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A key component of the Innovation Crossroads program is educational and mentor support.  In addition to the world-class scientific and technical support provided at ORNL, innovators will also get direct access to our partners who have a wide range of expertise from business development, legal, finance, market research, long-term funding strategy, and connections with potential commercial partners.

The Energy Mentor Network is run by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in partnership with Launch Tennessee.  The Energy Mentor Network program is a free statewide mentoring program for early-stage companies in the life science and advanced energy industries.  The objective of the program is to pair entrepreneurs with mentors and industry specific expertise to develop a compelling commercialization strategy and prepare for funding and growth.

FedTech provides entrepreneurship support by offering business development workshops focuses on proposal capture, team development, and company operations. In addition, innovators have direct access to the FedTech team of seasoned entrepreneurs and early-stage startup investors, allowing for customized advising opportunities, where mentors counsel on government funding strategies, business development, industry relationship building, and much more.

The Innov865 Alliance develops, supports, and promotes the Knoxville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital. In addition to their signature event, Innov865 Week, the Innov865 Alliance coordinates other activities throughout the year, including pitch competitions, educational opportunities, and social events.

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is a local mentor-driven business accelerator that serves as the front door for entrepreneurs in the Knoxville region and a resource for anyone looking to start or grow a business in Knoxville.  By nurturing and supporting a culture of entrepreneurship, they foster innovation, creativity, and job growth within the community.  Join the KEC entrepreneurial community to gain access to the capital, customers, and talent needed to be successful.

Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurs from ideation to exit. They are guided by a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Tennessee is one of few states with an entrepreneur-resource infrastructure operating at the state level. Through Launch Tennessee’s statewide network, they deliver curriculum, mentors, funding opportunities, and more to entrepreneurs building high-growth-potential businesses. 

Morgan Lewis is committed to serving the public good.  As such, their innovative and award-winning partners provide pro-bono council to Innovation Crossroads innovators via structured quarterly webinar sessions and one-on-one customized council. Webinar topics include: U.S. patent system, international patent applications, IP management and protection for lean start-ups, inventorship and enterprise considerations, preparing for due diligence, angel and venture funding, etc.  

PYA is a national professional services firm providing deep functional expertise in tax, audit and assurance, healthcare, technology, business advisory, and management consulting. PYA’s team contributes partner-level support to innovators, by offering financial and business strategy insights and guidance. Their team of professionals meets with innovators as a group and individually to provide general accounting support, QuickBooks demonstration, and personal set-up assistance.

TAEBC champions advanced energy as a job creation and economic development strategy. They educate public officials and business leaders about Tennessee’s advanced energy assets, establish strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and inform policy that expands and strengthens the industry. In addition, TAEBC develops programs that connects and leverages the state’s assets with opportunities to promote Tennessee’s advanced energy economy. 

In partnership with the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, program innovators have direct access to work with Bredesen Center graduate student interns for market research and customer discovery assistance, receive pro bono legal guidance and assistance from the UT College of Law Legal Clinic, and tap into a network of coaches, mentors, and business development resources and programs made available by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.