2022 Speakers

Mona Alsubaei photo

Mona Alsubaei

Mona Alsubaei, member of the investment team of USV, is focused on its $162 million Climate Fund. Before USV, Mona worked at CrossBoundary, an emerging markets investment advisory firm where she was responsible for growing the firm’s Middle East and Central Asia presence. Mona started her career in policy and international economics at the United Nations. Mona is a global nomad who lived and worked in over eight countries but always has a special place in her heart for her hometown – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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Carlos Araque

Carlos Araque Carlos Araque, CEO of Quaise (deep geothermal, raised $70M). Carlos Araque is an engineer with a background in technology transfer, product development, and venture capital. He was the Technical Director for The Engine, MIT’s groundbreaking fund and platform to commercialize world-changing ideas. During his time at The Engine, Carlos got introduced to the work of Dr. Paul Woskov from the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center on disruptive millimeter wave drilling technology for deep geothermal heat access, and founded Quaise, Inc. to pursue commercialization of the technology at scale. He leads the company as its CEO, with teams in Houston, Boston and Cambridge UK. Carlos is from Medellin, Colombia and has BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.
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Yet-Ming Chiang

Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yet-Ming Chiang is the Kyocera Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, where his research focuses on clean energy technologies including non-aqueous and aqueous batteries for transportation and grid-scale storage, and electrochemical production of construction materials. He has brought several laboratory discoveries to commercial implementation, including the development of high-power lithium iron phosphate batteries, a semi-solid electrode approach to low-cost lithium-ion battery manufacturing, and batteries for long-duration grid storage. He has published about 300 scientific articles and holds about 100 issued U.S. patents, of which more than 70 have been licensed to or are held by practicing companies. Chiang is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and Fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramic Society, and the National Academy of Inventors. His work in energy has been recognized by the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer Award (2016), the Economist’s Innovation Award (Energy and Environment Category, 2012), The Electrochemical Society Battery Division’s Battery Technology Award (2012), and an R&D 100 Editor’s Choice Award (2006). Chiang has co-founded several companies based on research from his MIT laboratory including American Superconductor Corporation (1987), A123 Systems (2001), 24M Technologies (2010), Desktop Metal (2015), Form Energy (2017), and Sublime Systems (2020). He was co-director of the MIT Future of Energy Storage study (2022) and leads the newly inaugurated Center for Electrification and Decarbonization of Industry at MIT.
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Dr. Christoph Gebald

co-Founder & co-CEO, Climeworks
Christoph Gebald is the co-founder and co-CEO of Climeworks, one of the leading companies in direct air capture, based in Switzerland. Climeworks focuses on capturing CO2 from the air which, when combined with storage enables permanent removal from the atmosphere. With more than 15 years of experience in CO2 capture from the air, he is considered by his peers as an expert in this growing and important industry. He is a mechanical engineer by training, holding a master’s degree with distinction and a Ph.D. from ETH Zurich. During his Ph.D., Christoph researched direct air capture technologies and founded Climeworks on this basis together with Jan Wurzbacher in 2009. As co-CEO, Christoph oversees the commercial, legal, marketing and staffing side of the business. Christoph believes that to fight climate change and take meaningful action, a portfolio of solutions is needed to reach global climate targets.
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Kathy Hannun

Co-Founder and President, Dandelion Energy
Kathy Hannun is the Co-Founder and President of Dandelion Energy, the largest home geothermal company in the United States. Before founding Dandelion, she was a Rapid Evaluator at X, Alphabet's innovation lab, where she focused on identifying business opportunities to harness technology for large-scale positive impact. She started Dandelion as an X project and then launched it into an independent startup company in May 2017. Hannun graduated from Stanford with a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Computer Science.
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Sarah Hunter

Director of Global Public Policy, X (formerly Google X)
Sarah is the Director of Global Public Policy at at X (formerly Google X) where she helps engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs invent and launch new technologies to solve big problems in the world today. Before joining Google, Sarah was Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Senior Policy Adviser on Culture, Media and Sport in Downing Street. She is on a Trustee of NESTA and a part time lecturer at Stanford Univeristy in California.
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Shayle Kann

Partner, Energy Impact Partners
Shayle Kann is a Partner at Energy Impact Partners, a $2.5 billion+ venture capital firm backed by a coalition of the world’s largest energy and industrial companies. He leads the firm's efforts in deep decarbonization, investing at the frontier of climate tech. Shayle is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, a member of the NYSERDA Investor Advisory Board and a member of the PRIME Impact Fund Investor Advisory Council. Previously, Shayle built and ran GTM Research, the market intelligence arm of Greentech Media, through and beyond GTM's successful 2016 acquisition by Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ: VRSK). Shayle is a renowned expert on the future of energy and climate. He has spoken at conferences around the world, testified in front of the U.S. Congress, and been frequently cited in outlets such as the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Economist, and Bloomberg. He is co-host of the popular podcast Catalyst. Prior to GTM, Shayle was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, researching renewable energy project finance in Australia. He also worked at Conservation Services Group (acquired by ClearResult) and the California Public Utilities Commission.
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Matías Muchnick

Founder & CEO, NotCo
Matías Muchnick is the CEO and founder of NotCo, the international plant-based food tech company founded in Chile that is now the fastest growing food tech brand in Latin America. At just 32 years old, Muchnick has led the company to success on a global scale, having achieved unicorn status at a valuation of $1.5 billion in 2021. Muchnick was also instrumental in forming a joint venture with the Kraft Heinz Company, called The Kraft Heinz Not Company, to reimagine global food production and advance it toward a more sustainable future.
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Daria Saharova

Founding Partner, World Fund
Recently awarded Best Female Investor by Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V (German Startup Awards), Daria builds on 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and finance. Before initiating the World Fund, she built the first German-based proptech and energy tech VC. Daria is an expert advisor to the European Commission and maintains a close relationship with international tech thought leaders as co-founder of the think tank 1E9 Denkfabrik.
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Michael Selden

Michael Selden, CEO of Finless Foods (cultured and plant-based fish, raised $37.5 million), working on building a future for seafood where the ocean thrives. A stalwart environmentalist since a young age, Michael is dedicating his career to impacting positive change within the seafood industry. Prior to co-founding Finless Foods, he studied high-throughput cancer screening at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, and worked as a research intern at New Harvest, a non-profit dedicated to propelling forward the field of cellular agriculture. When I’m not working towards building a sustainable future for our oceans, Michael hangs out with my bulldog Roscoe, makes music, or reads the latest science fiction. Michael earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
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Jigar Shah

Director, Loan Programs Office at U.S. DOE
Jigar Shah was most recently co-founder and President at Generate Capital, where he focused on helping entrepreneurs accelerate decarbonization solutions through the use of low-cost infrastructure-as-a service financing. Prior to Generate Capital, Shah founded SunEdison, a company that pioneered “pay as you save” solar financing. After SunEdison, Shah served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Originally from Illinois, Shah holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois-UC and an MBA from the University of Maryland College Park.
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Neal Stephenson

Author, "Termination Shock"
Neal Stephenson is an American writer known for his speculative fiction works, which have been variously categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. These fictional works have earned him the Hugo, Locus, Arthur C. Clarke, and Prometheus awards. He also writes nonfiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired magazine. He has worked as a member of the technical staff for Blue Origin, a company developing a manned suborbital launch system; as an inventor at Intellectual Ventures Labs; and as Chief Futurist of Magic Leap. Raised in Iowa, Stephenson now lives in Seattle, Washington. He is the bestselling author of the novels "Fall; or," "Dodge in Hell," "The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O." (with Nicole Galland), "Seveneves," "Reamde," "Anathem," "The System of the World," "The Confusion," "Quicksilver," "Cryptonomicon," "The Diamond Age," "Snow Crash," "Zodiac," and the groundbreaking nonfiction work "In the Beginning... Was the Command Line". His latest novel, "Termination Shock," is a technothriller about climate change and geoengineering.
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Rajesh Swaminathan

Partner, Khosla Ventures
Rajesh Swaminathan is a Partner at Khosla Ventures. Rajesh has two decades of experience assisting and investing in deep tech startups. He manages many of the firm’s investments across renewables generation, storage, hydrogen, industrial decarbonization, plastics, foodtech, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Previously, Rajesh was the head of Applied Ventures LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, where he managed a portfolio of 85 deep-tech startups globally, as well as two deep-tech funds in Korea and Taiwan. Rajesh also worked on Deutsche Bank’s cleantech banking team, and with KV on companies in solar and water. Rajesh holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and chemical engineering degrees from the University of Maryland (MS) and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (BS), where he was awarded the Shankar Dayal Sharma (President of India) Medal for overall excellence.
More to come