Energy Mentor Network to give Tennessee entrepreneurs advantage in global energy marketplace

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Today, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) announced the launch of the Energy Mentor Network, a proven mentorship program specifically for energy entrepreneurs and startups in Tennessee. Applications are now open for mentors and startups to participate in the Energy Mentor Network.

The network, run by TAEBC in partnership with Launch Tennessee, was announced during TAEBC’s annual “Opportunities in Energy” event, which showcased the state’s lucrative advanced energy industry and recent achievements in the field.

The goal of the Energy Mentor Network is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and industry specific expertise. The Network pairs mentors with promising new companies through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions, using a video-conference service to engage and connect mentors and entrepreneurs across the State.

“Tennessee is uniquely positioned to be a mecca of energy entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Matt Kisber, President of TAEBC and President & CEO of his own company, Silicon Ranch Corporation. “The Energy Mentor Network is yet another tool Tennessee can leverage to gain for our state more than its fair share of the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market.”

Tennessee has emerged as a leader in the advanced energy industry with nearly 325,000 Tennesseans employed in the sector and more than 17,000 business entities that contribute $33.4 billion to the State GDP. The state is also home to three unique assets that enable energy industry leadership and innovation—Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee and Tennessee Valley Authority.

“Mentorship is critical to developing Tennessee’s advanced energy ecosystem because it gives entrepreneurs a leg-up in a marketplace where Tennessee has a distinct advantage,” said Jill Van Beke, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Launch Tennessee. This is the second mentor network under Launch Tennessee’s umbrella. The organization piloted the program with Life Science Tennessee in 2014 and has plans to add additional industries to the network.

The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups. After completing the program, startups will have an investable pitch deck, a rock solid business model and a plan to establish more traction. These tools will position Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to raise capital, request other funds like SBIR grants, and scale their company.

The Energy Network already has more than a dozen mentors signed up for the program with expertise in energy systems, clean tech, intellectual property, business and finance strategy. Mentors reviewed the first pool of applications in November and began mentoring this month.

The Energy Mentor Network is modeled after CONNECT San Diego’s 30+ year old Springboard program. Each company or entrepreneur is matched with a team of C-level executives who have deep experience in growing and scaling companies. This mentoring team is led by the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) that coaches and guides their company through The Energy Mentor Network’s program for a period of 3-9 months.

Applications are now open for mentors and startups to participate in the Energy Mentor Network. For more information and to apply, visit: http://www.tnadvancedenergy.com/energy-mentor-network/apply/

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) champions advanced energy as a job creation and economic development strategy. It educates public officials and business leaders about the value and job creation potential of Tennessee’s advanced energy assets, establishes strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and informs policy that expands and strengthens the industry.  For more information, visit www.tnadvancedenergy.com.

About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is a public-private entity focused on developing and supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and capital formation across the state. Launch Tennessee works with partners across the state to achieve its goal to make Tennessee the #1 state in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a company. For more information, visit http://launchtn.org/.

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U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary talks advanced energy in Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Kathleen Hogan, and new CEO of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), Bryan Dods, gathered in Knoxville to discuss the advanced energy industry ‘s economic impact in Tennessee and the nation.

The discussion took place at the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC)’s annual “Opportunities in Energy” event at The Square Room in Knoxville. More than 80 business leaders and public officials gathered for the event to discuss Tennessee’s place in the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market and how to leverage advanced energy to make Tennessee the #1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.

“Tennessee is uniquely positioned to be a mecca of energy entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Matt Kisber, President of TAEBC and President & CEO of Silicon Ranch Corporation. “Events like ‘Opportunities in Energy’ serve as a convening point for industry leaders to celebrate our successes, network and explore the latest trends and opportunities to grow our own businesses.”

TAEBC unveiled a three-part video series at the event, showcasing the people and businesses in Tennessee’s advanced energy industry. Tennessee’s advanced energy sector employs nearly 325,000 people and contributes more than $33 billion to the state GDP.

Click here to view the three-part video series: http://www.tnadvancedenergy.com/about-us/what-is-advanced-energy/

During panel discussions, industry leaders shared 2016 successes ranging from Schneider Electric selecting Tennessee for a regional office and creating 250 new jobs, to LeMond Composites creating more than 200 jobs with a revolutionary low-cost carbon fiber technology that will help the automotive industry reach 54.5 mpg; Oak Ridge National Lab’s Innovation Crossroads that will support the next generation of energy entrepreneurs and move innovation from the lab to the marketplace; Bridgestone Americas latest tire option that improves fuel efficiency, and Centrus Energy maintaining and advancing U.S. gas centrifuge uranium enrichment technology.

The event also featured the official launch of the Energy Mentor Network – a structured mentorship program specifically for energy entrepreneurs and startups in Tennessee, powered by Launch Tennessee and TAEBC.

Advanced energy is technology neutral. Anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure and more efficient is in the tent. Examples include electric and plug-in hybrid cars, lightweight composites for the automotive industry, natural gas fueled trucks, pollution control equipment, bio-energy, high-performance buildings, more efficient industrial processes, power reliability, smart grids, combined heat and power and the latest wind, solar and nuclear technologies.

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) champions advanced energy as a job creation and economic development strategy. It educates public officials and business leaders about the value and job creation potential of Tennessee’s advanced energy assets, establishes strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and informs policy that expands and strengthens the industry.  For more information, visit: www.tnadvancedenergy.com.

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Report highlights advanced energy as an economic driver in Tennessee, source of high quality jobs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s advanced energy sector is a lucrative growth sector and a source of high quality jobs, according to the Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report, released today by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC). TAEBC is a new organization that champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy.

The report is the first document of its kind that defines the scope and scale of Tennessee’s advanced energy sector and quantifies its economic impact. It identifies the number of jobs, contribution to state GDP and state/local taxes and number of companies associated with the state’s advanced energy sector.

“Because advanced energy is a relatively new and emerging industry, there was no comprehensive inventory of the economic activity that falls under the advanced energy umbrella for Tennessee – until now,” said Tom Ballard, President of TAEBC and Chief Alliance Officer at Pershing Yoakley & Associates. “The report shows that Tennessee is a national and international leader in this rapidly growing, $1.3 trillion global marketplace.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Advanced energy is a rapidly expanding and lucrative growth sector in Tennessee. Nearly 325,000 jobs are supported by 17,334 firms in the state’s advanced energy sector in 2013.
  • Advanced energy requires skilled labor and thus is a source of high quality jobs in Tennessee.
    The annual average wage of a worker in advanced energy was $48,764, which is well above the state average.
    Advanced energy provides a home for our emerging workforce as we drive to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by 2025.
  • Tennessee manufacturers benefit from a robust advanced energy sector.
    Especially Tennessee’s automotive manufacturers that are integrating advanced energy technologies into their processes and products as a result of higher fuel economy standards. Automakers must reach a fleet average of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
  • Advanced energy contributes significantly to our state and local economies.
    Tennessee’s advanced energy sector contributes $33.4 billion to state gross domestic product, while workers in the advanced energy sector pay more than $820 million in sales tax to state and local governments.
  • Advanced energy represents an opportunity to promote rural economic development.
    Currently, almost 80 percent of advanced energy activity is centered in just 20 counties in Tennessee. Davidson County leads Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.
    Rural Tennessee could benefit from further growth in advanced energy activity.
  • Tennessee is not the only state vying for a piece of the advanced energy economy. Highlighting our assets and opportunities will provide Tennessee with a competitive edge in the recruitment and retention of the advanced energy sector.
    Approximately 11 states including Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida are benchmarking and tracking their advanced energy economies.

“Advanced energy” is defined as any technology that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure and more efficient. Rather than favoring specific technologies, advanced energy is technology neutral. Examples include electric and plug-in hybrid cars, lightweight composites for the automotive industry, natural gas fueled trucks, pollution control equipment, bio energy, high-performance buildings, more efficient industrial processes, power reliability, smart grids, combined heat and power and the latest power generation technologies.

The report identified 62, four-digit NAIC codes and County Business Pattern data to provide the most granular information about the state’s advanced energy economy from 2013. Included in the report are advanced energy economic impact data by metro area including: Nashville, Memphis, Clarksville, Knoxville/Oak Ridge, Tri-Cities, Chattanooga, Jackson and others.

Advanced energy business leaders from across the state discussed the economic impact of advanced energy in Tennessee during a press conference call to release the report findings. Representatives from Schneider Electric, Oak Ridge National Lab, Renewable Algal Energy, Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Signal Energy Constructors highlighted how their companies are engaged in this $1.3 trillion global market.

“The global energy sector is changing rapidly and these changes are rippling through all sectors of the economy in increasingly visible ways,” said Jim Plourde, National Business Development Manager with Schneider Electric and TAEBC board member. Schneider Electric employs approximately 1,500 people in Middle Tennessee, focused on energy engineering, product development, manufacturing and global business management.

“Schneider Electric has seized these global market opportunities through continuous innovation in solutions built on the pillars of energy efficiency, reliability, security, and safety,” added Plourde.

Research for the Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report was conducted by The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and funded by the University of Tennessee’s TN-SCORE initiative, The Energy Foundation and members of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council.

Click here to read the full report.

About the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) champions advanced energy as a job creation and economic development strategy. It educates public officials and business leaders about the value and job creation potential of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establishes strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and informs policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit http://www.tnadvancedenergy.com/

To view a list of our members, visit http://www.tnadvancedenergy.com/members/

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Quadrennial Energy Review: Public Stakeholder Meeting on April 11, 2014

On Friday, April 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy will hold the first in a series of regional stakeholder meetings on the QER from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the main auditorium of the Congressional Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol. The first formal stakeholder meeting is focusing on addressing energy infrastructure vulnerabilities and improving resiliency.

To help inform the QER, each stakeholder meeting will include an “open mic” session, during which the general public and the community of stakeholders will have the opportunity to speak for three minutes. All public comments will be included in the permanent QER comments library, including any reports, studies, or data sets participants request be considered in developing the final QER recommendations.

What: First stakeholder meeting of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER)

Where: Main auditorium of the Capitol Visitors Center

When: Friday, April 11, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

9 a.m. Doors Open
Participants wishing to speak during the afternoon public comment session may sign up on a first-come-first-served basis.

10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Opening remarks by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Statements by Members of Congress

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel I – Resiliency and Vulnerabilities in Energy Transmission, Storage and Distribution

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Panel II – Key Perspectives on Energy Infrastructure and Vulnerabilities

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Public Comment

More information is available online at www.energy.gov/qer.

February 2014 Nashville Listening Session: TAEBC – a great starting point to help remove advanced energy industry barriers

A full representation of Tennessee’s advanced energy sector participated in the February 2014 listening session, held in LaVergne, Tenn. Industries represented include energy management, energy efficiency, energy conversion, waste to energy, renewable energy transmission, sustainability, solar, LED lighting, transportation, lending, holdings, real estate, law, engineering, state government, manufacturing, higher education and the City of Nashville.

Our featured guest was Mike Carr, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office of U.S. Department of Energy.

After presentations given by Schneider Electric, the U.S. Department of Energy and Cortney Piper of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, a dynamic discussion centered around TAEBC and its mission to promote advanced energy as a job creation and economic strategy.

Several key themes emerged from the discussion:

  • Attendees agreed that TAEBC’s ability to connect assets with business opportunities is a key-differentiating factor from other organizations. Those in attendance acknowledged that advanced energy is an economic driver and increasing awareness of that is valuable.
  • DOE invited a TAEBC delegation to Washington, D.C. at the Chattanooga listening session. This was discussed at the LeVergne listening session and it was agreed by attendees that would be a valuable experience for members.
  • Attendees agreed that TAEBC providing information and expertise to TVA policy would be valuable.
  • TAEBC has hit the nail on the head regarding communicating with businesses and policy makers. TAEBC can be used to foster the business/policy interactions and help remove industry barriers.
  • TAEBC should partner with various departments in state government to host a roundtable with members and the commissioners to discuss what regulations pose unnecessary barriers.

In conclusion, attendees were very supportive of TAEBC, focusing on its ability to connect with businesses, work with policy makers to reduce barriers and partner with DOE.

Nashville Listening Session Attendees

Nashville Listening Session Attendees