The LaunchTN Mentor Networks 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 for these entrepreneurs to develop a compelling commercialization strategy and prepare for funding and growth.
The program is modeled after San Diego’s successful CONNECT Springboard. Since 1993, over 800 companies have graduated from CONNECT Springboard and 65% of them are still in business. Program alumni have raised over $1.5B.
The CONNECT Springboard model came to Tennessee in 2014, when Launch Tennessee and industry association Life Science Tennessee piloted a statewide Mentor Network for early-stage life sciences companies. The successful pilot led to LaunchTN expanding the model via a partnership with the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council. Participating companies have raised $19 million in capital and won over $15.3 million in federal grants.
Mentor Networks graduates will have a sharp, informative pitch ready to present to investors, strategic partners and/or customers. Participating companies receive expertise from mentors on topics including:
- Business model
- Marketing plan
- Financial model & projections
- Intellectual property
- Due Diligence
- Industry feedback
- Presenting to investors, strategic partners and customers
Participation the Mentor Networks positions Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to reach successful funding events and scale their companies.
Mentor Roles & Responsibilities
The program’s mentor pool consists of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), Domain Experts, and Panelists.
- Are CEOs or C-level executives
- Lead teams of mentors that guide companies through the Networks
- Are current or former senior executives with expertise in specific areas (e.g., marketing, finance, regulatory, operations)
- Participate in mentor teams and attend review panels
- Participate as subject matter experts in 90-minute review panels (1-4 per quarter)
- Critique company presentations and provide feedback on content and readiness