The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is continuing its series of feature stories highlighting the mentors behind the Energy Mentor Network program offering industry specific expertise.
The Energy Mentor Network‘s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors. This gives Tennessee yet another advantage in grabbing its more than fair share of the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market.
The Energy Mentor Network is run by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in partnership with Launch Tennessee.
In broad strokes, the Energy Mentor Network pairs mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions.
The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups. After completing the program, startups will have an investable pitch deck, a rock solid business model and a plan to establish more traction. These tools will position Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to raise capital, request other funds like SBIR grants, and scale their company.
This week TAEBC is highlighting mentor Jeff Kanel. He serves as the President and CEO of Renewable Algal Energy (RAE), is an entrepreneur, technology leader and R&D chemical engineer with broad experience in separation processes, patenting, and commercializing technology.
RAE has pioneered a breakthrough technology to produce sustainable, economically viable products from microalgae — from algal oil as a feedstock for renewable diesel fuel to protein, carotenoids, and omega-3 fatty acids for animal and human nutrition. RAE has won four SBIR awards under Jeff’s leadership.
He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has more than 26 years of experience in engineering research and process development through work at The Dow Chemical Company, Eastman Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation.
He is an inventor on more than 30 issued U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents, and serves on the President’s Advisory Council at the University of Akron. He has been invited twice to the National Academy of Engineer’s Foundations of Engineering Meetings, and he teaches a course on Liquid Extraction for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and for the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Kanel has been associated with several entrepreneurial endeavors since 1996, including: 1) the development and commercialization of technology to extract zeaxanthin from paprika; and 2) demonstration and sale to a Fortune 250 company of a process to grow and harvest algae for the production of natural beta-carotene.
TAEBC is still accepting mentors for the Energy Mentor Program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Mentors” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.