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Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Names Two Spirit Of Innovation Award Recipients in Second Tie of Award’s Nearly 20-Year History


Chattanooga, TN – The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce names both Chattanooga Whiskey and FreightWaves as recipients of the 2019 Spirit of Innovation Award, the second tie in the award’s nearly 20-year history.

“These two companies are very different and represent two very different industries. They both exemplify the true spirit of innovation this award recognizes and celebrates,” said Dan Gilmore, Spirit of Innovation Award committee chair. “Chattanooga and the surrounding area are home to a diverse range of driven and innovative people and organizations. It’s no surprise that our six outstanding finalists include logistics, medical and workplace technology, outdoor activities and distilling.”

Chattanooga Whiskey’s story began in 2011 with a mission to bring back “Whiskey to the People.” Following the success of a community-powered Vote Whiskey campaign, Chattanooga Whiskey eventually became the first distillery in Chattanooga in a century, located in the heart of downtown. With over 100 different barrels maturing in their aging cellar, every visit to the Experimental Distillery is an exploration of the past, present and future of hand-crafted bourbon. In 2015, Chattanooga Whiskey began the process of crafting a signature style of Straight Bourbon Whiskey called Tennessee High Malt. Chattanooga Whiskey 91 and CASK 111 received gold and double gold medals from the 2019 SIP Awards soon after distribution began in July.

FreightWaves’ SaaS platform, SONAR, gives users valuable insights into freight markets through near-time data analyt­ics, the first ever of its kind. Of all the data in SONAR, 93% of it is proprietary to FreightWaves and showcases trends in 135 different markets around the country, giving users more context and insight into market dynamics and directions than ever before.

At last night’s Spirit of Innovation Awards, the Chamber also honored Spirit of Innovation Award finalists Adventure Sports Innovation, American Bicycle Group, Landrace Bioscience and WorkHound.

The event featured a panel discussion with Molly Blankenship, Chattanooga Chamber; Craig Buerstatte, United States Department of Commerce and Luke Marklin, Bellhops; with Marcus Shaw, CEO of The Company Lab, moderating.  

Other awards presented included:

· Education Innovator Award, presented by Chattanooga 2.0 to 4D Collaborative, implemented by Shannon Seigle at the STEM School. 4D Collaborative involves student-created virtual experiences that require students to show content mastery through coding and 3D design.

· Early Innovator Award, presented by the Chattanooga Technology Council to two companies in another tie:

·EIR Systems’ electronic prescription platform using blockchain technology to allow health care officials to track prescriptions and perform medication reconciliation in one secure, easy-to-use web interface.

·eLab Repairs specializes in installing and repairing digital fabrication equipment, including CNC routers, 3D printers, laser cutters and other electronics equipment. The company developed eLab Rx, a plug-in device and subscription service that enables owners of digital fabrication equipment to diagnose and repair their own equipment.

Read about Spirit of Innovation finalists here.

Spirit of Innovation is part of a robust schedule of Startup Week events. Find the full schedule here.

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