Source: Oak Ridge Today | April 20, 2015

Application process now open

Tech 2020 of Oak Ridge is accepting applications for autoXLR8R 2015, a business accelerator for startups seeking to commercialize technology in the automotive industry. The application process is detailed on the program website: The deadline for applications is May 29.

The program opens in Oak Ridge on July 6 and runs through the week of August 31.

autoXLR8R is in it’s third year, having started at the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Tech 2020 has been involved with providing educational support since its inception, a press release said.

“Now, the organization will leverage its rich history in entrepreneurial support to deliver the comprehensive program,” the press release said. “autoXLR8R 2015 is presented in coordination with LaunchTN and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.”

“East Tennessee is a great place for autoXLR8R,” said Shawn Carson of Tech 2020. “It’s a strategic location for a program that will extend to startups across the southeastern United States. We are in the heart of innovation and technology development with institutions like the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research close by.”

Carson went on to describe how the program will evolve for 2015.

“We are moving to an online/remote based program delivery, which will minimize disruption of the entrepreneur’s normal business activities, and it also removes geography as a constraint,” he said. “We expect to have participants from across Tennessee and the Southeast.”

Jack Sisk, autoXLR8R program director since 2013, came along to Tech 2020 with the program. Sisk said, “the automotive industry is constantly seeking innovation and the integration of new technology into its vehicles. We view autoXLR8R as a catalyst to introduce these new technologies.”

Tech 2020 is a regional venture development organization, or VDO, and is a Tennessee nonprofit corporation established in 1995. The organization initially was chartered to assist with the creation of small businesses through technology transfer from U.S. Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge. Among the first VDOs in the nation, Tech 2020 has won national awards from the State Science and Technical Institute and the National Business Incubation Association. Tech 2020 has been recognized by the University Business Incubator Index as one of the nation’s top four incubators and one of the top six internationally. Tech 2020 provides physical and virtual incubation services, as well as coaching and mentoring, to small businesses.