As Thanksgiving approaches, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council has been reflecting on what we’re thankful for as Tennessee’s advanced energy sector continues to grow, creating jobs and economic development opportunities for the state.
Advanced energy is technology neutral. Any technology that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is welcome at our table.
Our footprint expands to every corner of the state, and Tennessee’s advanced energy industry is well-positioned to strengthen at a robust pace. Other than our members, here’s what we’re thankful for this holiday season:
#1 Launch Tennessee & The Energy Mentor Network
We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate alongside Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurs from ideation to exit, to form the Energy Mentor Network.
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.
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.
We’re pleased to say four energy companies, Stone Mountain Technologies, Solar Site Design, Active Energy Systems and SkyNano have graduated from the program with several more on track.
(Interested in becoming a mentor for the next energy innovator? Click here. Are you a Tennessee energy startup and want to apply to the Energy Mentor Network program? Click here.)
#2 The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
TAEBC is committed to help Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs, in line with state leadership goals.
TNECD is working hard to make Tennessee a business friendly environment that not only attracts new companies to our state but also promotes growth for our existing businesses that call Tennessee home.
TAEBC has met with TNECD leaders outlining how our advanced energy sector employs nearly 360,000 Tennesseans in more than 18,000 businesses that contribute almost $40 billion to the state’s GDP. Advanced energy is a job-creation engine for Tennessee, and Tennessee’s advanced energy sector is growing faster than the overall state economy by a significant margin.
#3 Increased federal support for energy research and development investments
Congress has continued to see the value in providing record funding for the Office of Science, one of the most important Department of Energy programs that support the work of our country’s 17 national laboratories, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
The Office of Science supports basic science and energy research and is the nation’s largest supporter of research in the physical sciences. For years, Congress has known and understood more comprehensive energy R&D funding means more economic development opportunities and high-quality jobs for Americans and Tennesseans.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council!