A volunteer corps of a different sort
Experienced and accomplished professionals mentor and advise our portfolio company management teams. We accept only the most accomplished professionals into the LACI mentorship and advisory program.
Current Mentors & Advisors
Founder & President
Lawyer by training, management consultant by experience. I run a small consulting firm squarely in the intersection of environmental policy and economic development. Finished a stint working in government/politics as the Director of Economic Development Strategy for the Mayor of LA, developing the Mayor’s strategy to build Los Angeles into a global capital of clean technology. It was an interesting, exciting challenge. Lots of past experience at McKinsey in assessment and selection (recruiting strategy) plus lots of work in strategy and operations (healthcare, financial services). Also have served as director of small non-profits, and worked for years for the longshoremen’s union (top that for variety!).
CEO & Director
Potash Minerals, Ltd.
G. A. Ben Binninger is a chief executive with extensive experience leading and creating technologically sophisticated process and service companies. These include activities from a few million dollars to global businesses of a billion dollars for ARCO, Hercules, Rio Tinto and others. His skills include mergers & acquisitions, turnarounds and public offerings. Mr. Binninger brings an unusual combination of global management, strategic positioning and financial expertise with hands on operating experience in chemicals, energy, materials, environmental and mining, as well as consulting and defense. Ben is Chief Executive Officer and a director for ASX listed Potash Minerals Ltd. and was a Principal in AMT II Corporation, a private investment management company focusing on advanced materials.
I started and have been CEO of Syncromatics since 2006. Syncromatics was the winner of the 2007 California Clean Tech Open (CCTO) Lexus Transportation Prize, and is also the sole provider of transit ITS services to the City of Los Angeles (LADOT) transit division, a direct result of the CCTO win. My experience specifically as it relates to mentoring LACI companies is strongest in the areas of early stage strategy and bootstrapping, product-market fit and product development, and also the hiring and growith process and how to manage it effectively.
Words & Deeds
David Bloom advises on communications strategy, media relations and social media for prominent companies, institutions and individuals in politics, technology, entertainment and business. Bloom previously was associate dean and chief communications officer for the USC Marshall School of Business, and vice president of corporate communications at movie studio MGM Inc. He previously worked 20 years as an award-winning journalist for such publications as Variety, Red Herring, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Dallas Times Herald.
Bloom writes regularly on technology, media, politics and art at the blogs Bloom’s Day and Post Mad Bills; guest lectures at USC, Pepperdine and Chapman University, and is a frequent moderator and panelist at conferences such as Digital Hollywood, Ad:Tech, Produced By, NATPE and OMMA. He is vice president of the Board of Directors of Outpost for Contemporary Art.
Haig Barrett, Inc.
Michael is a respected expert in alternative energies, electric vehicles and smart grid applications and leads Haig Barrett’s consulting business in utilities and these areas. He is a certified LEED AP and has served as CEO of SUN Energy (SEDI). He ran product development for Viewsonic’s Advanced Technology Group leveraging six years in Taiwan and China. As CTO at Carsdirect.com, he led the design of the customer request business process and engineered the sales experience. As VP Engineering at Proximetry, a wireless software company, he lead efforts to integrate radio communication into a Sand Diego Gas and Electric smart grid pilot. As partner at Haig Barrett he lead an engagement with LADWP (largest Municipal Utility in the US) reorganizing their programs in Energy Efficiency, Solar, and EV readiness, and is currently engaged in the political and policy process of getting budget support for the $80m portfolio of recommended programs.
Director Clean Technology,
Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policies
City of Los Angeles
A graduate of MIT and Berkeley Engineering, Avid is working in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office of Economic and Business Policy. In his role he focuses on assisting the strategic planning for establishment and growth of a city-wide, multi-institutional organization called CleanTech Los Angeles. A technologist by training, Avid has over 5-years of analytical training analyzing complex energy problems while addressing feasible energy technology solutions. He has been recently nominated to be the Vice Chairman of the Energy Committee for the MIT Club of Southern California. Avid has launched and grew an Internet startup venture, Behnevis.com that has attracted 5+ million global users since 2008. He is recognized as the 2009 MIT $100K Business Plan Competition Life-Science track winner.
Attorney at Law
IP*SEVA (Intellectual Property for Sustainable Energy Ventures)
Principal and founder of IP*SEVA (Intellectual Property for Sustainable Energy Ventures) a network of IP experts with offices in the US, Germany and Japan. Juris doctor from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Stanford University. She is a member of the Bars of the State of California and the District of Columbia.
Formerly Director of the Intellectual Property and New Technologies Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland, where her responsibilities included direction of activities and training programs relating to IP strategy, licensing, technology transfer, valuation, IP asset management, and IP strategy. (2001-2007). Her professional experience has included: Principal, Tech Law Group, Menlo Park, California (1997 to 2001); Apple Computer, Vice President of Law for Manufacturing and Development, Cupertino, California (1993 to 1997); Partner, Litigation, Fenwick & West, Palo Alto, California (1984 to 1992). She was a member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University (1990-1995). She is the author of Technology Licensing and Development Agreements, Oxford University Press (October, 2012).
Executive in Residence, LACI
Daniel is a seasoned investor in energy and resource efficiency since the 1990′s with proven track record of exits and IPOs. His industry experience includes energy storage, energy efficiency, wind, PV solar, solar thermal, fuel cell, carbon capture and storage, emissions control and utilities with network of industry and investment contacts.
Daniel is a Council Member of Launch.org, a collaboration between NASA, US AID, US Dept of State and NIKE on the areas of Energy and Waste. He is frequently invited speaker (e.g. London Stock Exchange, Cleantech Venture Forum, Clean Capital Network, Earthwatch Institute, All Energy, CFA Institute) and sits on the board of the 5,000 member London Business School Energy Club.
Director, Product Innovation
Universal Electronics, Inc.
Consumer-focused product innovation executive with blend of creative, strategic thinking and tactical, operational skills with international marketplace experience. Proven track record in identifying new market opportunities, developing & launching technology products and driving rapid growth strategies in the US, Western Europe and Asia. Founded internal cleantech startup at Belkin, focused on home energy management technology, resulting in Conserve Products Division with portfolio of retail energy conservation and utility smart-grid products.
Director of International Development
Port of Los Angeles
Stephen is responsible for implementing the Mayor’s strategic plan to make Los Angeles a global capital of clean technology by building the infrastructure to support research, development and manufacturing in the newly created Los Angeles Clean Tech Corridor. Furthermore, he is responsible for advancing the Mayor’s goal to enhance international trade opportunities for Los Angeles-based companies, and to expand the city’s role as a leader in international trade, entertainment, tourism, manufacturing and professional services.Prior to his current role, Stephen was Mayor Villaraigosa’s Vice President of Goods Movement. In this capacity, he worked closely with the Port of Los Angeles and the Board of Harbor Commissioners on innovative programs such as the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan, Port Tech Los Angeles and the USEPA award-winning Clean Truck Program aimed at reducing port-related emissions.
Managing Director, ReGreen Inc.
David Duel is a co-founder of ReGreen Inc. In this capacity David has worked with numerous clients to improve the performance of thousands of buildings through lower energy and water consumption and the development of renewable energy projects. David’s team recently developed and implemented one of the largest in-fill solar projects completed to-date in Los Angeles, a 255kW installation at 1930 Wilshire Boulevard. David’s work at ReGreen has showcased the potential for energy services companies to be a driver of economic renewal in Los Angeles. ReGreen has grown from a one room/three person operation in 2008 to a 100+ employee company occupying a 50,000 sf office/warehouse today.
David’s prior experience includes Wells Fargo Real Estate Merchant Bank and MJW Investments as Assistant and Director of Development. David is a Dean’s List graduate from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business with a B.S. in Business Administration, Emphasis on Finance and Real Estate Development, and a Minor in Urban Planning & Development. He is a shareholder and board member of Western Pacific Oil’s, one of the largest edible oil distribution companies in the US. He is currently a board member of several non-profits and industry associations including the Society of Young Philanthropists and the Entrepreneur Mentor Society and is the Co-Chair of the Green Building Committee of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). He is also a member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Los Angeles Chapter.
Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors LLC
Prior to ELP, Ms. Estolano was Chief Strategist of State and Local Initiatives for Green For All, a national organization that advocates for broad access and opportunity in the clean-energy economy. Ms. Estolano previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Under Ms. Estolano’s tenure, CRA/LA was the largest redevelopment agency in California, with an annual budget of over $726 million and a work program covering 32 project areas. Ms. Estolano redefined the role of CRA/LA, rebuilt its housing department, shepherded CRA/LA’s adoption of a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs and a Healthy Neighborhoods policy and created a $42 million Land Acquisition Fund to jumpstart development in underserved markets like South Los Angeles.
Prior to joining CRA/LA, Ms. Estolano was Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Ms. Estolano was the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, Energy and Environment Group for the Obama Presidential Transition Team and is currently a member of Senator Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Advisory Committee. Her career includes service on the California Coastal Commission, as a Special Assistant Los Angeles City Attorney, as a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.
Business Development Manager
Alex Fay manages business development efforts targeted at clean transportation applications and oversees research and development programs at Quallion, a manufacturer of lithium ion batteries for medical, military, aerospace, and transportation applications. Prior to joining Quallion, Alex spent five years at Los Angeles City Hall first as a city council deputy and then as a clean technology advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.Alex started his career as a young entrepreneur, founding a drug and alcohol free teen dance club in the Sacramento area and operating it during high school and while attending UCLA. He currently serves as a board member of CleanTech Los Angeles, as a board member of the UCLA Alumni Association, and as the LA Metro Co-Chair for Cleantech Open.
Marta provides philanthropic advisory services to grantmaking foundations, businesses and individuals who strive to make a greater impact in their community. Her background includes launching several companies as a founder and key executive such as GOLS Soccer, focused on teaching the love of the game to players of all ages, Skin Haven, a well known spa in Los Angeles, and Market China, a marketing company working with Fortune 500 global brands in the People’s Republic of China. Marta also worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Investment Management Division and is a graduate of UCLA Anderson School of Management and Vassar College.
Marta has been extremely active in the greater Los Angeles community, including her current roles as a LASVP Partner and recent NAWBO-LA Board Member. Former commitments include serving as the Chairman of the Board of the C5 Youth Foundation of Southern California (formerly the Camp Coca-Cola Foundation) and as a member of the National C5 Youth Foundation Board. She was President of the Step Up Women’s Network Los Angeles Chapter & Board, a Board member of the Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center, The Dubnoff Center, and Global Children’s organization, a Fulfillment Fund mentor and a member of the Fulfillment Fund’s Financial Advisory Council for several years. Marta has been an avid soccer player since the age of five.
Jonathan Fram is the CEO of the LED energy efficiency company, Nularis, which he co-founded with Wendell Brown in 2010. Nularis has pioneered the “LED’s are Free” model which enables it to offer next generation, energy efficient lighting to enterprises at effectively no cost to its customers . Prior to Nularis, Mr. Fram was a Managing Partner at Maveron, a venture capital firm founded by Howard Schultz, whose family of funds had $750 million under management and where Mr. Fram served on several Boards of emerging technology and media companies. Prior to Maveron, Mr. Fram was an Entrepreneur in Residence at the venture capital firm DCM, in Menlo Park, Ca. Mr. Fram has held key executive and management roles in numerous technology companies, serving as the CEO of eVoice (a telecommunications company, co-founded by Wendell Brown and acquired by AOL Time Warner) and President of Net2Phone (which he took public and which was then acquired by AT&T). Prior Net2Phone, Mr. Fram was the General Manager of Internet, Radio and Television Media at Bloomberg, LP, where he reported directly to Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Fram has Mr. Fram currently serves on the Board of Ixia (XXIA). Mr. Fram holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and performed graduate studies in Electrical Engineering at Syracuse University.
UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC)
Dr. Rajit Gadh is a Professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and the Founding Director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center or SMERC. He is also Founder and Director of the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium or WINMEC of which major organizations including Boeing, ETRI, Hewlett Packard, Hughes Network Systems, Intel, ISBM-Italy, InterDigital, ITC Infotech, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Sprint, Siemens, TCS, Verizon Wireless and others have been sponsors/members over the last several years. Dr. Gadh’s research interests include Smart Grid Architectures, Smart wireless communications, sense and control for Demand Response, Micro Grids and Electric Vehicle Integration into the Grid, Mobile Multimedia, Wireless and RFID Middleware, RFID and Wireless sensors for Tracking Assets, RF-sensor-control interfaces,and Visualization. He has over 150 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and, 3 patents granted.
Oracle Capital LLC
Ian Gardner is a Vice President in the Cleantech practice at Oracle Capital and has raised seed, early stage and growth capital for a broad variety of companies as well as participated in public offerings and PIPEs. His diverse background enables him to find creative solutions to financing issues that address stakeholder concerns for multiple constituents. Mr. Gardner’s experience includes independent private power (IPP) project development internationally in Asia, Latin America, Australia and Northern Europe. His management consulting focused on the energy and utilities sectors worldwide. He has entrepreneurial experience including successfully taking two companies from inception to financial exit, and public company experience as CEO.
Senior Resource Development Officer
Curt Gibbs, worked for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (and its successor entity CRA/LA) for 28 years with expertise on public finance/grant funding and implementing transportation, wireless, and technology based grant funded projects with a emphasis on Downtown Los Angeles. At CRA/LA, Curt has developed grant strategies for bringing in over $150 million in grant funding. In 2001, using grant funding, he launched the award winning ExperienceLA.com that was the first to use the Internet to promote public transit and cultural tourism. In 2006, with a prediction that the Iphone was on its way, he presented to the National Main Street conference “Using Digital Devices in Public Spaces to Create a Sense of Place” that had been published by the Main Street Journal. The ExperienceLA project in 2011 began the process to upgrade to a robust mobile platform and in April 2012 launched mobile applications for downtown Los Angeles, incorporating real time transit information. He has also been the lead for CRA/LA on the Downtown Streetcar project since inception, currently focusing on securing federal funds and the establishment of a Community Facilities District.
Curt Gibbs has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University and a professional master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. During his professional career, he has also given his time to many non-profit organizations, with an emphasis on capital projects; over the last five years has worked with the nationally recognized Long Beach Y Youth Institute Digital Media program. He also serves on the City of Long Beach Information Technology Citizens Advisory Committee. As an owner of a Nissan LEAF, he has found himself explaining the advantages of owning an all electric vehicle, and is an advocate of public EV charging stations.
Founder & CEO
Steve Glenn is the founder and CEO of LivingHomes, LLC (www.livinghomes.net), a premier developer of modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. The first LivingHome, designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, was installed in eight hours. It became the first home ever to receive a LEED for Home Platinum rating. Nine LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum. Before LivingHomes, Glenn worked as with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique, the first program CHAI launched in Africa. Glenn is founder and former CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise ecommunity solutions, which raised $35 million from AT&T Ventures, GE, Goldman Sachs, idealab and others. Glenn was a founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised $1 billion and that founded or invested in a number of successful companies including GoTo/Overture, NetZero/United Online, CitySearch, eToys and CarsDirect. Glenn worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio. Glenn co-founded Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer where Glenn served as a marketing specialist. He holds a BA with honors from Brown University, and was a Coro Fellow. Glenn is a co-founder of the Sustainable Business Council, www.sustainablebc.org (and chair), and the Kaia Parker Dance Fund, www.kaiaparker.org, and a co-founder and former board member of Hope Street Group, www.hopestreetgroup.org. He was named the Clean Tech CEO of the Year in 2008 by Clean Tech Week, Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 by LA City Council/Faith2Green, and was recently named “Greatest Person of the Day”, by the Huffington Post.
TransLab at Art Center College of Design
Mark Goodstein is a serial entrepreneur who has been starting companies and other ventures for over 15 years. From GoTo.com (Overture, Inc.), the pioneer of paid search, to X1, an application that helps Windows users search the full text of their email, attachments, and files as fast as they can type. Most recently, he started Townloop, which offers daily deals from local merchants and gives half its revenue to the schools and community organizations that participate. He also started the Progressive Automotive X Prize, which was a competition to inspire the production of ultra-efficient vehicles and then spent a year trying to put together a special purpose venture capital fund to bring bench-validated automotive technologies to production capability. He also helped start two non-profit educational organizations in Pasadena (Pasadena Educational Network and Fair Oaks Preschool). Mark has a degree in history from the University of Chicago.
Harris 360, LLC
Michael is a strong senior executive with over 25 years experience in the computer industry, leading a broad range of businesses from startups to multi-billion dollar corporations in roles including: Founder, GM, Chief Product & Strategy Officer, President, COO & CEO. He has proven expertise with startups, fundraising, M&A, board governance, business planning & organization, strategic planning, business development, product development & marketing, and investor relations.
Executive in Residence
LACI & USC Stevens Institute
Sandra Itkoff has more than 20 years of experience in business development, finance, strategy, operations, and product development in high-growth entrepreneurial environments. Ms. Itkoff joined BYD America, a world leader in state-of-the-art battery technology and a fully integrated manufacturer of long-range all-electric buses and automobiles, as Vice President of Strategy in September 2011.Previously, Ms. Itkoff served as Senior Vice President at Angeleno Group, a private equity firm that invests in high-growth alternative energy and natural resources companies, which she joined in February 2007. She co-led the firm’s global fund-raising effort, achieving a 25 percent over-subscription for AG’s third fund. As head of business development at Angeleno Group, Ms. Itkoff provided financial, management, strategic, and tactical guidance and resources to AG’s 20 portfolio companies.
Director, Commercial Solar
Nader Jandaghi has been involved in various endeavors in the cleantech space. For Bloom Energy he has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to help them adopt cost-effective reliable onsite electricity generation using fuel cells for facilities. Prior to that for Suntech spearheaded the adoption of solar electricity generation for the residential, commercial, and utility sectors in the USA and Middle East.
Prior to Suntech, Mr Jandaghi was involved with other types of renewable energies including wind and, helping startup companies with their go-to-market strategies. Before engaging in cleantech, he was in the information technology field, helping companies realize the full extent of their information assets to become more competitive during the technology boom of the late 1990s. Prior to information technology, Nader worked in the civil engineering sector, working through the Northridge earthquake in the early 1990s in Los Angeles to retrofit and rebuild with stronger building codes. His education background includes a BS Structural Engineering from UC Berkeley, and a MS Construction Management and MBA from the University of Southern California.
President of Greneker
Erik is CEO, President of Greneker, a Los Angeles-based retail solutions company, with facilities in Guangzhou, China and Co-founder of GSS, which, in partnership with Saint-Gobain’s Environmental “Habitat” Group, manufacturers Grenite® recycled ceramic countertop materials for commercial and residential use. Mr. Johnson has been in the specialty manufacturing industry for over 25 years, working in various executive roles for Turner Construction, Tishman Realty, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He co-founded Panatom in 1990, an international planning and producing group, managing Mixed-Use projects in Spain, England, Korea, China, and the United States. In 2003 he leveraged a buyout for Greneker, and in 2008 co-founded Grenite Sustainable Solutions (GSS).
Intellectual Property Attorney
Jeff focuses on patent, trademark, and copyright litigation, trials, appeals, enforcement, protection and licensing. He also focuses on technology, including green technologies, entertainment, Internet and new media law.Jeff advises and is a limited partner of one of the first clean technology venture funds and advises other ventures and companies using technologies for solar, wind, biomass, solar thermal, waste-to-energy, green building material, transportation, infrastructure and smart grid projects, among others. In particular, he has been very active in successfully litigating lawsuits throughout the United States involving patent infringement, trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, copyright infringement, anticounterfeiting, reverse confusion, dilution, unfair competition, contractual disputes, licensing disputes, domain name disputes and right of publicity. Jeff draws on his extensive experience in intellectual property litigation and trials to achieve judgments reaching nine figures by way of settlement, jury verdict, default judgment and summary judgment. He has successfully enforced such judgments against both U.S. and foreign defendants.
SVP Sales and Business Development
At Tykoon, Aron builds long-term relationships with Fortune 500 companies to prove that doing well by doing good can go hand in hand. Prior to Tykoon, Aron was the Vice President, Sponsorship Sales at Recyclebank, Director, Advertising Sales at IAC/InterActiveCorp, an Account Executive at Cars.com and has a couple of digital startups under his belt. His clients have included: Honda, Starbucks, Kashi, General Electric, Toyota, eBay, Kimberly-Clark, Clorox and Safeway.
When Aron is not out building a business, you can find him on a Havana, Cuba sandlot catching 6 games in 8 days and donating baseball gear to the most passionate ball players in the world or with his family picking up trash on the Southern California coast. Aron earned his Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Robb McLarty is a Principal at NGEN, and leads the firm’s investments in Adura Technologies, REGEN Energy and Soraa. He has been an observer on the boards of Tioga Energy and eIQ Energy, and was also involved in the firm’s investments in Renaissance Lighting, Renewable Funding and SolFocus.
Prior to joining NGEN, Robb was with Ziff Brothers Investments, one of the largest and most successful family office investment firms in the country. Working with the Chief Investment Strategist, Robb identified investment opportunities in transformational information and energy technologies. Robb interned at IBM’s venture capital group while earning an MBA at the Yale School of Management. As employee #7, McLarty helped to start up Bill Me Later, an online payments company that was acquired by eBay in 2008. Robb began his career in product development and software engineering at Nortel Networks, CAE, Alcan and Bell Canada. Robb is a graduate of Queen’s University, Canada (BSc Electrical Engineering) and Yale University (MBA), and is a C100 charter member.
General Counsel, V.P. Corporate Development
Doug McPherson serves as Idealab’s General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Development, where he is actively involved in Idealab’s cleantech companies and technologies, including solar thermal, PV, Stirling engine, EV and storage solutions. He has also managed government relations functions for several of these companies. Prior to joining Idealab, he served as Chief Legal Officer and Vice President, Business Development for Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch and its predecessor company, CitySearch. Before working at CitySearch, Doug was with the law firm of HellerEhrman LLP. He also served as a law clerk for a federal district judge and worked for The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, an M.A. in Greek and Roman History from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School where he served on the Stanford Law Review and Environmental Law Journal.
Mobius Energy LLC
A Naval Academy graduate and retired nuclear submarine officer, Bob has led several successful startup and turnaround ventures as CEO. Most recently Bob was a founding executive of Thermata which designed innovative heliostats for solar-thermal power projects. Thermata was recently sold to SolarReserve. Bob has led firms with operations as varied as nuclear decontamination, factory automation equipment, object oriented software development, utility scale lubricating oil purification systems, and thin film PV manufacturing equipment. His sold background in engineering is complemented with many years in marketing and sales management of engineered products and services. Bob has consulted with a variety of startup companies in business planning and raising capital investment, and has participated as an angel investor on several occasions. Currently, Bob is also a partner in a venture developing specialized field service equipment for solar-thermal plants.
California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
Jeff Newman is a member of the staff of the Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. His expertise lies in creating results-based, multi-stakeholder collaborations. He has been responsible for technology-based economic development programs and initiatives that support innovation and create wealth and jobs throughout California. This has included supporting the Governor’s California Broadband Initiative and the Governor’s Life Science Initiative, and working with California universities and representatives from technology-based industry sectors to improve technology transfer in California; attracting additional investment to the state. He taught a graduate student seminar in economic development at UCLA in Spring 2011.
From 1994 – 2003, Jeff was the Partnership Manager for the Division of Science, Technology and Innovation in the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency, where he managed the technology-based economic development programs; including the California Technology Investment Partnership matching grant program the Manufacturing Technology Program, the Next Generation Internet program, the Rural E-Commerce program, the Central Valley Initiative and the Regional Technology Alliances. His responsibilities have included overall management and guidance to this statewide network of technology-oriented business development activities. He ensured their sharing of program models and best practices across the state. Jeff also has seven years of experience in the private sector as an electronics engineer. Mr. Newman holds a Bachelor’s and Masters in Physics from California State University, has completed course work toward a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems at the Fielding Institute, and is listed in Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in California.
Ronen is an entrepreneur with a finance and technology background. He is the co-founder and CEO of Cross Campus, a collaborative workspace and innovation center located in Santa Monica and purpose-built for the needs of startups and entrepreneurs. Cross Campus is scheduled to open in summer 2012. Ronen’s passion is working with early stage entrepreneurs who are passionate and dedicated to growing their business and realizing their vision. He has been a founding member or executive of multiple startups in the software, real estate, cleantech and non-profit sectors.Prior to Cross Campus, Ronen served for three years as the CFO and Russia COO for a leading European carbon credits originator, where he developed valuable insight into the functioning of global carbon markets. Throughout the course of his career, Ronen has acquired broad institutional experience, having worked at global organizations such as Arthur Andersen, JPMorgan Chase, and Lehman Brothers. Ronen has a BA in Economics from Yale University and is a founder of Yale Blue Green, a national network connecting Yale faculty and alumni to promote sustainability.
Executive in Residence
LA Cleantech Incubator
Lucian Oniga brings over fifteen years of experience in development, strategy, and operations in both entrepreneurial and corporate environments. Having founded two software companies, Lucian can effectively manage the challenges and mitigate the risks that start-ups are generally facing from an internal operational and organizational perspective, as well as when dealing with external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, and investors.
After receiving his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Lucian has been at the forefront of the intersection between media and technology in Los Angeles. While at Fox (a News Corporation company) and Ascent Media Group (a Liberty media company), Lucian navigated the complex corporate environments and addressed the sensitivities inherent to multi-layered, ‘traditional’ organizations. Most recently, Lucian lead the business development activities for Myspace, where his practical and creative approach ensured the correct capture and definition of product, business, and legal requirements of partnerships and joint ventures. Lucian also holds a BS in Computer Science, and is a Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher.
Over 13 years of management consulting experience in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. across Private Equity, Financial Services, CleanTech, etc. with a strong focus on growth strategy development and implementation; MBA, PhD, several publications on business strategy.
President & CEO
Global Green USA
Matt Petersen has led Global Green USA since 1994, building and guiding the organization’s innovative programs and initiatives. He also is Chair of Green Cross International’s Energy Program. Matt’s vision for the green rebuilding of New Orleans has led to the greening of New Orleans schools, helped educate thousands of residents to rebuild their homes more energy efficiently, and helped create the Holy Cross Project, a sustainable village in the Lower 9th Ward with 23 units of affordable housing and a community/climate action center.Matt has been touted a ‘green all star’ by Outside Magazine, and in May 2008 he was appointed by the Sir Edmund Hillary Institute in New Zealand as the Inaugural Hillary Fellow. Previously, Matt ran local, state, and federal political campaigns as well as serving as the Executive Director of Americans for a Safe Future.
IP-Law and Innovation Systems Strategist
With a substantive background and experience in the science, legal, business, and policy facets of technology commercialization, Nagesh seeks to build diverse partnerships that accelerate the release of innovative technologies. Nagesh worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s-U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2004-2011. He was selected as a Senior Policy Advisor to DOC’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in 2010, where he advised on key White House initiatives centered around high tech-growth entrepreneurship and innovation for the developed and developing world.Nagesh is an avid international traveler, and holds dual-citizenship between USA and India, furthermore he is registered to practice Patent Law before the USPTO (Registration Number: 69006) and is currently serving as a Systems Expert Advisor on several high-level, cutting edge councils.
3E Technology LLC
S.M. Shahed has worked for 40 years in research, design and development of fuel economy improvement and emissions control technologies for diesel and gasoline engines for passenger car as well as heavy duty truck and equipment applications. His experience spans work in industry, in universities and at engineering services/consulting organizations.Shahed served on various committees, on the Board of Directors and in 2002 as President of SAE International. He twice (1985, 1995) received the Forest R. McFarland Award, for service to the SAE. He has also been active in ASME and the Combustion Institute.
Jones Lang LaSalle
Ben Stapleton brings over nine years of corporate real estate experience to the Jones Lang LaSalle team. His talents and insight have proven invaluable in managing, negotiating and executing commercial real estate transactions that exceed expectations.In addition to his commercial brokerage work, Ben functions as the practice lead for Jones Lang LaSalle’s global Cleantech Practice Group which is focused on representing renewable energy and clean technology companies in addressing their real estate needs.
ErikSteeb is managing director of Segue Consulting, providing interim operations, marketing, finance and executive office leadership for early to mid-stage companies in cleantech and high-tech. Erik serves on the executive committee of the First Look West DOE University Clean Energy Challenge and is the Western Region Director for the Cleantech Open. Through these organizations, Erik works with more than 100 early stage cleantech companies each year from across California, Nevada and Hawaii honing their business strategies and connecting them to mentors, business partners, customers and venture funding.
Prior to hismove to cleantech, Mr. Steeb held senior management roles in high-tech marketing, sales and business development, most recently with Intel Corporation. At Intel, Erik lead the company’s Europe, Middle East & Africa marketing organization, co-founded Intel’s alliances and business development organizations and was responsible for a worldwide sales group delivering over $6B in annual revenue to the company. Steeb holds a BSEE with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Trained as a transportation designer at the Art Center College of Design, Dan has been helping to expand transportation options for over 20 years. After graduation from Art Center, Dan worked briefly as a car designer at General Motors. Soon after he started his own company trans2, introducing a new federally-recognized class of personal vehicles, the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. The company changed hands and now produces the GEM as a Chrysler subsidiary.Mr. Sturges has since blended a life as a designer, system designer, and futurist. He has partnered with Institute of Transportation Studies at UC-Davis, UC-PATH Innovative Mobility Group, Caltrans, CALSTART, the Federal Transit Administration, and the international design house, frogdesign. Always creatively venturing into innovative space, Sturges is comfortable drawing from and applying business models, new technology, smart use of the digital revolution, consumer demand and public policy. His personal mission: to enable people to enjoy efficient, economical and environmental sustainable personal mobility. He is a frequent speaker at events ranging from TED Conferences to the Boulder (Colo) Economic Summit. He continues to serve on the United States’ Transportation Research Board (committee for New Public Transportation Systems and Technology).
Partner, Co-Chairman Emerging Technologies Practice Group
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Bradford P. Weirick is a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in its Los Angeles office. He is Co-Chairman of the firm’s Emerging Technologies Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Corporations Department, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity investment transactions and public and private securities offerings.
Mr. Weirick has substantial experience advising both acquirors/investors and target companies (both public and private) in connection with the negotiation of mergers and acquisitions, strategic transactions and financing transactions. In the technology sector, during the past few years, Mr. Weirick has represented Investcorp Venture Capital, ValueClick, Inc., Diskeeper Corporation, Idealab, Fleetmatics, Telepacific, eSolar, Objectstar, Softek, Airwave Wireless, Zeta Interactive, Vantage Media, Computer Sciences Corporation and Intel Corporation in connection with acquisitions and strategic transactions; Rustic Canyon Ventures, L.P., Investcorp Venture Capital, Digital Coast Ventures, LLC, Intel Capital and Celerity Partners, L.P. in connection with numerous private equity/venture investments; and various private venture-stage companies in connection with general corporate matters, venture capital financings and acquisitions.
Mr. Weirick joined the firm in 1986 after earning his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Mr. Weirick did his undergraduate work at Dartmouth College, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Mr. Weirick is a member of the Advisory Board of the U.S.C. Technology Commercialization Alliance. He is a co-author of “Securities in the Electronic Age – A Practical Guide to the Law and Regulation,” published in 2000 by Glasser LegalWorks, and he has written various articles on current developments in corporate and securities law.
Mr. Weirick has been listed in the 2008-2011 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading Corporate/M&A: Venture Capital Lawyer; identified by The Best Lawyers in America® 2007-2011 as a leading lawyer for Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Funds Law, Venture Capital Law and Leveraged Buyouts & Private Equity Law; and named as a Southern California SuperLawyer for 2006-2011.
Director, Solar Cell Technology
Hojun serves as the Director of Solar Cell Technology at Solergy, a start-up company developing a unique, cogeneration Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) system. In this role, Hojun provides technical guidance on many of the key technology development activities, while at the same time, is closely involved in many of the business aspects of the company including business planning, supplier management, cost studies, market trend and competition studies, and identifying technology collaboration and funding opportunities.
Prior to joining Solergy in 2008, Hojun spent 10 years at Spectrolab, Inc. (A Boeing Company), the world’s leading supplier of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells for space and terrestrial applications. As a Boeing Associate Technical Fellow at Spectrolab, Hojun was involved in various R&D activities of III-V multijunction solar cells, including the demonstration of the first solar cell device ever to exceed 40% efficiency. His contributions to the development ofthe triple junction solar cell have been recognized by numerous industry awards. Hojun has presented hiswork related to solar cells and other semiconductor materials and devices at numerous national and international conferences, and has published over 30 papers (11 as first author) and has 3 patents (1 pending). Hojun received his Ph.D. (1998) and M.S. (1995) in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and B.S. (1991) in Applied Sciences in Engineering from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.