The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is continuing its series of feature stories highlighting the mentors behind the Energy Mentor Network program offering industry specific expertise.

The Energy Mentor Network‘s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors. This gives Tennessee yet another advantage in grabbing its more than fair share of the $1.4 trillion global advanced energy market.

The Energy Mentor Network is run by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in partnership with Launch Tennessee.

In broad strokes, the Energy Mentor Network pairs mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions.

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.

This week TAEBC is highlighting Dan Hurst, president and founder of Strata-G, LLC. Dan has more than thirty years of environmental, energy and entrepreneurial experience, and he has led several startup service businesses. He has provided technical consulting and managed people and projects in the areas of environmental, safety, nuclear, and utility services for numerous federal, public utility, and commercial clients.

Under Dan’s leadership, Strata-G has grown to almost 200 professionals and has been recognized with four small-business-of-the-year awards, two Pinnacle Award finalist nominations for business excellence by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, and the Innovation Valley Navigator Award for community service.

Dan has an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Business and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Tennessee, where he serves on the Board of Advisors for Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is the 2007 recipient of the Biosystems Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2012 TN Veterans Business Bravo-Zulu Award, and the 2015 East TN Economic Council Muddy Boot Award. Dan is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and received commendations as a Division Officer and Instructor in the Naval Nuclear Power Program. Dan currently chairs the boards of the West Knox Utility District and Knox Area Rescue Ministries.

TAEBC is continuing to accept mentors for the Energy Mentor Program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Mentors” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.