Innovation Crossroads Cohort Five: Informational Webinar

Interested in learning more about Innovation Crossroads qualifications, benefits, and the application process? Register for an informational webinar here.

Innovation Crossroads: Cohort Five

Innovation Crossroads, supported by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and Tennessee Valley Authority, is seeking technology innovators for its fifth cohort. The program will accept online applications September 15 – October 31. Selected innovators will be imbedded at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for up to two years through entrepreneurial mentorship and cooperative research and development.  This unique fellowship opportunity allows selected innovators to leverage the Labs unique scientific facilities, equipment, capabilities, and experts to advance their early stage scientific discoveries into potentially commercialize-able opportunities within an accelerated time period.

Innovation Crossroads Showcase

Join TAEBC and LaunchTN for the Innovation Crossroads Showcase! RSVP here

About this Event

Innovation Crossroads, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is the Southeast’s only entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory. The program, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Tennessee Valley Authority, leverages ORNL’s unique scientific resources and capabilities and connects the nation’s top innovators with experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields to take world-changing ideas from research and development to the marketplace.

Presented by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and LaunchTN, this virtual event will feature a fireside chat with Cortney Piper, TAEBC Executive Director, and Van Tucker, LaunchTN Interim Chief Executive Officer.

During this event, you’ll hear pitches from Innovation Crossroads’ Cohort Four startups!

The event will showcase a panel discussion with Dan Miller, Director of Innovation Crossroads, and Cohort Two alumni as they give us updates on their businesses and what their experience was like in Innovation Crossroads.

There will also be discussions on the resources available for energy startups, including the TAEBC’s Energy Mentor Network!

This event will take place via Zoom Webinar.

Innovation Crossroads Cohort Five: Informational Webinar

Interested in learning more about Innovation Crossroads qualifications, benefits, and the application process? Register for an informational webinar here.

Innovation Crossroads: Cohort Five

Innovation Crossroads, supported by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and Tennessee Valley Authority, is seeking technology innovators for its fifth cohort. The program will accept online applications September 15 – October 31. Selected innovators will be imbedded at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for up to two years through entrepreneurial mentorship and cooperative research and development.  This unique fellowship opportunity allows selected innovators to leverage the Labs unique scientific facilities, equipment, capabilities, and experts to advance their early stage scientific discoveries into potentially commercialize-able opportunities within an accelerated time period.

Innovation Crossroads Cohort 5 Applications Open

Innovation Crossroads, supported by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and Tennessee Valley Authority, is seeking technology innovators for its fifth cohort. The program will accept online applications September 15 – October 31. Selected innovators will be imbedded at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for up to two years through entrepreneurial mentorship and cooperative research and development.  This unique fellowship opportunity allows selected innovators to leverage the Labs unique scientific facilities, equipment, capabilities, and experts to advance their early stage scientific discoveries into potentially commercialize-able opportunities within an accelerated time period.

LaunchTN’s 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival panel sessions with TAEBC Executive Director, Innovation Crossroads Cohort Three, highlight value of Energy Mentor Network

LaunchTN’s 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival celebrates visionaries and innovators who are actively shaping their entrepreneurial ecosystems through their expertise, research and forward-thinking ideas. 

During the 10-day, virtual festival, Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council Executive Director, Cortney Piper, spoke in a panel session about innovation partnerships, while the Innovation Crossroads Cohort Three startups held a live Q&A session with alumni Megan O’Connor of Nth Cycle. O’Connor and the Cohort Three startups are enrolled in TAEBC’s Energy Mentor Network program.  

The “Startup, Inc.: Advancing Strategy with Innovation Partnerships” panel session featured Piper; Reed Hayes, AVP of Digital Strategy & Innovation at Unum; and Anthony Oni, Co-founder and CEO of Cloverly, and Vice President Corporate Communications at Southern Company Gas. The panel was moderated by Daley Ervin, the Managing Director of Engage. 

Participants discussed how investing in innovation partnerships can be lucrative for small or large businesses, and can help rapidly increase scale for emerging companies or advance existing strategies for market incumbents. They explained how and why companies and organizations invest in establishing these partnerships, along with how other businesses can benefit from doing the same.

Piper spoke about the mission of TAEBC to champion advanced energy as an “economic development and job creation strategy,” along with the Energy Mentor Network, which is run by TAEBC in partnership with LaunchTN. One of the main goals of the Energy Mentor Network, said Piper, is to “foster the growth of advanced energy companies and technologies in the state of Tennessee.” 

In the final segment of the panel, Piper explained that the Energy Mentor Network helps startups learn how to “concisely and compellingly” tell their story, understand that “just because a company can partner with you, doesn’t mean they will,” and to be persistent when reaching out to potential partners or sources of funding.

Meanwhile, the “Live AMA with ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads” showcased O’Connor sitting down with seven members of Cohort Three to discuss what is next on the frontiers of cleantech and energy. Cohort Three includes Williams Fitzhugh of American Nanotechnologies Inc., Hicham Ghossein of Endeavor Composites Inc., Jesse Claypoole of MantaPoole Technologies, Leila Safavi of Purist Inc., Trevor McQueen of Neptune Fluid Flow Systems, Alex Lewis of Electro-Active Technologies Inc., and Jesse Thornburg of Grid Fruit

During the session, Cohort Three startups answered questions ranging from what advice they would give to burgeoning entrepreneurs to how the Tennessee ecosystem has helped their companies over the past year.

“This area has so much to offer. It’s so accessible,” explained McQueen. “It has helped every facet of our business grow. We couldn’t be happier.” 

Safavi remarked that the best piece of advice she would give to new entrepreneurs or researchers is to have a “great support group.”

“Without them pushing me forward at times when I had doubt, without their support, it wouldn’t be possible,” she continued. “Having a good group of supporters that can advise you and help you move forward is key.”

O’Connor echoed Safavi’s advice about the importance of support systems, saying, “I think that’s one of the great benefits of Innovation Crossroads, having that really early stage support behind you.”

To learn more about the Energy Mentor Network program or become a mentor, click here.