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 $1.3 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 highlights John Hopkins. He is a consultant and after faculty and senior management roles at the University of Tennessee and UT Research Foundation, most recently served as the Senior Project Controls Manager for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).  John has a successful record as leader of multi-institutional teams, creator of new programs and better processes to support energy innovation and technology transfer, and innovator of unique solutions for industry problems. Many of these have required the development and management of complex partnerships with diverse working teams.

His experience ranges from basic research in laser-based diagnostics and laser materials processing, through applied development of patented surface alloying methods, to the commercialization of technologies emerging from basic and applied research via licensing and entrepreneurship. John managed the $24M TN-SCORE renewable energy research program, which included complimentary STEM and workforce development outreach to more than 80,000 students across Tennessee and led to the formation of start-up companies at UT Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.

His specialties include: Research-based technology development and commercialization, technology licensing, start-up business creation and support, and program development and management.

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.