2023 Speakers

See 2022 Speakers.

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Dr. Brian Baynes

Founder and CEO, Verdox
Dr. Brian Baynes is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is a Founder of Verdox (MIT spin-out developing an electrically-driven carbon capture technology), Petri.bio (Boston-based venture accelerator at the intersection of biology and engineering), Midori Health (novel fiber feed additives for animal nutrition and health, sold to Royal DSM (AMS:DSM)), Celexion (protein engineering and synthetic biology for biopharma and industrial applications; sold to Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN)), and Codon Devices (applied synthetic biology; sold to Gen9/Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE:DNA)). Previously, Dr. Baynes was a Partner with Flagship Pioneering, where he served on affiliated funds’ investment committees, as an executive in early-stage ventures, and on the boards of sustainability companies Red Rock Biofuels, Joule, Mascoma, Enchi, and Be Power. He was also an engineer at ExxonMobil and a Director in the MIT School of Chemical Engineering Practice at industrial companies in the USA, United Arab Emirates, and Japan. He is a member of the Chemical Sciences Roundtable of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and of the Advisory Committee of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He holds a PhD from MIT and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, both in chemical engineering.
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Mikal Bøe

Chairman and CEO, CORE POWER
Mikal founded Core Power to create a market for new nuclear technologies in the maritime and offshore industries as the end-game solution for our energy transition. CORE POWER’s mission is to combine ‘fit-for-purpose’ new nuclear energy technologies with shipyard manufacturing techniques, enabling the nuclear industry to move from project based civil construction to a product-based manufacturing future. This opens a path for offshore floating nuclear power and new-nuclear powered ships, eliminating emissions, improving quality, reducing costs, and boosting scale. Mikal has over 30 years shipping industry experience from floor to board, in technology, finance and risk management. He served as Chief Risk Officer for Eagle Bulk in New York and for Thoresen Thai Agencies in Singapore before starting CORE POWER in 2018. He is a board member of the World Nuclear Transport Institute and serves as their Chair of the ‘Maritime Applications and Nuclear Propulsion’ Working Group. He is a member of the Offshore Technical Committee at Lloyd’s Register; is a member of the Maritime Nuclear Applications Group at the National Reactor Innovation Centre at Idaho National Laboratory in the US and a member of the UK Nuclear Industry Association Advisory Board in London.
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Nathaniel (Nat) Bullard

Partner, Voyager Ventures
Nathaniel (Nat) Bullard has two decades of experience in energy, climate, and decarbonization. Nat is an experienced analyst, columnist, strategy facilitator, and keynote speaker. He is a senior contributor to BloombergNEF, where he worked for 15 years in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Hong Kong, most recently as the group’s chief content officer. He is a weekly columnist for Bloomberg Green, where he writes on climate, energy, transportation and technology for 250,000. He is also a venture partner at Voyager Ventures, and advises early-stage climate companies and investors. He received a Master's Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in International Policy (Energy track) and International Economics, and an AB magna cum laude from Harvard University.
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Corinna X. Chen

Partner, Material Impact
As a Partner at Material Impact, Corinna is focused on applying fundamental technologies across sectors to meet new needs and solve emerging real-world problems. Her areas of interest include synthetic biology, bio-based materials, advanced electronic materials, next gen computing and climate tech. With experience in engineering, life sciences, medical devices, and aerospace, Corinna’s expertise spans many fields—including sensor technologies, biotechnology, systems hardware, electronics, and semiconductors. She has a successful record of transactions, totaling over $1.25B across eight products and several geographies, and including licensing, acquisition, divestitures, and new company formation. As vice president of corporate development and finance at Medeor Therapeutics, Corinna created the growth strategy for the firm’s cell therapy pipeline. She also led deal sourcing focused on technology platforms, clinical assets, and acquisitions. Prior to this, Corinna was responsible for business development and strategy for the Surgery and Perioperative Care business unit at the Medicines Company, where she focused on growth through worldwide partnerships and commercialization of novel therapies. At Incline Therapeutics, Corinna worked both in business development and in engineering. She helped design, develop, and commercialize the transdermal device IONSYS, and led the company’s integration by the Medicines Company following its $390M acquisition. Corinna also helped develop a sublingual therapy for acute pain at AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, and created additional diagnostic therapies in other roles. She began her career as a rocket scientist at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, designing instrumentation and building spacecrafts for NASA’s THEMIS mission to examine space storms. Corinna received her MBA from Duke University and her BS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University. She holds 9 patents in drug and device design, and has published on the economic impact of organ transplantation in the American Journal of Transplantation. Over the course of her career, she has advised and supported the launch of several startups. Corinna is dedicated to the advancement of science and technology to better human lives and the environment. She is also an avid swimmer, SCUBA diver, and urban farmer who is in constant pursuit of unique adventures.
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Marie Cheong

Founding Partner, Wavemaker Impact
Marie is a Founding Partner of Wavemaker Impact, the first VC backed climate tech venture builder in SouthEast Asia. Wavemaker Impact co-founds start ups with experienced entreprenuers with the aim of building a portfolio of scaleable companies that can abate 10% of the global carbon budget. Marie has worked with over 20 entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses. In the last two years, Marie has focused exclusively on launching climate tech startups in Southeast Asia and is passionate about increasing the pipeline of women founders in the sector. Prior to joining Wavemaker Impact, Marie led the Venture Build program at ENGIE Factory, where she was responsible for building a portfolio of 10 climate tech ventures valued at over US $8m at pre-seed round. Marie was also the general manager at a SAAS startup and a senior member of KPMG's Digital + Innovation team. Her career also includes stints in management consulting and in a construction company where she specialized in operations strategy, business development, cost reduction and process improvement. Marie has a MBA from the National University of Singapore where she graduated as valedictorian and holder of the Panasonic Marketing Award.
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Kate Danaher

Managing Director, S2G Ventures
Kate Danaher is Managing Director of S2G Ventures' Ocean Fund. Kate has worked at the intersection of impact investing and sustainable food and agriculture for over ten years. Prior to joining S2G Ventures, Kate was the Chief Lending Officer at RSF Social Finance, where she oversaw the capital deployment strategy to evaluate products, investment sectors, and growth objectives in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan. She is a food and agriculture finance expert who has specialized in the US food system, fair trade supply chains, and consumer-facing brands. Kate received her MBA through the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program at Colorado State University.
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Stephanie Dorsey

Founding Partner, E²JDJ
Stephanie Dorsey is Founding Partner at E²JDJ, an early stage venture capital firm investing globally in AgriFood technology and science. The fund invests in talented founders who are creating cutting edge technological or scientific solutions across the food value chain that improve the efficiency, quality, resilience and sustainability of the food system, and ultimately human and planetary health. E²JDJ focuses on scalable, high growth and early-stage businesses that promote human health, reduce global energy consumption, mitigate the environmental impact of the industry, and harness technology to drive substantial gains in productivity. Stephanie is a thought leader in the sustainable food space and serves on numerous advisory boards of food, sustainability and entrepreneurial organizations. Prior to founding E²JDJ, Stephanie was a lawyer at the corporate law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell.
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Kemp Gregory

CEO and Co-founder, Renewell Energy
Kemp Gregory is the CEO and a co-founder at Renewell Energy. Raised in the bays of his father’s small automotive repair shop, he dreamed of running GM or Ford one day. An internship with Ford in the summer of 2011 showed him their lack of vision (at the time) followed by an internship in Shell’s wind energy group which pulled back the curtain on the oil industry not yet ready to move towards a dramatically new future. He knew he needed to develop an expertise in something that would drastically change the energy landscape. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, that technology was hydraulic fracturing. He spent the next 5 years mastering it, installing cutting-edge downhole technology, managing capital-intensive projects, and coordinating large operations teams across North and South America. By the time he was living in Argentina however, he was already being drawn to the immense challenge and promise of the energy transition. So, he left Argentina for California in 2018 to get a Master of Science in renewable energy engineering from Stanford, effectively creating a personal career that serves as forerunner of the larger energy transition required to decarbonize the electrical grid. Stanford's startup milieu was the best place in the world to get a crash course in entrepreneurism, and it was there the Renewell concept made its first steps towards reality when a pitch of the basic idea gained entry to Stanford Climate Ventures. Since then, he has committed to building Renewell to its full potential and his time with Shell created the ideal bank of experiences to deliver that success.
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Benjamin Joffe

Partner, SOSV
As Partner at SOSV, Benjamin works with startups on strategy, marketing, PR and fundraising. He is considered a global thought leader on deeptech innovation and ecosystems, and represents SOSV in many global events such as Techcrunch Disrupt, Hello Tomorrow and Slush. Benjamin also lectured at Berkeley Haas, CentraleSupelec, National University of Singapore and Zhejiang University where he gave a course on Deep Tech Ventures. He has been featured on Bloomberg TV, WSJ, The Economist, Nature, Wired and has contributed to TechCrunch, Forbes, VentureBeat and IEEE Spectrum. Moving from France to Asia in 2000, Benjamin is a reformed mechanical engineer who turned to strategy and worked in Japan, South Korea and China. His experience covers several tech industries: telecom, mobile, gaming, hardware and deeptech. Prior to SOSV, Benjamin was the founder of a strategy consultancy which researched Asia-based digital innovations, with clients such as Microsoft, Citi and Harvard Business School. He also founded Mobile Monday Beijing, a community of thousands of mobile industry professionals in China.
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Suleman Khan

CEO, Swell Energy
As CEO of Swell Energy, an energy and grid services company, Suleman directs Swell’s project development, project finance and grid services efforts. In the decade prior to launching Swell, Suleman worked within renewable energy and structured finance, productizing solar and energy storage applications for the residential and commercial markets. Suleman helped establish new energy divisions within various companies, including Tesla, NRG and FirstSolar, and assisted in launching a number of renewable energy and consumer finance startups. Suleman previously worked on the structured credit products desk at Citigroup, as well as within Citigroup’s investment banking division and Prudential’s alternative investments group. Suleman also served as Senior Advisor to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission under the Obama administration’s safeguard initiatives. Prior to his capital markets work, Suleman worked within the microfinance sector with global and regional organizations, including the UNDP and the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions. Suleman has an academic background in financial engineering and political science and has served as an advisor to various energy access and water reclamation initiatives.
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Eugene Kirpichov

Co-founder and Executive Director, Work On Climate
Eugene is the co-founder and Executive Director of Work On Climate, a non-profit focused on building the workforce needed to solve climate change. Eugene started this non-profit after quitting his 15-year software career (most recently at Google, working on large-scale data processing and AI systems) to focus on climate, and meeting hundreds of other professionals in the same boat when his goodbye note went viral. Work On Climate has built the world's largest professional community of its kind and helped several thousand people land jobs working on climate solutions. Now they are focusing on the full scale of the climate talent transition - hundreds of millions of people across all roles and sectors - by rallying the power of the entire mainstream talent ecosystem. Eugene's story and his work have been featured by FastCompany, CNBC, The Weather Channel, New York Times, EDF, and other venues. Eugene dedicates his free time to rock climbing, enjoying art and music, and hanging out with his two cats, This One and That One.
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Gabriel Kra

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.
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Bret Kugelmass

Founder and CEO, Last Energy
Bret Kugelmass is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Last Energy. A visionary entrepreneur and engineer, Bret has been a leading voice on the essential role nuclear energy plays in achieving deep decarbonization and energy security for the near future. In 2017, Bret founded the Energy Impact Center, a Washington DC-based research institute. Over the course of 5 years EIC engaged in intense global industry and governmental collaboration becoming an internationally regarded thought leader on the role of nuclear power in accelerating the transition to clean energy. Their work on fast-tracking deployment roadmaps for small modular reactors became the basis of their key subject matter contributions to the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Sweden. Building upon a foundation of engineering excellence, years of nuclear industry research, strong government credibility, and access to private capital, Bret navigated the organizational transition leading EIC to become a full fledged commercial developer of small modular reactors, emerging as Last Energy. With a goal of revolutionizing the delivery model for nuclear power, Last Energy aims to accelerate the global energy transition to abundant clean power, ushering in a new future of human flourishing. A former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Bret is known for his work pioneering autonomous aerospace technology. Bret received his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
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Laurie Menoud

Partner, At One Ventures
Laurie Menoud holds a Master's degree in biotechnology from the École Supérieure d'Ingénieurs de Luminy in France, where she studied genetic engineering, biochemistry, and microbiology. Through her work with The French National Center for Scientific Research, she got involved in the characterization of the first "giant" virus ever discovered, which later shed new light on the origins of life. Driven by the desire to apply biotechnologies toward environmental health, she later joined Bluewater Bio in the UK, focused on optimizing the company's new biological process for wastewater treatment. Laurie then decided to get a Post-Master of Business Innovation from the EM Lyon Business School to study technology and innovation management. This led her to join the Corporate Research & Innovation group of Solvay, a large chemical company, where she supported strategy for long-term R&D programs, startup investments, and acquisitions. She worked on various sustainability topics such as bio-based materials, energy-efficient lighting, renewable energy, and radioactive waste recycling. After leaving Solvay, Laurie moved to the US to join SRI International. She built her operational experience by commercializing next-generation technologies funded by DoD, DoE, and NSF programs. She mentored over 50 entrepreneurs and built a dozen ventures related to computer vision, natural language processing, diagnostics, and robotics. More recently, at BASF Venture Capital, Laurie led equity investments in early-stage companies and funds in North America. She was responsible for the overall investment process from deal sourcing to due diligence, deal execution, and active portfolio management as a board observer. She focused on deep technologies transforming the chemical industry, such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and robotics. Today, Laurie is a Partner at At One Ventures, where she is responsible for finding, funding, and growing teams that catalyze planet-positive industries. She led a dozen investments for the firm and holds board of director and observer positions in 4 portfolio companies. She is an advocate for bioethics and respect for life beyond animals.
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Peter Reinhardt

CEO & Co-founder, Charm Industrial
Peter is CEO & Co-founder at Charm Industrial, where they are developing a novel carbon removal pathway & fossil-free ironmaking. Prior to Charm, Peter was CEO and co-founder at Segment, a SaaS customer data platform which grew to 600 people before it was acquired by Twilio in 2020 for $3.2B. He previously studied aerospace engineering at MIT.
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Shashank Samala

CEO and Co-founder, Heirloom
Shashank Samala is CEO and co-founder at Heirloom, a company with a goal of removing 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2035 to help mitigate climate change. He grew up in southeast India where he saw first-hand impacts of climate change on some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Shashank was previously Entrepreneur in Residence at Carbon180, a leading climate policy NGO working solely on atmospheric carbon removal. Prior to this, he was a founder at Tempo, a software-accelerated electronics manufacturer which builds mission critical electronics for surgical robots, satellites, reusable rockets, and more. Shashank previously worked at Square and received his Bachelors of Science from Cornell University.
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Greg Smithies

Partner, Fifth Wall
Greg is a Partner at Fifth Wall, where he co-leads the Climate Technology Investment team. Prior to joining Fifth Wall, Greg was a Partner at BMW i Ventures where he led the Sustainability investing practice, investing in companies such as Prometheus Fuels and PureCycle (NASDAQ: ROCH). Before joining BMW i Ventures, Greg led Finance & Operations for both The Boring Company and Neuralink simultaneously. Greg started his investment career at Battery Ventures where he covered early-stage enterprise technology startups, as well as industrial technology buyouts. Successful exits from his work there include Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), AppDynamics (acquired by Cisco System, Inc.), and IST (acquired by Scott Brand). Greg was born in Pretoria, South Africa and currently lives in Oakland, CA. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School where he received a BS in Economics and a BS in Computer Science.
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Dave Snydacker

Founder and CEO, Lilac Solutions
Dave Snydacker is the founder and CEO of Lilac Solutions, a lithium extraction company based in Oakland, California. He holds a PhD in materials engineering from Northwestern University, where his research focused on lithium-ion cathode materials and solid-state lithium metal batteries, and a BA in chemistry from Wesleyan University. He consulted for several startup companies developing new battery materials and manufacturing processes prior to founding Lilac in 2016. Dave lives in San Francisco with his wife Stephanie and children Mason, Isaac, and Cora.
More to come