Variable, Inc. Named Southland’s Most Innovative Startup

Monday, June 17, 2013

Variable, Inc., the Chattanooga-based creator of the NODE wireless sensor for iPhones, was named Most Innovative Startup Sunday at the first annual Southland conference here, winning a $10,000 award from presenting sponsor Nissan. A Launch Tennessee event, the Southland conference attracted a capacity crowd of more than 650 entrepreneurs and investors on June 12-13 to share ideas and opportunities.

Also awarded was Fuelzee, creator of an iPhone app that helps drivers find cheap gasoline and earn points for free merchandise at gas stations. The Orlando-based company won $5,000 and was named the top startup in Southland Village, the trade show portion of the conference. 

“Variable, Inc. most impressed the investors who heard pitches from some of the Southeast’s most innovative startups over the last two days, and Fuelzee was one of two companies that garnered the highest ratings from attendees at Southland Village,” said Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock. “We hope the inaugural Southland conference was a success for all of the companies that attended as they got to network and hear from some of the most influential investors and tech thought leaders throughout the country.”

George Yu, CEO of Variable, Inc. and inventor of the NODE, said he got the idea for the device while creating a chemical gas sensor for NASA several years ago. He credits CO.LAB, Chattanooga’s startup accelerator, for helping him envision commercial applications for his invention. Today the iPhone-based sensor has apps that allow it to measure temperature, color, pressure, humidity and other variables. Eight apps are on the market today and Yu expects more to be developed by outside developers. He has received interest in NODE from Apple, Intel, Google and Nokia. 

Other finalists for Southland’s “Most Innovative Startup” were:

Yellow Jacket, a Baton Rouge, La., company that has created an iPhone case that contains a 650,000-volt stun gun. 

VIPAAR from Birmingham, Ala., which has created technology that allows experts to interactively guide or train others from thousands of miles away.

World Housing Solution from Orlando, Fla., which has developed modular housing that can be easily and economically set up and taken down. 

Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of fostering job creation and economic growth. It focuses on four key areas: entrepreneurship, commercialization, capital and outreach. Launch Tennessee is in part funded by a grant from the State of Tennessee. Find Launch Tennessee on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/LaunchTN), Twitter (www.Twitter.com/LaunchTN), YouTube (www.YouTube.com/LaunchTN) and Flickr (www.Flickr.com/LaunchTN).

For more information on Southland, please visit www.southlandse.com.

HHM Expands To Memphis, Merges With Brundige Payne & Company

Chattanooga based certified public accounting firm,    Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC begins implementing its growth plan by announcing the merger with Brundige Payne & Company, PC effective Aug.   1. The combined company will operate as HHM Memphis and will move ... (click for more)

Textile Corporation Of America To Create 1,000 New Jobs In Pikeville

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and Textile Corporation of America Inc. officials on Monday announced the company will locate its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Pikeville.  Textile Corporation of America will invest approximately $27.1 million and create 1,000 new jobs in Bledsoe ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Tn., As Hall Tax Evaporates, Raises Property Tax By 14 Cents Above New Certified Rate; Parking Rates, Fines Raised

With the Hall tax dwindling, the Lookout Mountain, Tn., Commission on Tuesday night approved a 14-cent property tax increase above the new certified rate.   The July meeting of the commission had been postponed until Tuesday so the amount of Hall state income tax that the town will receive for 2107 would be known before setting the property tax rate and finalizing the ... (click for more)

Man In Critical Condition After Shooting On 34th Street; Carolyn Ross Taken Into Custody

A man is in critical condition after a shooting on Tuesday night on 34th Street.   Carolyn Ross, 57, was taken into custody.   Chattanooga Police responded at 7:20 p.m. to a person shot at the 1900 block E 34 th  Street.   Police initially responded to the report of a disorder at the 3900 block of 6th Avenue. Upon arrival officers learned the ... (click for more)

Prayers For Denny

I don’t live in Chattanooga any longer unfortunately and haven’t for many years now, but when I did live there, I was more than a regular at Yesterdays.  It was basically my second home….as it was for many, many of my friends and others that I may not have known their names, but definitely knew their faces.   It was the “Cheers” of Chattanooga. It was the place that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)