Final stages near for top Innovation Crossroads cohort three applicants

Final interviews will soon be underway for the Innovation Crossroads cohort three top contenders to determine if they’ll be joining the elite program.

Innovation Crossroads is a new program based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory 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.

Just last August, the Department of Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority announced their partnership to support the third cohort of these energy entrepreneurs. For the first time, TVA will provide funding to support Innovation Crossroads fellows focusing on energy-related topics such as grid reliability and emerging technologies.

Currently, there are eight startups enrolled in the program whose founders come from some of the most prestigious universities in the nation.

In this latest cohort, up to six innovators will be selected to receive the two-year post-doctoral entrepreneurial fellowship at ORNL worth nearly $500,000 that includes stipends, vouchers for collaborative research and development at ORNL, startup business guidance and mentoring, and health and travel benefits.

During the selection process, Innovation Crossroads team leaders received a record number of 60 applications, representing 28 states and 39 universities.

The final interviews will be conducted February 27 and February 28, with on-boarding scheduled to take place in May of this year.

Several Innovation Crossroads entrepreneurs are enrolled in the Energy Mentor Network, formed by TAEBC and Launch Tennessee, to provide non-exclusive business mentoring services to the innovators.