The SXSW Eco Startup Showcase relies on our Advisory Board, made up of cleantech investment professionals, to evaluate applications. Input from the Advisory Board will be used to help SXSW Eco select the Semifinalists who will present at SXSW Eco on October 8.
Northeast Regional Director
Alexandra (Ali) is a skilled project manager, organizer and connector with a comprehensive understanding of the clean technology sector. Her enthusiasm for addressing the world’s energy and environmental led her to the Cleantech Open. In past roles she has overseen a wide range of projects including international trade missions, industry research and reports, new media communications and campaign organizing. Alexandra graduated with a degree in Sociology and Certificate in Environmental Policy from Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
CleanTECH San Diego
As Vice President of CleanTECH San Diego, Jason leads the Biofuels Initiative, advocacy efforts and economic development programs. Previously, he was Vice President of Business Development for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and worked in Austin, Texas as the Legislative Director for Texas State Senator Frank Madla. He graduated from UT Austin and is a 2008 graduate of LEAD San Diego. He volunteers his time with the Ocean Discovery Institute and is a supporter of the Trevor Project.
Director, Energy Technologies
Siemens Technology to Business Center
Farshid Arman is a renewable energy leader at Siemens’ Technology to Business (TTB) in Berkeley, California. In this capacity, he is responsible for external innovation for Siemens’ renewables and smart grid divisions. Farshid is building and expanding Siemens’ offerings, investments and relationships with startup companies in the space. He has rich experience in renewable energy (Solar, Wind, Smart Grid, Grid Storage) for nearly 10 years. Farshid has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
As Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UT Austin, Jim identifies and evaluates technologies suitable for new venture formation. Brown brings a successful track record in private equity, venture capital, and as CEO in private companies; several include General Partner/Polaris Venture Partners, Virtus Capital Partners, J.P. Morgan & Co., to name a few. Brown holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, JD from New York University, and BS from West Point.
Chief Operating Officer
Scott is COO at Imagine H2O, a nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers people to turn water challenges into opportunities. Since 2009, over 300 water startups have entered the competition and IH2O has provided over $1M in value to companies participating in its Accelerator program. Scott joined IH2O from Royal Bank of Canada where he specialized in sustainable investment strategies for institutional and private clients. He began his career at Piper Jaffray.
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures
Daniel Carter is a seasoned investor in the energy sector, having financed companies in the energy technology field since the 1990's with a proven track record of exits and IPOs. Daniel is currently Investment Director of Aramco Energy Ventures, serving Saudi Aramco’s corporate venturing activities. He has a dual MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School and sits on the Board of the London Business School Energy Club.
Co-founder & Managing Director
Kirk is an entrepreneur and start-up advocate who has founded three successful companies. Before relocating back to Houston to lead SURGE, Kirk created and was CEO of Chief Outsiders (acq. 2010), and he launched The PGA TOUR Network on SiriusXM (acq. by SIRI) and founded Pure Golf, a leading new media provider of sports and outdoor programming. Kirk received his MBA and BBA in finance and accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mike has been with Battery since 2008, and as a Vice President in the firm’s Menlo Park office he’s focused on entrepreneurs, ideas and companies building disruptive technology for the enterprise. A hardware engineer at Velio Communications early in his career, Mike went on to hold Sales, Business Development and Marketing roles at Altera and Xilinx prior to joining Battery. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Black Coral Capital
Based in Boston, Rob has been a cleantech private equity investor since 2004, and acts or has served as a Director, Observer and Advisory Board member to multiple companies in energy tech, including Digital Lumens, Next Step Living and Powerit Solutions. He serves as the Chairman of the Cleantech Open – Northeast Region, and was previously a co-founder of the Renewable Energy Business Network. He has also authored the website Cleantech Investing, which appears on GreentechMedia.com.
Emerald Technology Ventures
Emerald Technology Ventures is a globally recognized investor in the areas of energy, water and materials, having invested in 50 companies to date. Based in their Zurich office, Gina Domanig is the Managing Partner of Emerald Technology Ventures. In 2000 she founded Emerald as the first independent cleantech venture capital fund in Europe. Gina currently serves on the boards of Pelamis, SDC Materials, Synapsense and TaKaDu. Gina holds MBA degrees from Thunderbird in Arizona and ESADE in Barcelona.
Senior Vice President + Deal Team Leader
Silicon Valley Bank
Blake is a Senior Vice President and Deal Team Leader at Silicon Valley Bank and brings with him over 12 years of banking experience. He assisted with establishing SVB’s national Accelerator practice, which is SVB’s Early Stage financial services platform for Technology, Life Science and Clean Tech companies, and he currently oversees the management of SVB's Central Texas and Gulf Coast technology focused Commercial Banking practice. He received a BA in Political Science and an MA in Applied Economics from SUNY at Buffalo.
Access Venture Partners
David Gold serves as lead Partner for Clean Technology investments at Access Venture Partners. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering with Special Honors from the University of Colorado and was a National Science Foundation Fellow while earning Masters Degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Technology Policy from M.I.T. After working as an engineer with NASA, David served in the Executive Office of the President where he was responsible for budget and policy oversight of the U.S. Land Remote Sensing and Weather Satellite programs and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. www.greengoldblog.com
Director of Technology
Neil Hughes is an Electrical Engineer with 20 years of energy industry experience leading National Grid’s Technology Strategy within the Group Strategy function. He evaluates business opportunities and challenges offered by emerging transformational technologies; developing strategies, plans and partnerships for implementation. Previously, he has held senior technology and business development positions with GEC Marconi, UK Ministry of Defence, Manweb (UK Electric Distribution company), British Nuclear Fuels and Silica Networks in South America.
Clark Jernigan, Venture Partner, joined Austin Ventures in 2001 and focuses on hardware, clean tech and technology services investing. Previously, he spent four years with Cirrus Logic, and12 years in product development engineering at AMD. Clark holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Rice and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M. He serves on the board of the Busby Foundation and is an advisory board member of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship.
John serves as Executive Director of the CleanTX Foundation, a non-profit focusing on promoting the growth of Central Texas' advanced energy economy through educational and networking opportunities. A native Austinite, John serves as Vice Chair on the Board of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC) and is a member of the Greater Austin Chamber's Clean Energy Council. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Energy and Earth Resources at UT’s Jackson School of Geosciences.
RockPort Capital Partners
Kevin Kopczynski is a Principal at RockPort Capital Partners. Prior to RockPort, he held a variety of operating and senior technical positions in medical device companies, and worked for Lazard in mergers and acquisitions. Kevin began his career with Arthur D. Little, where he assisted clients on product development initiatives across a variety of sectors. He serves on the board or as a board observer to Enki Technology, Northern Power, Solar Univers, Streetline Networks, NewLeaf Symbiotics and GlassPoint Solar.
Paul is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley where he helps lead the firm’s Clean Energy investment banking and environmental policy efforts. He is a member of Morgan Stanley’s Environmental Committee and serves as an observer to the board of directors for NGEN, a clean technology and materials science venture capital firm. Paul is a founding member of USPREF as well as a current Term Member and former Corporate Leader Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Braemar Energy Ventures
Robert is an associate at Braemar Energy Ventures, an energy technology focused fund, where he is also a board observer for UtiliData, Viridity Energy, Grid Net and ChargePoint. Previously, Robert was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., where he worked with clients in the automotive, industrial, agricultural and consumer products sectors. Robert graduated from Princeton University with a BSE in Electrical Engineering.
Jordi Lopez Luanes
Solvay & Aster Capital
Based in San Francisco, Jordi has been developing Solvay corporate venturing activities in the United States since June 2012. Solvay, an international chemical group, develops sustainable products and solutions for consumer goods, construction, automotive, electronics, energy, environment and water. Leveraging Solvay’s fund investment in Aster Capital, Jordi serves as a reference in deals related to materials and chemicals. An investment professional since 2010, Jordi is also a chemical engineer and MBA with 7 years of international experience in process and development engineering at Saint-Gobain and Solvay.
Founder / CEO
Green Business BASE CAMP
Carrie is founder and CEO of Green Business BASE CAMP, a global entrepreneurial education company serving early stage green business and cleantech entrepreneurs and corporate intrapreneurs. Carrie’s strategic career choices have offered perspectives in sustainable business and entrepreneurship, including roles at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Garage Technology Ventures and Idealab. Most recently, Carrie spent 8 years as an executive in the commercial solar power industry, where she served early-adopting clients including Google, Sony, and British Telecom among others.
Cody is a Managing Director at SJF Ventures, a growth capital fund with $120MM under management that provides equity to high growth, positive impact companies. Cody served as board observer for CleanScapes, and serves as a board observer to Community Energy, Inc. She serves on advisory committees for Investors Circle, Virginia Commonwealth Energy Fund, Lighthouse Labs, the Virginia Innovation Partnership and the Venture Forward mentoring group at UVA, where she graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Systems and Information Engineering and a minor in Business.
Steve has been an angel investor for 14 years. He serves on Austin’s Electric Utility Commission and the Clean Energy Incubator’s Executive Committee.From 1989-1997 he was founder and CEO of Haystack Labs, which was acquired in 1998 by McAfee. Previous gigs include Tracor, Schlumberger and Syntrex (his first IPO, in 1981). In the early 1970's he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in southern Africa. He has two U.S. patents and many published papers in the security area.
Director Business Development
Andrew is the Director Business Development at deeptech incubator, ATP Innovations, co-founder of Ignition Labs, Australia’s first cleantech accelerator and co-founder of Sydney Angels. He has served on a number of startup, investor and not-for-profit boards and is a regular conference presenter, competition judge and program mentor. Earlier in his career he sold a search technology to Google, held senior roles at UXC, Telstra and started out as an officer in the British Army.
Distributed Energy Services Group
CEO, Hub of Human Innovation / Director, UT El Paso Clean Energy Incubator
Cathy has broad experience through many capital market cycles, with her career achievements including extensive senior executive experience spanning from startups and operational “Main Street” rural community development to a major university endowment and a Wall Street investment bank. She has coached numerous companies and non-profits regarding strategic and operational financial management and fiduciary practices. Cathy earned her BA in economics and MS in finance from the University of Illinois, and completed studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She holds CFA and AIFA® professional designations.
Director - Cleantech Sector Lead
Silicon Valley Bank Analytics
Rob Tompkins, director and the cleantech Sector Lead with SVB Analytics, analyzes venture investment and financial data, and oversees valuation analyses for venture-backed companies and VC firms. Previously, Tompkins worked in a variety of roles supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including venture capital, consulting and sales/marketing for a startup based in Santiago, Chile.
San Antonio Clean Energy Incubator
Andrew is the Executive Director of UTSA’s San Antonio Clean Energy Incubator. He co-founded a software company that raised $250,000 of angel investment and sold three years later for $20 million. He was a partner in one of the world’s largest consulting firms. His other experience includes business development at Trilogy Software, venture capital and investment banking. He holds an MBA from Wharton and a BBA from UT Austin.
Andrew B. Wilson
Andrew is Executive Director of the NECEC Institute, joining the organization in November of 2011. Prior to the NECEC Institute, Andrew was the President and CEO of SpectraWatt, a solar cell manufacturing firm in New York, which he led from inception as a new business venture inside of Intel Corporation through its spin-out and growth. Prior to developing and leading the solar enterprise, Andrew spent 12 years at Intel in various strategic finance and general management roles. In addition, Andrew is active in the Clean Tech Open, serves on the Board of Directors of The Solar Energy Consortium in New York, and has served as strategic advisor to numerous clean-tech startups. Andrew graduated with a BA from Tufts University and an MBA, with Honors, from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
Rick joined NEA, a leading global venture capital firm, in 2007 and is focused on clean tech and consumer tech investments. Prior to NEA, Rick was a technology banker at Credit Suisse, executing strategic financing initiatives for tech companies. Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
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