Tennessee receives three federal EDA Regional Innovation Strategies grants

(Originally Published on LaunchTN.org)

LaunchTN, AgLaunch, and Epicenter to receive funds to help TN startups

Nashville, Tenn. – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a Nashville-based public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship across the state, along with Memphis-based nonprofits AgLaunch and Epicenter, were announced today as winners of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies competition.

AgLaunch, a multi-state organization headquartered in Memphis, and LaunchTN will receive federal funding in the amount of $750,000 and $500,000, respectively, in support of each organization’s innovation strategy programs. Epicenter will receive $289,500 in federal funding to support the operations of two early-stage capital funds. All of the grants require a local match, for which each organization has commitments.

The federal grants are made annually under the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition, but 2019 marks the first time that Tennessee has received more than one grant in a given year, and the first time since 2016 that a Tennessee organization has received an EDA grant.

“The fact that three Tennessee organizations were awarded EDA grants is a strong testament to the ecosystem we’re building,” said Margaret Dolan, president and CEO of LaunchTN. “It puts our state on a national stage as innovative and collaborative in our approach to building a state-wide network that supports entrepreneurs at every stage of development.”

Read more here.

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.