Spirit of Innovation Award Finalists Announced

Jonathan Taplin To Headline Luncheon Tuesday

Monday, November 12, 2012

Four Chattanooga area companies have been selected as finalists for the 2012 Spirit of Innovation Award, which the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will present at its 12th Annual Spirit of Innovation Luncheon on Tuesday. All finalists will be honored during the event, which will take place from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The Spirit of Innovation was the first regionally-based innovation awards program and remains one of the only events designed to promote and foster cutting-edge business activities in a specific geographic area. This year’s honorees are American Bicycle Group, Motion View Software, LLC, Sherman + Reilly, Inc. and Woople, LLC. The Spirit of Innovation Award recognizes companies for innovative products, services and ways of doing business in the Chattanooga region.

Along with the Spirit of Innovation Award presentation, the Chattanooga Technology Council will name the winners of the Early Innovator Award, which honors emerging technology-based companies that have produced a groundbreaking prototype product or beta stage software application that represents the potential for a significant competitive advantage.

Jonathan Taplin, director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, will deliver the keynote address at the luncheon. Throughout his career, Mr. Taplin has held a variety of executive leadership roles in the digital media entertainment and international communication management fields. As the owner of two patents for video-on-demand technologies and a founder of the video-on-demand company Intertainer, Mr. Taplin helped pioneer new content delivery systems for both cable and broadband Internet markets. Due to his innovative work in this field, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mr. Taplin to the California Broadband Task Force in 2006.

In addition to his work in broadband, Mr. Taplin also served as Bob Dylan and The Band’s tour manager in 1969 and produced Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, Mean Streets, as well as 26 hours of television documentaries and 12 feature films, which have been nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe awards and featured at The Cannes Film Festival multiple times.

About the finalists

American Bicycle Group (ABG) designed, engineered and manufactured the titanium legs for Curiosity, the $2.5 billion NASA rover which successfully landed on Mars Aug. 6. Best known as the maker of Litespeed and Quintana Roo, its signature lines of titanium and carbon bicycles, ABG fabricated the titanium framework supporting Curiosity’s combined wheels using Chattanooga craftsmanship and materials. Thanks to ABG’s efforts the Mars rover landed with pinpoint accuracy on its wheels rather than airbags – a first in aerospace history. This innovation allowed Curiosity to spend more of its limited lifespan collecting data and less time orienting itself. As Curiosity continues to collect priceless scientific information on locally-manufactured legs, ABG is emerging as a point of convergence between Chattanooga’s manufacturing heritage, outdoor story and ability to produce advanced technology. 

Motion View Software, LLC developed a leading edge method for correcting orthodontic tooth alignment. Using Motion View's 3D Laser Scanners and Ortho Insight 3D software, orthodontists can convert scanned tooth impressions into 3D models and identify ideal positions for the orthodontic brackets for each tooth. This process saves vast amounts of office time and money by eliminating the need to make plaster models while also significantly reducing orthodontic treatment time for the patient. With the speed, automation and accuracy these technologies provide, orthodontists can now assess a patient and apply custom-made braces in a fraction of the time of traditional methods. Motion View's method also enables practitioners to provide more "direct to ideal position" tooth movement. This causes less trauma to the teeth and helps to ensure healthier gums, bone and tooth roots while offering higher quality long term results and shorter treatment times.

Sherman + Reilly, Inc. created the Safe Zone Cab System, a fully-environmental enclosure for power line operators which includes a suite of features designed to protect them from potential danger. Ranked by OSHA as the ninth most dangerous job in the U.S., power line operators are regularly exposed to a myriad of environmental, operational and application risks. To minimize those threats, Sherman + Reilly built the Safe Zone Cab System, which encloses operators and features full digital controls and video surveillance of external conditions. In addition, the design also provides noise suppression, ergonomic seating and heating and air conditioning. This system represents a major change in the traditional approach to designing stringing equipment. As the product continues to take hold in the utility field, it is expected to emerge as an industry standard.

Woople, LLC designed a simple, affordable, fun and efficient eLearning platform. Woople allows anyone to educate, motivate and communicate in real time. Founded in 2009, Woople provides world-class education for strategic business partners ranging from Fortune 50 companies to small businesses. Through the eLearning platform, users can easily upload their own content or subscribe to customized learning experiences created by professional providers, trainers and teachers. Woople’s built-in accountability system enables managers to view user progress by day, week, month or year for single users and groups. Woople encourages users to participate in content creation and system development by granting them access to all backend tools. Though many platforms aimed at user-generated education are currently on the market, Woople is the first to provide an organizational solution that also enables individual users to be contributors.

To make an individual or group reservation for the Spirit of Innovation Luncheon, please contact the Chattanooga Chamber events hotline at 423 763-4366 or events@chattanoogachamber.com. Tickets cost $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Advance registration is required.  


Administrative Office Of The Courts Now Accepting Grant Applications

The Administrative Office of the Courts is now accepting Grant Applications for the Parent Education and Mediation Fund as well as the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.   The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program of Tennessee (VORP) was sanctioned by the legislature in 1993.  Pursuant to this legislation, the Administrative ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Presents Business Calendar For March 28-31

TUES/28 Reality Check at Ivy Academy 9:45-11 a.m. Mile Straight Baptist Church: 8448 Springfield Rd. Reality Check teaches 9th graders budgeting and emphasizes the connection between education and income by having roleplay as heads of household with a set budget. To volunteer for this Chattanooga Chamber career readiness program, contact Cathy Humble at  423.763.4321 ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Rawlings Street Friday Night; 1 In Critical Condition

Two people were shot, Friday night, and one is in critical condition. At approximately  9:56 p.m.  Chattanooga Police officers responded to the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on a report of a person shot. Officers arrived on scene and located one victim lying next to a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. A second victim arrived at a local hospital suffering from ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Geno: Our ‘Me’ Culture

By almost every measure, Geno Auriemma is the best basketball coach in America. His University of Connecticut women are riding a record 109-game winning streak that dates to Nov. 17, 2016. Stanford barely beat them in overtime 3 years ago, but, before that, they won 41 straight. That means UConn is 153-1 and, in the current 109 streak, they have double-figure wins over the opponents ... (click for more)