Three Chattanooga startups win grants from Tennessee's business development agency

Three Chattanooga businesses were selected among a dozen Tennessee companies as recipients of Tennessee Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer matching grants from LaunchTN, the state's business development agency.

Coulometrics, an advanced battery manufacturing and consulting firm, qualified for a $150,000 grant; E&G Associates, an engineering and consulting firm with extensive powder characterization expertise, will receive $74,797 of grants, and PreTel Inc., a medical device innovator, will get $74,615.50 in grants from the federal program.

The grants helped the small businesses purchase crucial equipment for overall market expansion and create at least 44 jobs across Tennessee.

The business innovation grants are awarded nationally to nearly 5,000 startups small businesses each year. To qualify, the companies must be in operation for at least 24 months and use the grants to grow new technologies, products or business lines.

In 2017, LaunchTN started the grant-matching program to stimulate the state's economy. To date, 24 companies, of which eight are led by women, veterans and minorities, received funds totaling $3 million.

"As Tennesseans, we should be proud that so many promising businesses were awarded SBIR/STTR grants through a highly competitive process," said Margaret Dolan, president of LaunchTN.

Coulometrics, located at 1086 Duncan Avenue in Chattanooga, is a consulting and maker of advanced battery components and services owned by Dr. Edward Buiel,. who has 20 years of experience developing carbon-based materials for lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors. Coulometrics has a unique combination of expertise that includes graphite processing for lithium ion batteries and full cell electrode coating, calendaring, cell assembly, and testing.

E & G Associates, located in the Chattanooga Business Development Center on the North Shore, is an engineering consulting and contract research firm that works in the pharmaceutical, consumer products, food and industrial chemical sectors.

Pre Tel Inc., a Chattanooga startup founded by Mrac Finch and Dr. Roger Young, offers uterine electromyography (uEMG) monitoring and area sensor solutions to help accurately identify true versus false labor with fetal monitoring. The technology helps avoid unnecessary invasive monitoring, C-section deliveries and expensive neonatal intensive care nursery stays and seeks to improve both maternal and pediatric outcomes in the labor and delivery department, and extends care to at-home monitoring.