Managing Director of Techstars Energy
Audun Abelsnes is the Managing Director of the Equinor & Techstars Energy Accelerator. He is an active participant in panels at energy and innovation conferences around the world. For several years, Audun Abelsnes has been a visiting lecturer at the master-level course "New Venture Creation" (5th year) at the Norwegian Business School. He has founded and later sold one company and is an active seed/early stage investor. Audun Abelsnes has spent several years in PWC management consulting and holds a Master of Science in International Marketing from the Norwegian Business School.
Azeem Azhar is an entrepreneur, investor and author. He is the founder of Exponential View, the leading newsletter and podcast. Exponential View explores the political economy of the Exponential Age. It reaches more than 200,000 readers around the world. He is also an active startup investor, with investments in AI, work-from-home and climate change. He is on the board of the Ada Lovelace Institute and sits on the World Economic Forum's Global Futures Council on Digital Economy & Society, on the board of the Ada Lovelace Institute. Previously, he founded PeerIndex, a big data analytics firm acquired in 2015. He has had senior roles in global media businesses and started his career as a journalist where he was a writer for The Economist and The Guardian. In 2020, he co-authored the State of Climate Tech, a global analysis of venture capital trends in climate change investing, with PwC. His first book, Exponential, which explores the transition to the Exponential Age will be published in autumn of 2021.
Managing Partner, DCVC
Zack’s belief that systems-level thinking integral to environmental science, coupled with deep tech and computation, can help address pressing real-world challenges led him to co-found DCVC. He brings to bear nearly 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, advisor, attorney, and angel investor. Zack’s investment interests include next-generation space informatics platforms like Planet Labs, disruptive financial services platforms using machine learning to serve the unbanked and underbanked more quickly and fairly, like Tala & LendUp, and AI & robotics platforms for computational drug discovery like Recursion Pharmaceuticals & Vium. Zack also leads DCVC’s investments in other transformational companies like Merlon Intelligence, Plenty, and Opus 12. In 2015, the World Economic Forum named Zack a Young Global Leader in recognition of Zack’s leadership at the intersection of transformative technology and urgent global issues, and he is active in the Davos community, including his annual “Deep Tech in Davos” event. As an angel investor, Zack invested in startups like Square (SQ), Docker, and Uber. Zack co-founded and is a managing partner of Founders Den, one of the first modern co-working spaces and communities of experienced technology entrepreneurs. Zack previously co-founded and ran Montara Capital Partners, a real estate fund, and practiced law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Zack serves on the non-profit boards of the East Palo Alto Charter School and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Zack graduated with honors from Harvard University in Environmental Science and earned his JD with honors from Georgetown Law School, where he was executive editor for The Tax Lawyer.
General Partner, SOSV & Managing Director, IndieBio
Po is passionate about reconceptualizing complex challenges into more elegant forms, to broaden understanding and highlight priorities. He’s been at IndieBio SF since 2018. Po is a longtime science journalist honored with nine national awards, and author of seven bestselling books that are available in 28 languages worldwide. His work has been cited in 185 academic journals and 503 books. His background is in Economics. He learned finance at Credit Suisse and consulting at a division of Arthur Andersen. Prior to IndieBio he spent four years as a Futurist with Attention Span Media, consulting corporate innovation efforts for globally-recognized brands. Most recently, Po is the author of Decoding the World: A Roadmap for the Questioner, published by Twelve Books, a division of the Hachette Publishing Group.
Partner, SOSV IndieBio
Gwen is a Partner at IndieBio NY, advising and investing in companies at all stages of growth. Even before officially joining SOSV, Gwen was an active investor in IndieBio companies, including Tinctorium Bio/Huue, Lupa Bio/Intrinsic Medicine, and SyntheX. Gwen was a Venture Partner at Fusion Fund, an early stage fund in Palo Alto focused on AI/ML, robotics and medical devices, and a Director at Studio X, a machine learning venture studio based in Austin. Gwen spent 3 years with Singularity University Ventures, an impact-focused accelerator, and helped launch their first batch of startups in the Nordic campus. Prior to venture, Gwen spent 18 years on Wall Street investing in public equities, started her career at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and promoted to portfolio manager at a $300 million innovation-themed hedge fund. Gwen is bilingual in computer science programming languages and wet lab research protocols. On the computer science side, she received her bachelor’s degree in math/economics with a minor in computer science electrical engineering. One of her four business school MBA concentrations was econometrics/statistical learning. She has completed all sixteen machine learning certification courses offered by DeepLearning.ai. On the wet lab biology side, Gwen spent 2 years at UCSF researching immunotherapy (CAR-T) for glioblastomas, and was second author on two publications. She spent summers researching x-ray protein crystallography, nitric oxide as an oncology therapeutic, and image recognition of breast cancer histology. Gwen is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Yale University School of Medicine.
Managing Editor, TechCrunch
Danny Crichton is managing editor at TechCrunch, where he covers technology and power. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent at TechCrunch based in Seoul, South Korea as well as a venture capitalist with General Catalyst in Palo Alto and Charles River Ventures in Boston and New York. He was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship to South Korea, where he researched the development of Korea’s startup ecosystem. He is a PhD dropout from Harvard where he studied public policy, and an honors graduate of Stanford, where he studied mathematical and computational sciences. Danny is based in Brooklyn.
Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Partners
Ira Ehrenpreis is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a leading impact investing venture capital firm, currently managing more than $1 billion of capital. DBL invests in companies that can deliver top-tier financial returns, while simultaneously driving social or environmental change. Ira is a recognized leader in the venture capital industry, having served on the Board, Executive Committee, and as Annual Meeting Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). He currently serves as the Chairman of the VCNetwork, the largest and most active California venture capital organization, and the President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC), the oldest venture capital organization in California. Ira was awarded the NACD Directorship 100 for being “one of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community.” In 2007, he was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45" (when he was under 45!) and in 2014 was inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. Ira serves on the board of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) and currently supports DBL’s investments in several companies including Apeel, Better Place Forests, The Boring Company, Mapbox, Planet, R-Zero, and SpaceX. Ira served for several years as the Chairman of the Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF). He is the Founder and Chairman of one of the most prominent annual energy innovation industry events, the World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF), which convenes the who's-who in the industry to discuss the important energy issues and opportunities of our time. Ira also served for many years on the Advisory Board of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE). Ira is also an active leader at Stanford University, where he has served on the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School and is currently an advisory board member of the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy (PIE) Advisory Council and the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP). Ira has also been a guest lecturer, including helping to teach a course on Venture Capital. Ira received his JD/MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of Stanford Law Review. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.
CEO & Co-Founder, Sublime Systems
Leah Ellis is co-founder and CEO at Sublime Systems, a company that has developed a breakthrough process to produce carbon-neutral cement. Sublime’s technology was co-invented by Leah and Sublime's co-founder, Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang, at MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering during Leah's tenure as NSERC/Banting Postdoctoral Fellow. Prior to working on cement at MIT, Leah earned her PhD in chemistry with Professor Jeff Dahn at Dalhousie University, Canada, where she worked on optimizing lithium-ion cell lifetime in partnerships with 3M and Tesla. Leah is an Activate Boston Entrepreneurial Fellow and was recently named among MIT Technology Review's 35 Innovators under 35.
Principal at Future Shape
Tony is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 30+ year history of founding companies and designing products that profoundly improve people’s lives. He is the Principal at Future Shape, an investment and advisory firm coaching deep tech startups. Currently, Future Shape is coaching over 200+ startups innovating game-changing technologies. He is the founder and former CEO of Nest, the company that pioneered the “Internet of Things.” Tony was the SVP of Apple’s iPod Division and led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Throughout his career Tony has authored more than 300 patents. In May 2016, TIME named the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPod and the iPhone as three of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time.”
General Partner, Prime Movers Lab
Suzanne Fletcher joined Prime Movers Lab in 2019 and is a General Partner. Prime Movers Lab is a deeptech venture capital fund that invests in breakthrough scientific inventions that have the ability to transform billions of lives across 6 sectors: energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and longevity. Suzanne serves as Director on a number of boards, including Upward Farms. From 2015 to 2019, Suzanne served as the Fund Manager of the Stanford-StartX Fund at StartX. She was previously a Managing Director at Paul Capital and an investment banker with Morgan Stanley. As Fund Manager at StartX, Suzanne oversaw $175M of direct investments in 300 startups across 500+ rounds from seed through Seres D, in industries ranging across Enterprise, Consumer, Hardware and Medical. She earned an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Finance and Information Systems from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude.
Dr. Jennifer Gerbi
Acting Director & Deputy Director for Technology, ARPA-E
Dr. Jennifer Gerbi, Deputy Director for Technology at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), is currently serving as Acting Director. Dr. Gerbi leads the Agency’s development, launch, and execution of high-risk, high-reward energy R&D programs. Previously as a Program Director at the Agency, her programmatic focus at ARPA-E included improving the energy efficiency and management of buildings via advanced sensing systems and storage, novel insulating materials for windows, and renewable energy generation via photovoltaics. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Gerbi worked at Dow Corning in multiple capacities. She started at the company in 2011 as a Program Leader in the company’s Business and Technology Incubator. In this role, Gerbi built and led a next-generation solar portfolio. Gerbi then managed a global team as a Business Builder, leading new business development for a lithium-ion battery program. Gerbi’s most recent role at Dow Corning was as an Applied Engineering and Technical Service Leader, where she led an electronics application engineering and development team, working directly with large global customers to enable technical solutions via silicones in consumer and crossover healthcare electronics markets. From 2007 to 2011, Gerbi served as a Senior Materials Scientist at The Dow Chemical Company, focusing on the copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar technology effort, which included growing a small lab-scale environment into a commercial-scale effort within three years. Gerbi served her postdoctoral fellowship at Argonne National Laboratory, developing thin film diamond coatings for electronics and healthcare markets. She also worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois on novel diffusion barriers. Dr. Gerbi holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also received an M.S. in Physics from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Physics from Bard College.
Partner, Mayfield Fund
Arvind Gupta co-leads Mayfield’s Engineering Biology practice whose mission is to invest in science based companies that could change history. Ranging from reinventing our food system to stopping climate change to novel therapeutics, Arvind was the first investor in breakout companies such as Geltor, Synthex, Prime Roots, NotCo, Prellis, New Culture, DNA Lite, Catalog, Prellis and Memphis Meats. As Founder of IndieBio, Arvind redefined the pace and possibilities of early stage biotech, investing in over 136 companies in five years, defining human and planetary health, and growing the IndieBio portfolio into billions of dollars in value. Under his leadership, IndieBio expanded to New York and grew to fifteen investment professionals with a world renowned adjunct partner board. He now serves as Venture Advisor at IndieBio. Arvind is the author of Decoding the World: A Roadmap for the Questioner, published by Twelve Books, a division of the Hachette Publishing Group. He was honored with the F50 Global Award for Impact in HealthTech Innovation. He is a frequent speaker at TechCrunch Disrupt, Slush, TedX and Future FoodTech. His work has been profiled in global media outlets such as Bloomberg News, Forbes, The Guardian UK, Neo.life, Nikkei News, Rotman, The Times of India, and CGTN in China. Arvind has been a guest lecturer at UCSF, MIT and Harvard and is a judge at the annual BIO conference startup stadium. Prior to founding IndieBio, Arvind was Design Director at IDEO in Shanghai where he earned numerous international design awards and presented his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was also a BASE jumper and big wall climber and now fights professional grappling. Arvind received his B.S. in Genetic Engineering from UCSB. He holds 8 patents. Arvind is married to an Icelander and has two daughters.
CEO, Katapult Accelerator
Nina is the CEO at Katapult Accelerator, a globally leading impact tech accelerator headquartered in Oslo, Norway. She’s now leading Katapult’s new thematic investment and accelerator vertical Katapult Climate. Katapult as a system has since 2017 invested in an accelerated 90 impact tech startups from 32 countries across its existing verticals, and will by the end of 2021 invest in up to 20 new companies on climate- and ocean tech. Nina is also an angel investor and previous founder and is passionate about the role technology and entrepreneurship play in making the world a better place for both people and the planet.
CEO & Co-Founder, Form Energy
Mateo Jaramillo is co-founder and CEO of Form Energy. He was formerly Vice President of Products and Programs for Tesla’s stationary energy storage program, an effort he started. In that role, he was responsible for Tesla Energy’s product line and business model definition, as well as global policy and business development. Mateo joined Tesla in 2009 as the Director of Powertrain Business Development, serving as commercial lead on over $100M in new development and $500M in production contracts signed for electric powertrain sales. Prior to Tesla, Mateo was Chief Operating Officer and part of the founding team at Gaia Power Technologies, a pioneering distributed energy storage firm. Mateo earned his A.B. in Economics from Harvard and a Masters in Theology from Yale Divinity School.
Dr. Clea Kolster
Director of Science, Lowercarbon Capital
Clea is the Director of Science at Lowercarbon Capital and leads the firm’s technical research, diligence, and scientific strategy efforts. Clea’s career has always been focused on solving the climate emergency through innovation in technology, business models, and policy. Prior to joining Lowercarbon, she worked at San Francisco-based energy consulting firm, E3, where she developed electricity resource planning models and economy-wide decarbonization plans for state agencies like the California Air Resources Board, utilities, and asset owners like Calpine, with a focus on the role of emerging technologies like long-duration energy storage, carbon removal, geothermal and advanced nuclear. Clea earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Imperial College London part of which she conducted at Stanford University’s Energy Resources & Engineering department. Her work focused on the techno-economics of large-scale carbon capture and storage systems. Clea sits on the technical advisory board of Third Derivative, a climate innovation accelerator founded by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Managing Director, Prelude Ventures
Gabriel Kra co-founded Prelude Ventures in 2013, after almost 25 years as an investor, entrepreneur, scientist, activist, and ski-bum. Before launching Prelude Ventures, Gabriel spent four years as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank in its solar and semiconductor groups. He also was an early employee at venture-backed telecommunications and semiconductor start-ups, where he was instrumental in raising money, launching products, developing technology and getting acquired. Gabriel’s early experience working a summer at Yellowstone National Park and for Greenpeace sparked his lifelong commitment to fighting climate change. Gabriel serves on the Boards of Directors of Renew Financial, Ripple Foods, Sense Labs, Natron Energy, ClearMetal, Raxium, and Form Energy, and is active with Meati, Metalenz, Zymergen, Planet, Catalog, and Spark Thermionics. Other investments at Prelude include PLANT PV, Suniva (ShunFeng Clean Energy), SolarBridge (SPWR), and Clean Urban Energy. Gabriel also serves on the Board of Directors of Activate and The CREO Syndicate, and on advisory boards for Prime Coalition and Carbon180. Gabriel holds MBAs from the Columbia Business School and the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, an MS in atmospheric chemistry from SUNY Stony Brook and a BA in philosophy from Columbia College. Gabriel is still an avid skier, and spends as much of his free time as possible in the mountains, with his wife and four children. Gabriel now roots for the San Francisco Giants after years as a New Yorker, and his favorite guilty pleasure, much to his wife’s chagrin, is Clash of Clans.
Dr. Francesco Matteucci
EIC Programme Manager for Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Innovation Management
Francesco is an innovation manager with 20 years of experience spent as a researcher in materials science, as a Corporate R&D Manager within the field of technologies for renewable energy production and storage, and as an intermediary of knowledge trying to exploit the research results within the field of energy and environment. As R&D Corporate manager, he also cofounded and directed several start-ups and joint-labs managing public-private partnerships. As a facilitator of knowledge exploitation (IoK), he co-managed publicly funded projects, as well as Emilia Romagna Climate-KIC Innovation Centre, Dhitech Living Lab on Nanotechnologies, Emilia-Romagna Greentech Clust-ER. Francesco acted as scientific expert within the Vanguard Initiative ADMA Pilot, reviewer of research projects, co-authored over 30 scientific papers, 5 patents, and was Visiting Professor at the University of Ferrara as well as speakers in many conferences and workshops.
Dr. Rajesh Mehta
Program Director, Environmental Technologies, SBIR/STTR at National Science Foundation
Rajesh Mehta, Ph.D., is a Program Director in the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the U. S. National Science Foundation. He currently manages its Environmental Technologies portfolio consisting of close to 100 science- & engineering-based technology start-ups addressing various environmental challenges. Since joining NSF in 2012, he has made close to 450 awards mostly to start-ups. A chemical engineering graduate of IIT-Bombay, he has advanced degrees from Penn State, RIT, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Imperial College. Prior to joining NSF, he was with Kodak for over 25 years.
Managing General Partner, SOSV
After Sean O’Sullivan’s first startup went public in 1994, he founded SOSV in 1995 as a “super angel”. In 2007, based off the success of two dozen investments that had done remarkably well, Sean began aggressively expanding SOSV, transitioning it from a personal investment vehicle into an organization which today has over 110 staff supporting investments in over 150 new startups every year. In 2020, SOSV has 8 general partners operating globally, with SOSV’s major offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taipei, San Francisco, New York, Cork, and Tokyo. Sean got his entrepreneurial start in 1985 as a founder of MapInfo, bringing street mapping technology to personal computers. MapInfo went on to become a $200 million revenue public company with over 1,000 employees worldwide. In 1996, while at the helm of his second company, NetCentric, he created “software for inside the Internet” and is credited with co-creating the term “cloud computing” alongside George Favaloro from Compaq. Sean continued as an entrepreneur and investor, creating and supporting a range of business, humanitarian and educational endeavors. A major promoter of economic and social development, he founded JumpStart International in 2003. JumpStart was a leading humanitarian engineering organization based in Baghdad and which operated throughout Iraq during the post-war period of 2003-2006. He spent a few years running JumpStart, which for a time had a staff of over 3000, running up to 80 projects at a time in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Najaf. As benefactor of the O’Sullivan Foundation, Sean has also been a primary funder of organizations such as the Khan Academy, Mathletes and CoderDojo. As the founding Chairman of the Irish Entrepreneurship Forum and founder of Open Ireland, he was a leader and influencer of Irish government policy in fueling economic growth and recovery in the technology sector. Sean was a regular investment panelist on the popular RTÉ TV show Dragon’s Den, and an occasional columnist for Ireland’s Sunday Business Post. Sean holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of Southern California.
Jason Pontin is a Partner at DCVC, where his belief that emerging technologies and new scientific insights can solve urgent challenges and expand human possibilities inspires his investments in Deep Tech and life sciences companies. Among his operational responsibilities at DCVC, he helps portfolio companies tell their stories. He was the first investor in DCVC-backed Totus Medicines, where he is a founding board member, and in Menten.AI. Before joining DCVC, he was a senior partner and senior advisor at Flagship Pioneering in Cambridge, MA, where he worked with the enterprise’s therapeutics and agriculture companies. Jason was CEO and editor in chief of MIT Technology Review and editor of Red Herring magazine, the bible of the dot.com boom. At MIT, he founded MIT Solve, the Institute’s open innovation platform, which deploys capital and other resources toward solutions to grand challenges; chaired the MIT Enterprise Forum, the Institute’s global entrepreneurial community; and was senior advisor to MIT’s 16th President, Susan Hockfield. He has written for a range of publications including a column for the New York Times and articles for many other newspapers and magazines like The Economist, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe and The Believer. He still writes, mostly for WIRED. At TED 2013, he delivered a Talk, “Can technology solve our big problems?” which has been seen 1.6 million times. Jason was raised in Berkeley and on a farm on the North Coast of California, where his family raised game birds for restaurants in the Bay Area. He was educated in the United Kingdom at Keble College, Oxford University, where he was awarded a B.A. and M.A in humanities fields completely unrelated to his investment interests.
Sci-fi author, The Waste Tide, AI 2041
Chen Qiufan (aka Stanley Chan) is an award-winning author, translator, creative producer, and curator. He is the president of the World Chinese Science Fiction Association. His works include Waste Tide, Future Disease, and The Algorithms for Life. The founder of Thema Mundi, a content development studio, he lives in Beijing and Shanghai.
Dr. Inja Radman
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, New Culture
Originally from beautiful Split, Croatia, Inja received her PhD from Cambridge University in molecular and synthetic biology and masters from ETH Zurich in biophysics and protein structure. After completing further academic research, she worked in analytical consulting in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries before joining Matt Gibson to co-found New Culture as part of IndieBio, the world’s leading biotech start-up accelerator. Inja also led social impact projects in Mozambique and Tanzania and was awarded a national scholarship from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports as an undergrad in Zagreb. She is a devoted foodie, former dancer and badminton player, and a data geek to the core.
CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine
Katie serves as the CEO & Managing Partner of The Engine, a venture capital fund built by MIT, that invests in early-stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering and leadership. She serves as a Board Member at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations, and Lilac Solutions. Katie has advised hundreds of founders and invested in over 100 companies. Key investments include Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion), Bevi, GrabCad, Synack, Zagster, NBD Nano, Neurala and Amino. She holds an MBA from Yale and BA in Biology from Oberlin College.
Dr. Emily Reichert
Chief Executive Officer, Greentown Labs
Dr. Emily Reichert serves as Chief Executive Officer of Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech incubator in North America. As the organization’s first employee, Emily spearheaded the rapid growth of Greentown Labs, incubating hundreds of climate-focused startups that have created thousands of jobs and attracted partners from around the world. Today, Greentown Labs has grown to 35 employees managing a community of nearly 130 startups across two locations – Somerville, MA (HQ) and Houston, TX. Emily started her career at Arthur D. Little as a Ph.D. scientist and progressed into R&D, business development and general management roles. Prior to Greentown Labs, she was the Director of Business Operations at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry where she helped grow the angel-funded startup into a sustainable contract R&D business with a mission to minimize environmental impact of chemical products. Emily has been appointed to leadership positions on innovation, economic development, entrepreneurship, and clean technology commercialization at the city, state, and federal level including the City of Somerville’s Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Governor’s Economic Development Planning Council, the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
David Rowan became a little too excited by epic founders when he was founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition. It's led to him investing in more than 80 of their startups, including six that became unicorns, and launching both a climate-tech and a health-tech fund built on a not-for-profit community he launched called VOYAGERS.io, which connects mission-driven founders. He’s an adviser to Lakestar, Outsized Ventures and 10xFounders. His book “Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds” (Penguin, 2019) is a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption. He's now writing a book on the commercialisation of psychedelics. David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times. He's given more than 600 keynote talks and has moderated events for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments. And he is still searching for the future.
Co-Founder and CEO, Noya
Josh Santos is the co-founder and CEO of Noya, a company that’s reversing climate change by capturing CO2 from the sky using existing commercial cooling towers. Before starting Noya, he took the technical skills he learned during his time studying chemical engineering at MIT and applied them in the business world. After graduating, Josh was the Chief of Staff at Labdoor, a startup that tests dietary supplements on behalf of consumers, where he built B2B products and services from scratch. He then went on to become a Project Manager on the Model 3 program at Tesla, where he helped to scale the production rate of the Model 3 after it launched, and then on to become the first EV Program Manager in Harley-Davidson’s new electric vehicle division, where he helped the team scale from 6 to 30 people in the newly-opened Mountain View office. Outside of the office, you can find Josh reading or sailing in the San Francisco Bay.
Editor, Footprint Coalition
Jon Shieber is the editor at Footprint Coalition. He was an editor at Techcrunch and previously worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co., covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai.
Dr. Kiersten Stead
Managing Partner, DCVC
Kiersten is a Managing Partner at DCVC Bio where she invests in early stage companies that work tirelessly to build Deep Tech platforms to develop therapeutics, improve agriculture and food, and build novel businesses in industrial biotechnology. Prior to DCVC, Kiersten was an Investment Director at Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV), which invested in a similar thesis. Kiersten serves on the boards of multiple Deep Tech companies, including past roles in acquired companies Blue River Technology (John Deere) and Vital Fields (The Climate Corporation). She is also a member of the Investment Committee of Genome Canada GAAP, is on the Keystone Symposia Scientific Advisory Board, and the Danforth Center Board. Previously, Kiersten was a Management Consultant specialized in early stage company development. She was a Scientist in Genetics & Molecular Biology at the University of Alberta and at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Kiersten received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology & Genetics and an MBA in finance from the University of Alberta.
General Partner, SOSV & Managing Director, HAV
Duncan is General Partner at SOSV and Managing Director of HAX Shenzhen, where he oversee’s HAX, the world’s first and largest VC backed program for Hard Tech. He is responsible for strategic direction of the program, operations and investments. Prior to joining HAX, he led design and consumer engagement strategy projects for Fortune 500 companies at global design and innovation firm IDEO. Duncan has a strong entrepreneurial background and deep experience of growing businesses in China, having taken numerous hardware products to market from first concepts through research, funding, design, development, manufacturing and assembly to final sales. He obtained his Master’s from Royal College of Art & Imperial College. His design work has won multiple awards and is included in the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art.
In 2017, achieving the goal of his search fund, David engaged with NovoNutrients: investing in it, pivoting it, and taking his current role as its CEO. NovoNutrients transforms waste, industrial CO2 into feed ingredients through industrial biotech – initially for the fast-growing aquaculture sector. For the prior dozen years, David was the sole manager of another fund, Aquacopia. That five-company, seed-stage portfolio had a thematic focus on aquaculture. The companies ranged from an aquafeed ingredient manufacturer to a distributor and marketer of sustainable seafood. The fund also led investments into Open Blue, InnovaSea, and Futuna. Including a prior start-up that David co-founded, those six companies raised $250M. That prior start-up, an online industrial marketplace called NetworkOil and then Network International, was acquired by Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT). After earning an economics A.B. from Princeton, David’s career had started in “web 1.0” internet sector roles around general management, entrepreneurial corporate development, and consultative technology sales.
Uma Valeti, MD
CEO & Founder, Upside Foods
A cardiologist by training, Uma Valeti spent a decade researching the potential of cell-cultured meat. He was inspired by the potential to redefine our food system for good and started Upside Foods (previously known as Memphis Meats) to turn this vision into a reality.
More to come