Innovation Crossroads hosting series of webinars for interested cohort three applicants

Innovation Crossroads, an ORNL program that matches aspiring energy entrepreneurs with experts and mentors in technology-related fields to take their world-changing ideas from R&D to the marketplace, will soon be opening up applications for cohort three.

But before that happens, Innovation Crossroads leaders are hosting a series of webinars to educate interested applicants in what the program offers.

Through an annual call, up to five entrepreneurs will be selected to transform their ideas into energy and advanced manufacturing companies with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. Innovators will receive a fellowship that covers living costs, benefits and a travel stipend for up to two years, plus substantial funding to use on collaborative research and development at ORNL.

Eligibility Requirements include:

  • Must have PhD or equivalent experience
  • Must be focused on energy or manufacturing innovation
  • Must leverage ORNL R&D capabilities and have an impact on Department of Energy missions
  • Must be willing to relocate to the Knoxville-Oak Ridge area
  • Must be US citizen or lawful permanent resident at time of application

Some key dates to keep in mind:

  • September 6, 2018: Cohort 3 Applications Open
  • September 6, 2018: Cohort 3 Informational Webinar
  • October 4, 2018: Cohort 3 Informational Webinar
  • October 29, 2018: Cohort 3 Applications Close
  • May 2019: Cohort 3 Onboarding

Click here for more information.

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.

ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads energy startup accelerator preps for Cohort 3

(Originally published on Venture Nashville Connections)

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It’s never easy being a startup, and for startup energy companies the path to commercial viability has become increasingly difficult.

Innovation Crossroads was born in 2016 to address the struggle of getting typically R&D-heavy technologies to market, said Tom Rogers, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s industrial and economic development partnerships division and leader of the program.

“The national venture investments in energy start-ups have been declining over the past 10 years,” said Rogers.

Compared to other types of technology, such as software applications, it can take “seven, eight, 10 years” for these technologies to mature, he said. Getting funding in the early start-up phase helps developers prove the concept and become a more viable opportunity for investors, he said.

“I don’t think any of the companies are going to be revenue positive at the end of a two-year period,” Rogers said. “Our goal is a path forward.”

The Innovation Crossroads start-ups are tackling a range of energy-related problems. Concepts range from storage systems to materials to a low-cost, easy-to-build nuclear reactor to recycling. They come from institutions including Cornell, Duke, Georgia Institute of Technology and Vanderbilt.

Read more here.