Energy Mentor Network team meets Innovation Crossroads Second Cohort

The Energy Mentor Network’s mentors had an opportunity to meet the Innovations Crossroads newly inducted second cohort at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and hear more about their exciting technologies and innovations.

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have access to world-class science expertise and capabilities at ORNL, including Titan, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials.

The innovators also will be partnered with a powerful network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market, including the Energy Mentor Network which provides non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovation Crossroads Innovators.

The Energy Mentor Network’s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and industry specific expertise.

The second cohort of Innovation Crossroads fellows and their projects include:

Donald DeRosa: High Voltage Electrolytes for Ultracapacitors

DeRosa is developing a high voltage electrolyte to significantly lower the cost and size of ultracapacitor modules. The resulting lower cost, smaller modules can be used in tandem with lithium ion batteries to dramatically improve the efficiency, range, and longevity of hybrid and electric vehicles. DeRosa is a doctoral candidate in nanoscience at the State University of New York at Albany and chief technology officer of Eonix.

Shane McMahon: Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Highly Crystalline Thin-Film Semiconductor Substrates

McMahon is developing a novel thin-film semiconductor recrystallization process that grows highly crystalline silicon and germanium thin-films as precursor substrates for flexible electronic devices. These flexible, large-area substrates will serve as a platform technology for thin-film transistors, sensors, displays, lighting, and photovoltaics. McMahon is a doctoral candidate in nanoengineering at the State University of New York at Albany and is founder and chief executive officer of Lux Semiconductors.

Justin Nussbaum: Large Area Projection Sintering

Nussbaum is developing a manufacturing grade, additive manufacturing (AM) system, called Large Area Projection Sintering (LAPS), that offers many advantages over new and traditional AM technologies. With LAPS, components can be economically created with increased production rates, reduced peak processing temperatures and extended exposure times, enabling processing of a broader range of materials while also providing superior mechanical properties. Nussbaum is a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of South Florida.

Megan O’Connor: Electrochemical Recovery of Rare Earth and Specialty Elements

O’Connor is developing a recycling technology that utilizes carbon nanotube membranes for enhanced separation and recovery of solid rare earth and specialty elements (RESE) oxides.  This technology will provide a high-throughput electrochemical recovery device for recycling RESE as an alternative to the conventional energy-intensive extraction and refining processes currently used to obtain these metals for manufacturing. O’Connor holds a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University and is co-founder and chief technology officer of Nth Cycle.

Matthew Smith: Thermally Conductive 3D Printing Filaments

Smith’s new class of high thermal conductivity plastic composite material aims to improve heat dissipation, allowing for metal replacement and light-weighting, cost and component reductions, and improved performance and reliability. These materials also exhibit the unique ability to be 3D printed, allowing thermal engineers to rapidly and cheaply prototype multi-functional thermal solutions and enabling the design of heat transfer products that cannot be manufactured using traditional methods. Smith holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is co-founder and chief technology officer of TCPoly.

Introduction to Innovation Crossroads Innovators, Cohort Two

Save the Date

Introducing the Innovation Crossroads Innovator, Cohort Two

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

10:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Innovation Crossroads Building

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council invites you to meet Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Innovation Crossroads innovators as we introduce them to the Energy Mentor Network and our mentors.

Lunch will be served.

ORNL welcomes new entrepreneurial research fellows to Innovation Crossroads

Oak Ridge National Laboratory welcomed a second group of technology innovators to join Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast’s only entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have access to world-class science expertise and capabilities at ORNL, including Titan, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials. The innovators also will be partnered with a powerful network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market.

Read more at ORNL.gov

Energy Mentor Network Company: SkyNano Technologies

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is featuring the companies benefiting from the Energy Mentor Network program, which offers industry specific expertise from experienced mentors.

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 SkyNano Technologies. SkyNano Technologies has developed an open system manufacturing technique to produce low cost, high value carbon nanotubes, a material with potential applications in a variety of areas from energy storage to consumer electronics. Compared to traditional manufacturing processes that require high vacuum and high pressure gas flow systems, SkyNano’s patent-pending technology relies on the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide, resulting in a process that is lower in cost and scalable for commercial applications. Aside from lowering the cost of carbon nanotubes, SkyNano’s technique offers a promising method for converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into useful functional nanomaterials.

TAEBC is currently accepting applications from Tennessee advanced energy companies to apply for the Energy Mentor Network program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Startups” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.

SkyNano Technologies is enrolled in ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program. TAEBC and Launch Tennessee provide non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovation Crossroads Innovators.

Reflecting on TAEBC’s 2017 accomplishments & what’s to come

As we welcome 2018 and anticipate what it will bring, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) is marking its 2017 achievements.

By championing advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy, TAEBC is positioning the state and its members to increase our leadership role in the $1.4 trillion global advanced energy market.

As we enter into a New Year that will likely bring new opportunities and challenges, TAEBC wants to reinforce our commitment to our members and stakeholders:

  • Inform the national energy agenda.
  • Help Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
  • Foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups.
  • Support TVA’s efforts to become the utility of the future.

As we look forward to our annual membership meeting in Nashville, TAEBC shares our top accomplishments from 2017.

  1. TAEBC recognized the Energy Mentor Network‘s one year anniversary at “Opportunities in Energy” on December 7 in Knoxville. The Energy Mentor Network’s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee’s advanced energy startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and industry specific expertise. Since last year, the network doubled the number of mentors in the program to 25, and six companies are currently enrolled. Earlier this year, the network also recognized its first graduate, Solar Site Design.
  2. Opportunities in Energy 2017 was a huge success. The featured fireside chat included Chancellor Beverly Davenport, University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Craig Blue, Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The fireside chat was moderated by Tom Ballard, TAEBC Board Member and Chief Alliance Officer at PYA.
  3. Welcome new members: Tim Bewley, Christopher Intellectual Property Law, Clean Energy Advisors, John Noel, Anthony Boon, Coleman Adams, Ryan Stanton, Tennessee Solar Solutions, Revive Energy, John Whaling, Vanderbilt Center for Tech Transfer and Commercialization, and Appalachian Renewable Resources.
  4. “Entrepreneurs in Advanced Energy” video is the fourth in TAEBC’s “This is Advanced Energy” series. The video showcases Tennessee’s advanced energy entrepreneurial success and the organizations driving that success.
  5. TAEBC had a full calendar year filled with events that engaged both members and non-members alike including:
    1. Wacker Polysilicon Plant Tour. Mary Beth Hudson, Vice President of Wacker Polysilicon NA, Charleston Site Manager and TAEBC Board Member provided a keynote address about Wacker’s history, immediately followed with a bus tour of the Wacker facility.
    2. TVA Listening Session with Jay Stowe, Senior VP of DER. During this listening session, Jay Stowe talked about TVA’s future concerning DER and where the energy company is heading in the future.
    3. Lunch & Learn with Jetta Wong, Senior Advisor, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Jetta has over 14 years of experience developing programs and policies that support energy and environment technologies. She spoke about the status of cleantech, several cleantech accomplishments within the Department of Energy, and the organization she works for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.
    4. Introduction to the Innovation Crossroads Innovators. Members were invited to meet Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Innovation Crossroads innovators, as the innovators were introduced to the Energy Mentor Network and our mentors.
  6. TAEBC and Launch Tennessee’s Energy Mentor Network was officially designated as one of the Innovation Crossroad’s Business Mentor Organizations. Innovation Crossroads is a new program based at ORNL that matches aspiring energy entrepreneurs with the experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields to take their world-changing ideas from R&D to the marketplace.
  7. Preparations are already underway for TAEBC to release an updated Economic Impact Report in 2018. The report will further define the scope of Tennessee’s advanced energy sector and quantifies its economic impact. In 2015, TAEBC published the first ever Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report.
  8. TAEBC participates as a formal member in TVA’s newly formed stakeholder group: the “Distributed Generation – Information Exchange” or DG-IX for short. TAEBC was recently selected as its micro grid champion, and TAEBC Board Member Jim DeMouy serves on the Solar Stakeholders Group. TVA’s DG-IX was created to provide a forum for a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss the broad issues around the implementation of the distributed energy side of TVA’s 2015 Integrated Resource Plan. The group’s purpose is to build greater understanding of issues, technologies, and challenges/opportunities in distributed energy resources; facilitate dialogue among diverse interests; hear ideas, and present options and considerations to each other and TVA as they work to implement the 2015 IRP.
  9. A new board member joined TAEBC in 2017. Mary Beth Hudson serves as the Vice President of Wacker Polysilicon NA and Charleston Site Manager for Wacker Polysilicon. She is responsible for all aspects of manufacturing, supply chain, sales, and profitability of the Polysilicon division throughout the Region.

Remember to save the date for the next TAEBC event, Wednesday, February 28 in Nashville and help plan for a successful 2018.