LaunchTN Press Release
CONTACT Charles Layne

Holocene is pleased to announce that it has received matching funds from LaunchTN — a public-private partnership focused on cultivating Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem — as part of LaunchTN’s SBIR/STTR Matching Fund program for fiscal year 2024.

This cycle, LaunchTN awarded $4.5M to 30 different companies, with a majority hailing from Eastern TN where Holocene is proud to call home.

Holocene is grateful for the continued, and unwavering, support that it receives from the greater TN entrepreneurial and climate-focused ecosystem. We recognize that most “climate tech” start-ups that you hear about in the news are not based in Tennessee — and programs like this are why we think TN is an obvious place to scale a climate tech start-up, rather than a curious place to do so.

Alongside LaunchTN’s original press release, we’d highlight 3 reasons why we are so excited about this award…


#1: Matching funds are a critical complement to non-dilutive funding

Building a hard-tech company takes a nuanced financing strategy that evolves throughout the lifecycle of the company’s priorities. Our friends at CTVC recently spoke to this financing landscape via their growing “Capital Stack” perspectives.

For Holocene, non-dilutive funding from public (e.g., DOE) and private (e.g., Breakthrough Fellows) sources have been pivotal in our ability to develop and grow to date. However, those funding sources are often targeted specifically toward technology development (e.g., spending on machines and research) vs. broader company development.

The reality is… hard-tech companies need to both develop technology and the broader business. And this is why matching funds like those we were awarded from LaunchTN are so critical and important.

#2: Tennessee continues to prove it can be the home for scaling hard-tech

When people think about building innovative hard-tech businesses, they generally look to the Bay Area, Boston, and increasingly so, Houston. While these hubs are great homes for new companies and innovations, we’d offer that the world shouldn’t sleep on Tennessee.

Not fully knowing what to expect when we moved here, Holocene has been overwhelmed by what we’ve found:

  • Impressive and deep industrial and technical talent bases

  • Local public and private entities that are all-in on supporting us

  • Affordable facilities that can scale as we scale

  • Wide and diverse non-dilutive funding and support programs

  • Amendable regulatory structures that understand and accept our solutions

Beyond these regional assets, TN has proven an attractive place to live, settle, and attract talent. We believe it can be the home for scaling hard-tech businesses.

#3: Rising tides lift all boats — congrats to our fellow awardees!

Holocene was not alone in this award, and we are not alone in our mission to build generational companies headquartered in TN that drive a lasting, meaningful positive impact on the world.

We’d like to congratulate our fellow eastern TN-based awardees, including Addiguru, LLC; American Nanotechnologies, Inc.; Branch Technology; Captis Aire LLC; Covert Defenses LLC; CrossLink Composites, Inc.; DayLyte Batteries; Endeavor Composites, Inc.; FC Renew, LLC; Neutroelectric, LLC; Orion Therapeutics, Inc.; Perseus Materials, Inc.; Safire Technology Group, Inc.; Sentinel Devices LLC; Serious Healthcare; SkyNano; Ultrasonic Technology Solutions; Veracity Nuclear, LLC

Our fellow innovators create an invaluable support system for our ambitions so

This award will play a critical role in accelerating our product and company development, and we look forward to continued engagement with the broader TN entrepreneurial and industrial ecosystem.

If you like what you see from LaunchTN, don’t miss out on their 3686 Festival happening this week in Nashville!

About Holocene
Holocene is a direct air capture (“DAC”) technology developer and carbon removal service provider building the future of the DAC industry via a highly scalable & affordable, low-temperature, aqueous carbon removal system. Holocene is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA — and its co-founders are Anca Timofte, Keeton Ross, and Tobias Rüesch.

About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership uniquely positioned to cultivate and support collaboration among founders, investors, the private sector, institutions, and government. We support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by coordinating resources, advancing capital access, and empowering our Network Partners and multiple stakeholders throughout the state to activate inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Tennessee.