The Energy Mentor Network is fueled by engaged mentors. One of the program’s strengths is that it welcomes a wide range of mentors who have varying amounts of time to devote to the program.
Mentors are asked to serve based upon experience as a CEO, raising capital, growing successful companies or as marketing, finance, or technical experts. Once committed, mentors devote the appropriate time needed to coach participating companies. Generally, that time is about 1-5 hours per-week for anywhere from 3-9 months. Often, companies that take a longer time to complete the program may go several weeks between mentor meetings.
Once a company passes the in-take panel and is accepted into the Energy Mentor Network, that company is assigned a core team of mentors. That team includes an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) and 2-3 Domain Experts (DE). The mentor team prepares the company for panel presentations and joins other panelists during the marketing, finance and final panels. This process typically takes three to nine months.
Mentors spend the time they commit to the program completing several responsibilities including:
- Helping the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council screen companies during the pre-intake process.
- Participating in panels.
- Providing specific feedback regarding issues to be addressed during coaching sessions.
- Guiding entrepreneurs toward a quality, compelling final presentation.
- Networking with other advanced energy executives and subject matter experts
- Leading the mentoring process (if EIR.)
Mentors offer advice on topics including:
- Product Concept
- Business model
- Market assessment
- Go-to-market plan
- Financial projections
- IP Valuation
- Introductions to potential clients or strategic alliances