Steve Birndorf is the Director of Commercial Development for Oakland, CA based Sungevity Solar. He has developed more than 10MW of commercial solar projects for schools, colleges, water districts, and private business. Steve earned a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS and an MBA, both from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining Sungevity, Steve worked as a commercial solar developer for Borrego Solar Systems and AMSOLAR. Steve lives in Oakland with his wife and two small boys.
Dr. Saurabh Biswas is the Director of New Ventures for the Texas A&M University System and leads the creation of start-ups and joint ventures based on strategic assessment of technology platforms created across The Texas A&M University System. Saurabh leads all aspects of venture formation and equity investments, working with management of the start-up companies in business plan execution and fund raising, follow-up monitoring and serves on the board of directors/advisors of portfolio ventures. As the Director, New Ventures, Saurabh is responsible for identifying, developing and executing transactions with diverse partners, including companies in diverse sectors, angel and venture capital, non-profit organizations, governments, and academic institutions globally to create new ventures commercializing Texas A&M System developed intellectual property. He employs diverse business development tools and transactional models, including non-dilutive investments, seed equity investments, licensing and option deals, spin-outs and other risk sharing transactions.
Saurabh is both a technology innovator and entrepreneur and has co-founded three technology companies; CorInnova (cardiac device), Shape Memory Therapeutics (neurovascular device) & Cologenomics (cancer biomarker). He has been involved from founding either as an inventor or in management leading development of strategies with a broad experience in fund raising, defining product and technology roadmaps along with building successful teams to create value for the company. Saurabh holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University and designated as DeBakey Scholar. During his doctoral studies he invented a novel adjustable cardiac support and recoil device for treating congestive and diastolic heart failure. This invention led to 5 patents and is presently being commercialized by CorInnova. He also holds Master's Degrees in Bioengineering, Electrical engineering and Biomedical Instrumentation with research experience in medical imaging and instrumentation. He has completed Executive Program in Finance from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Dave Contreras has advised early stage startups for the LiveStrong Foundation and Stanford University's StartX incubators. With over 10 years tech experience and a global MBA, he focuses on a startup's foundational technology and go to market strategy.
Dan Dobbs is the chief financial officer of Solar Grid Storage, a company he co-founded in 2011. Prior to Solar Grid Storage, Mr. Dobbs was director of product management at SunEdison where he led efforts to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). In this role, Mr. Dobbs managed the product roadmap designed to make unsubsidized solar energy competitive with traditional energy sources. He also initiated and led efforts to standardize design and construction practices across SunEdison. In earlier roles, he established and ran the power purchase agreement (PPA) pricing process that generated more than 1GW of project pipeline and backlog for SunEdison.
Prior to joining SunEdison, Mr. Dobbs held positions of increasing responsibility at Texas Instruments Sensors and Controls (now Sensata Technologies). From 1997 to 2004, he served as a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserve at Hanscom Air Force Base.
Mr. Dobbs has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Technology & Policy and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.
Erica Eaton is part of the business development team at Building Robotics whose flagship product, Comfy, is the world's first intelligent software for personalized temperature in the workplace. Helping drive and support client relationships and partnerships, she is focused on the value BR can deliver across the commercial real estate market. Prior to BR, Erica held a number of positions within Johnson Controls' Building Efficiency business focused on strategy, innovation and corporate development. Leading their Bay Area Open Innovation team, she worked with a number of start-ups and new technologies to navigate the corporate landscape driving partnership and commercial opportunities.
David Feldman is a Senior Financial Analyst for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), helping the organization plan and carry out a wide range of analytical activities related to financial, policy and market developments in the solar industry. His primary areas of expertise include project finance of renewable energy assets, public capital in the renewable energy sector, and solar market development. David came to NREL from Soltage, a commercial-scale solar development company, where he worked in their project finance department. David graduated with an MBA from the Yale School of Management, with a focus in finance, and Amherst College with a BA in philosophy.
Jarom Feriante joined Chevron Technology Ventures in 2011. Prior to that, Jarom spent eight years leading start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area with a focus in solar power and energy efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses.
Jarom holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University and Stanford University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business
Jennifer Garson is a Technology-to-Market Analyst for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. She manages a multi-million dollar portfolio of grants focused on supporting programs to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies. She is the program manager for the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, a student competition aimed at launched new clean energy ventures, and the National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy, supporting nonprofit business incubators across the country. Additionally, she has served as the manager for other commercialization grants, including the Innovation Ecosystem Initiative and the i6 Green Challenge, a multi-agency grant program for pilot demonstration centers. In addition to grant management, she works with organizations and entrepreneurs to identify whitespaces in need of federal government support, and has served as a judge for several business plan competitions and pitch events.
Prior to her role in EERE, she was a policy and market analyst in the DOE Office of the Chief Financial Officer, an analyst for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), and a private sector consultant. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies Concentration from Kenyon College and a Master of Public Policy from the George Washington University.
Neil Goldberg is the Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of SMASHSolar. With more than 28 years' experience in product and service innovation and design, Neil's works includes process consulting and hands on innovation. He has led and managed innovation teams encompassing creative and technical disciplines that have yielded some of today's most recognized and utilized products and services – route navigation, digital photography, internet appliances, portable ultrasound, co-working, laser hair removal, needless injection and more. A serial entrepreneur, Neil has built new ventures in solar power, creative services, digital imaging technology; web-based imaging software and managed office services.
Tony Haske is a Renewable Energy and Cleantech Consultant for Cutting Edge Capital, bringing capital raising solutions to cleantech startups and renewable energy project developers.
With more than eight years in photovoltaics, Tony's experience spans across residential solar sales and utility scale project development, including solar financing for municipalities and schools and consulting various residential solar startups on their market entry strategies. His earlier background includes supporting policy development for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Tony's projects include authoring a renewable energy course, which he teaches at UCLA Extension's Engineering Program, and managing the design and construction of PV systems for Let's Share the Sun Foundation in Haiti. He holds a Master's degree in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Arizona and Bachelor's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Philosophy, both from the University of Notre Dame.
Cleantech Investor, Tsing Capital
Sarah Jane Maxted is an innovation ecosystem specialist with 10 years of professional experience in research, business development and project management. Currently, Ms. Maxted is the Executive Director of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP); focusing on economic growth for specific global regions through innovation-driven entrepreneurship. MIT REAP was founded at MIT Sloan School of Management and is part of MIT's Innovation Initiative. Most recently, she was at Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness (ISC) managing the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project; focused on broader industry cluster growth and regional economic development under the direction of Professor Michael Porter. Outside of formal engagements listed below, Ms. Maxted also strategically advises and independently contracts to energy start-up companies as well as incubator/accelerators and prize/challenge initiatives globally.
Josh is a general engineer with the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) where he manages projects and assists with tech to market activities for the Geothermal Technologies Office. In August, he completed the two-year Presidential Management Fellowship program. During this past year, Josh spent a 6-month detail with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he helped to identify the technical obstacles to improving the state of the art in hypersonic propulsion. Josh earned his Ph.D. from The University of Notre Dame for his work in developing techniques that reduce the computational intensity of numerical modeling of chemical reactive systems. Before graduate school, Josh was served as a platoon leader and battalion staff officer in the Army Corps of Engineers. Josh currently resides in Cheverly, Maryland with his wife and 3 young children, and he enjoys living back in the DC area having grown up in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Dipul Patel is the cofounder and CEO of Ecovent, a home automation company that improves homeowners comfort by giving room by room temperature control through systems of self configuring vents and sensors. Dip met his cofounders and formed the company in 2013 while completing his MBA at MIT Sloan. Prior to Ecovent, Dip spent eight years at Lockheed Martin honing his knowledge of radar by working on and managing submarine sonar and anti-ballistic missile defense systems. Dip received his Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University, his MSEE from the University of Pennsylvania. and is a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan.
COO, Volute, Inc.
Bosco So is a Presidential Innovation Fellow working on Data Innovation initiatives at the Department of Energy. Bosco is a software engineer with extensive experience in application development and a passion for building communities and connecting people. Bosco has designed & implemented numerous web and desktop products in a variety of languages and systems. At Indiegogo, he has been instrumental in building out both the technology stack and the engineering team. He is also a proponent of rapid mobile development technologies. Prior to Indiegogo, he designed & deployed API services and mobile & console clients. Bosco organizes the San Francisco Ruby Meetup, which has grown from 37 to over 6000 members during the past 8 years. Bosco holds a Computer Science degree from MIT. After graduating, he joined the Peace Corps and taught high school in Liberia, West Africa, and later returned to the region as a Geekcorps volunteer. He now lives in San Francisco. In his spare time, Bosco is either attending hackathons, teaching Ruby, or riding his bicycle.
Derek is a Senior Consultant in Power Economics & Investment Analysis at GE Energy Management, Energy Consulting. He joined GE Energy Consulting in 2011 in the Power Economics and Investment Analysis team. In this role, Mr. Stenclik is primarily responsible for studies and analysis using production cost models (GE-MAPS and Plexos®) for economic and power system consulting across North America. His areas of expertise include electric power markets, wind and solar integration, power plant asset valuation, generation and transmission planning, energy and capacity market forecasting, and load forecasting.
Mr. Stenclik's most recent projects involve wind and solar integration studies, with specific focus on small island systems where integration challenges are more demanding. In this role he has provided extensive modeling and consulting support for studies evaluating the impact of high renewable penetration on system operations, reliability and economics, specifically in Hawaii, Barbados, Nova Scotia and other regions of North America. He holds an M.S. from Cornell University in Applied Economics and Management and a B.A. in International Relations from State University of New York College at Geneseo.
Cody Taylor is a Team Lead in the Commercial Building Integration group in DOE's Building Technology Office. He lead's the team's market transformation portfolio, helping markets to more effectively deliver energy efficiency. This includes initiatives to improve data interoperability in the buildings sector; prepare the American workforce to deliver efficient buildings; deliver decision-support tools that can improve building designs; and more readily incorporate energy performance information into real estate finance, investment, construction, and leasing decisions. Prior to DOE Cody worked in energy engineering, corporate climate strategy consulting, and the design & delivery of portfolios of utility energy efficiency programs.
Principal Engineer, UTC Power Program Office
Amy Wilson is a product manager and user-centered designer working at the intersection of communications and technology to solve complex challenges. She currently serves as the chief architect of Booz Allen's "Innovation Ecosystem"--a network of tools and events designed to enable its best people to propel their best ideas into reality, engage in meaningful opportunities, and develop their entrepreneurial excellence. She also is an entrepreneur building a co-creation platform tapping into the creative minds of designers, developers, UX individuals and product managers alike.
Lead, TechBridge program, Fraunhofer CSE