aug. 26), Greenville, S.C. (Aug. 27) and Oak Ridge (Aug. 28).


The Road Show will provide three opportunities for the autoXLR8R companies to network with and receive valuable feedback from investors and leading automotive industry executives from across the Southeast. The success of last year’s Road Show, coupled with the regional draw of the 2015 cohort, compelled autoXLR8R officials to expand this year’s end-of-program format to include stops in Alabama and South Carolina, along with Tennessee.


The Road Show will begin Aug. 26 at the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) headquarters in Birmingham with the program beginning at 10 a.m. CT. Less than 24 hours later, the Clemson University Center for International Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, S.C., will host the Road Show on Aug. 27 with an event scheduled to start at 8 a.m. ET. The final stop on the Road Show will be held at Tech 2020 in Oak Ridge on Aug. 28 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.


Six of this year’s companies have ties to Tennessee, reflecting the state’s thriving automotive manufacturing community. For the second straight year, autoXLR8R sports an international flair with companies from Mexico and Italy. Alabama and Kentucky, two of Tennessee’s bordering states with strong ties to the automotive sector, also produced companies for this year’s program.


“This year’s group has attracted tremendous interest from the regional automotive manufacturing community, and we are excited to share our companies with investors and industry representatives during this three-city Road Show,” said Jack Sisk, autoXLR8R program manager. “These technologies address immediate needs within the automotive marketplace, and I am interested to see how OEMs and suppliers choose to utilize them.”


The start-up companies demonstrate a wide range of expertise and mirror major trends in car technology, including driver apps for mobile phones, advanced hub motor design, innovative manufacturing technology and personalized mass transit.


Technologies included in this year’s autoXLR8R are:


· CASCI – Developing automatic guided vehicle to deliver material in manufacturing operations.

· CBA – Data analytics to monitor production processes in auto manufacturing.

· Drive & Live – Mobile application that monitors drivers for drowsiness and other signals of impaired driving.

· IVRTrain – Uses virtual reality to develop immersive training systems that simulate real world manufacturing environments.

· OptoLogistics – Software that optimizes logistics within the auto manufacturing industry.

· The PT Solution – Personal transportation service designed for metro areas and campuses.

· Sleep on Trucking – Device that levels and stabilizes the sleeping quarters of a semi-tractor making it easier for drivers to sleep.

· The Smart Seat – Application that reminds drivers of small children and pets about to be left in an automobile.

· SRM – Innovative hub motor technology.

· Twitch Technologies – Device which utilizes a novel alphanumeric keyboard and system for manually inputting data.


The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) will team with the EDPA to host the first stop for the start-ups in Birmingham. autoXLR8R company founders will spend the morning delivering their pitch presentations to representatives from automotive tier 1 and 2 companies as well as regional economic development officials and members of the EDPA.


“AAMA is pleased to co-host the first stop on autoXLR8R’s Road Show,” said AAMA president Ron Davis. “Alabama is home to three OEMs, a Toyota engine plant and several thriving automotive and related companies, and we look forward to showcasing autoXLR8R’s technologies to potential business partners from companies in our region.”


Organizations SC Launch and the South Carolina Automotive Council (SCAC) will team with CU-ICAR to host the second leg of the Road Show in Greenville. A world-renowned hub for automotive innovation and discovery, CU-ICAR represents an ideal location for autoXLR8R’s companies to visit and pitch to investors and industry executives.


“We are delighted to host the autoXLR8R companies at Clemson University,” said SCRA Technology Ventures vice president Greg Hillman. “South Carolina’s automotive and tech industries have grown exponentially over the past several years, and bringing the start-ups to one of our nation’s top research institutions seems like a perfect fit. I look forward to showcasing these emerging technologies to a host of investors and automotive executives from across our state at CU-ICAR.”


Fittingly, the Road Show will end where the program began in early July – at autoXLR8R’s Tech 2020 headquarters in Oak Ridge on Aug. 28. Tech 2020 is a venture development organization that assumed full control of the program this year, after serving as a significant partner the last two years.


“Each of these technologies has grown immensely over the past nine weeks, and it has become increasingly evident that these companies have the potential to take the next step,” said Shawn Carson, program manager for autoXLR8R. “We are excited to welcome the autoXLR8R Road Show to Oak Ridge where we can continue to foster connections with the manufacturing community and introduce them to local investors.”


The goal of the autoXLR8R program is to identify, commercialize and fund high-potential technologies applicable to the automotive industry. The program is supported by a network of auto industry executives, engineers and researchers from across the Southeast. The autoXLR8R team seeks to help regional companies grow their product pipelines by connecting with entrepreneurs, early stage technologies and new products.


Road Show Details


Alabama autoXLR8R Road Show – Stop 1
When: Wednesday, August 26, 9 a.m. CT
Where: Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA)
500 Beacon Pkwy West, Birmingham, AL 35209


South Carolina autoXLR8R Road Show – Stop 2
When: Thursday, August 27, 8 a.m. ET
Where: Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research
5 Research Drive, Greenville, SC 29607


Tennessee autoXLR8R Road Show – Stop 3
When: Friday, August 28, 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Tech 20/20
101 Commerce Park Drive, Oak Ridge, TN 37830



Tech 2020