Kauffman Foundation selects Launch Tennessee to form first-ever Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network

The Kauffman Foundation recently announced it has selected six entrepreneur support organizations, including Launch Tennessee, as grant recipients to form the first-ever Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network.

The Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network will be an alliance of organizations that will bring the voices of entrepreneurs to policy debates at the state level.

Launch Tennessee has partnered with the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council to manage the Energy Mentor Network. The Energy Mentor Network’s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startup by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and industry specific expertise.

Entrepreneurs are the beating heart of the American economy, but they typically are too busy building their businesses to make their voices heard in public policy, resulting in more barriers to new business creation and waning business startup rates.

The Kauffman Foundation has committed $1.9 million in grant funding for this initiative which will be awarded to Launch Tennessee, Bunker Labs, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, Enterprise Center of Johnson County, Metropolitan Economic Development Association, and Venture Hall.

As members of the Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network, the organizations 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
  • Facilitate informational interactions between policymakers and entrepreneurs

Read the official announcement here.

A new tool to assess the benefits and costs of distributed energy resources from the Electric Power Research Institute

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released The Integrated Grid: A Benefit-Cost Framework in February 2015, which may help resolve the controversy brewing about the benefits and costs that distributed solar power systems bring to the electric grid.

EPRI’s report presents a transparent, consistent, four-part methodology for assessing the benefits and costs of transitioning to a more Integrated Grid. This approach quantifies the impacts of distributed energy resources on the interrelated distribution and bulk power systems, and monetizes these impacts to inform decision-making. New pilot projects will put the framework to the test.

EPRI, whose mission is to advance “safer, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity for society,” says that the new protocols outlined in The Integrated Grid: A Benefit-Cost Framework seeks “to foster collaboration in five core efforts”:

  • Grid modernization to support distributed energy resource (DER) integration
  • Strategies and tools for grid planning and operation
  • Interconnection rules and standards
  • Pilots to verify and refine DER integration protocols
  • Informing policy and regulatory discussions

Read more about and download the full report here.