Lenoir City native and University of Tennessee alumnus Eric Dobson returned to Knoxville four years ago to build a company from a technology-based idea to better monitor and secure shipping containers.

Drawn by a local investor ‘ready to back a great idea,’ Dobson relocated from Charleston, S.C., where he worked in the radio frequency identification industry. During the past three years, Dobson’s company, TrakLok Corp., has taken advantage of below-market rent and support services from two local incubators — one run by the University of Tennessee, the other by the Development Corp. of Knox County — and won venture capital through the state government-created TNInvestco funds. Now with five full-time employees and at least $2 million in revenues expected by year’s end, TrakLok is something of a poster child for what a local, technology-based startup looks like.

It’s also a rarity.

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