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Empowering Aspiring Hard-Tech Entrepreneurs

Starting new energy-related technology companies can be challenging, and that’s one reason the number of energy startups has declined significantly over the past decade. Innovation Crossroads, a Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office, Building Technologies Office, Office of Electricity, Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, and the Tennessee Valley Authority that leverages Oak Ridge National Laboratory’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.

Innovation Crossroads is a two-year program for fellows focusing on energy and advanced manufacturing technologies. Through an annual national call and competitive stage-gate process, top entrepreneurial-minded fellows are selected to join the program. Selected innovators receive a fellowship that includes a personal living stipend, along with health insurance and travel allowance, a substantial grant to use on collaborative R&D at ORNL, and comprehensive mentoring assistance to build a sustainable business model.

By embedding the next generation of top technical talent within ORNL, Innovation Crossroads positions entrepreneurial researcher fellows to address fundamental energy and manufacturing challenges identified by industry.

Program Impacts

38
startups supported
200
jobs created
$176.1 million
in follow-on funding
16
startups with sales
$10.7 million
in sales revenue

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