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.

EMN company Stone Mountain Technologies closes multi-million dollar Round-A investment

Energy Mentor Network company Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. (SMTI) has closed on a Round-A investment vehicle with a strategic investor.

The multi-million dollar capital infusion will allow SMTI to increase development velocity of its ultra-high efficiency space and water heating technology, supplementing the recently announced $2.7 million grant from the US Department of Energy.

“In addition to the capital investment, our new strategic partner brings high volume and quality HVAC component manufacturing expertise to the table, which will smooth our transition from R&D to manufacturing over the next 24 to 30 months,” said Michael Garrabrant, President & CEO of SMTI. “We have a shared vision the technology under development at SMTI will be a major player in the global space and water heating market in the near future.”

Stone Mountain Technologies, based in Johnson City, Tennessee, is an early-stage venture developing the next generation of high efficiency heating appliances for homes and businesses. SMTI’s technology, based on its gas absorption thermodynamic cycle, can be harnessed across a wide variety of applications, including space, water, and pool heating.

SMTI is developing partnerships with original equipment manufacturers that sell heating appliances such as furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. SMTI will manufacture its core enabling technology in Tennessee. This enables OEMs around the world to offer customized appliances to their customers with total fuel efficiencies of approximately 140% and outstanding economics.

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.

Energy Mentor Network Spotlight: Jonathan Mills Patrick

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 $1.4 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 welcomes Jonathan Mills Patrick as its newest domain expert enrolled in the Energy Mentor Network. Patrick is a former C-level finance executive turned strategic consultant with more than 20 years of experience and proven results. His skill set is largely around funding where he has been involved in over $500M in debt/equity deals. Additionally, he works with companies on strategic (where he advises companies from pre-revenue to $7B) planning and decisions and marketing. Jonathan also holds a Marketing degree and has led marketing for a $230M organization.

TAEBC is continuing to accept 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.

Energy Mentor Network Spotlight: Andrew Goldner

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 $1.4 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 highlights Andrew Goldner, co-founder of GrowthX where he serves as Managing Member. Andrew sits across all aspects of GrowthX where he helps craft and guide the overall vision keeping everyone on the team pointed towards a common North Star. Andrew calls on his varied background as founder, funder, operator, advisor and technology attorney in the United States and Asia Pacific to help companies grow.

Andrew started his career in technology in 1998 as a lawyer for early Internet pioneers such as Alta Vista, Yahoo, and Salesforce. He left private practice at Skadden Arps to join DoubleClick prior to the acquisition by Google. He then joined Thomson Financial where he co-founded their multimedia financial news business leading to the acquisition of Reuters. At Thomson Reuters, Andrew served as Publisher of Reuters News and then Co-Founder and Managing Director of their legal media business in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

After nearly 6 years in Asia, Andrew returned to the U.S. and to helping early-stage companies. Andrew is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 21), Regional Board Member of Venture for America, and a proud Mentor at Galvanize, Dynamo, Alchemist Accelerator, and Matter.

TAEBC is continuing to accept 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.