Gary Rawlings joins ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads team

(Originally published: Teknovation.biz)

(If you’re interested in joining the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council as a mentor, click here.)

A well-known player in two of the Launch Tennessee-supported mentor networks has an additional assignment as of today.

Gary Rawlings begins a part-time role as a Technology Consultant working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) “Innovation Crossroads” start-ups.

“We’ve known Gary for several years and have always been impressed with his knowledge and experience in both the corporate and start-up realms,” says Tom Rogers, ORNL’s Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development. “As we’ve grown ‘Innovation Crossroads’ to eight companies and have opened applications for six more, he’ll be a great addition to our team.”

Rawlings and his wife moved to Murfreesboro in early 2015 to be closer to two of their three children who live there. Prior to that, he had spent his weeks commuting seven hours each way from their home in Greensboro, NC to Columbus, OH where Rawlings served for six years as Vice President for Commercialization at TechColumbus, the non-profit now known as Rev1 Ventures. That work followed a more than three-decade corporate career that included nearly 24 years with Monsanto.

The Houston TX native is a mentor in programs operated by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council’s and Life Science Tennessee with support from Launch Tennessee. Rawlings also serves as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Cumberland Emerging Technologies in Nashville.

Energy Mentor Network Company: Nth Cycle

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.

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

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.

Nth Cycle 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 Company: Ascend Manufacturing

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.

Ascend Manufacturing is focused on developing a manufacturing grade, additive manufacturing  system, called Large Area Projection Sintering (LAPS), that offers many advantages over new and traditional additive manufacturing technologies.  With LAPS, components can be economically created with increased production rates, reduced peak processing temperatures, and extended exposure times, which enable processing of a broader range of materials while also providing superior mechanical properties.

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.

Ascend Manufacturing 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 Company: Lux Semiconductors

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.

Lux Semiconductors‘ vision is to build the first ubiquitous flexible semiconductor platform, a Wafer 2.0. The birth of the modern electronics industry was largely predicated on a breakthrough in crystal growth, the Czochralski (CZ) method. The technique paved the way for the silicon wafer, a semiconductor platform used in over ninety-five percent of electronic devices today. However, the electronics industry is now entering a new era, one that demands ultra-thin and flexible devices with more functionality and at lower cost. The silicon wafer is thick, fragile, size restricted, and expensive and can no longer meet all modern demands.

By leveraging a century of innovations in bulk crystal growth, and applying them to low cost thin-films, Lux will deliver a new class of flexible semiconductor substrates to serve as the next generation platform. With single crystal-like properties at price points significantly below existing competitors, Lux will enable new device architectures for flexible and lightweight electronics with improved performance and functionality. The platform is suitable to host a range of electronic components and fully integrated system-on-chip designs including sensors, RF, displays, lighting, processors, memory, MEMS, and photovoltaics.

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.

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

TAEBC joins Launch Tennessee for inaugural ‘Innovation Week on the Hill’

Launch Tennessee executives were at Tennessee’s Capitol Hill early February connecting entrepreneurs and innovators with legislators to discuss key challenges that small businesses face today.

“Innovation Week on the Hill” on February 5-8 was packed with special events, meetings and meaningful connections between policymakers and job creators.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, Life Science Tennessee, Nashville Tech Council, and EO Nashville collaborated with Launch Tennessee on this first-of-its-kind event to bring entrepreneurship and innovation to the forefront of Tennessee’s legislative process.

This shared effort resulted in:

  • 390 entrepreneur & innovator exchanges with legislators
  • 106 meetings held with legislators
  • 250+ legislative reception attendees

(L to R): Lindsey Cox, Dir. of Operations and Government Affairs at Launch Tennessee; Anna Douglas, Founder of SkyNano Technologies; State Rep. John Ragan, District 33; Cortney Piper, Vice President of TAEBC

During “Innovation Week on the Hill,” Launch Tennessee shared its success with lawmakers in helping increase the number of Tennessee angels since the State Legislature’s passage of the Tennessee Angel Tax Credit in 2016. If you remember, the ATC was designed to increase the pool of early-stage capital, get new investors engaged in the ecosystem and give entrepreneurs in Tennessee an additional selling point when pitching their companies for investment.

For 2017, Launch Tennessee issued $1.84M worth of credits, tied to $6.3M of capital invested in Tennessee companies. 29 companies attracted investment from angels benefitting from the program, receiving an average check size of $73,055 from 68 unique angel investors.

These 68 investors could receive up to $50,000 in tax credits and many invested in multiple companies. This is significant because, as awareness of ATC grew, angels wanted to maximize their amount of eligible credits for 2017 and looked for other pre-qualified companies to invest in. This created a multiplier effect, increasing the number of Tennessee investments that otherwise might not have been made.

“Innovation on the Hill” also included Launch Tennessee speaking about its invitation to join Kauffman’s first-ever Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network. The network will serve as an alliance of organizations that will bring the voices of entrepreneurs to policy debates at the state level.

(L to R): Cortney Piper, Vice President of TAEBC; Charlie Brock, CEO & President of Launch Tennessee; Lindsey Cox, Dir. of Operations and Government Affairs of Launch Tennessee.

Launch Tennessee was selected as a grant recipient and is one of six entrepreneurial support organizations chosen from an invitation-only nationwide RFP process. The Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network seeks to remove barriers to new business creation and entrepreneurial success by improving public policy at the state level.

Among other actions, grant recipients will:

  • Identify state policies that inhibit entrepreneurship,
  • Educate policymakers about the impact of those policies in erecting barriers to entrepreneurship,
  • Build support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship generally, and
  • Facilitate informational interactions between policymakers and entrepreneurs.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council has partnered with Launch Tennessee to form the Energy Mentor Network. The network showcases the state’s lucrative advanced energy industry and recent achievements in the field.

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

Since 2016, the network has doubled the number of mentors in the program to 25 with expertise ranging from energy systems, clean tech, intellectual property, business and finance strategy. Six companies are currently enrolled in the Energy Mentor Network.

Last year the network recognized its first graduate, Solar Site Design, which achieved significant traction while enrolled in the Energy Mentor Network.