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.