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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, November 1, 2019

Chamber selects two Spirit of Innovation winners




The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce has named 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,” says 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 more than 100 varieties maturing in their aging cellar, visits to the distillery are 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 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.

The Chamber also honored Spirit of Innovation Award finalists: Adventure Sports Innovation, American Bicycle Group, Landrace Bioscience and WorkHound.

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.