SXSW ECO Coaching + Connect

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Mentors

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Jeremy Adelman, Energy Foundry, Vice President - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Jeremy has 14 years of experience working with early-stage investors and entrepreneurs – building partnerships, raising capital and commercializing cutting edge technology. As Vice President of Energy Foundry, Jeremy is active in all phases of the investment process, and manages the organization’s network of expert mentors and advisors.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Energy Startups

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Sarah Applebaum, Pangaea Ventures, Associate - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Sarah joined Pangaea Ventures in 2012. She focuses on originating deal flow, conducting due diligence on potential investments and assisting portfolio companies with strategic partnerships, fundraising and growth strategies. Sarah holds an MBA and a BSc. in Environmental Science.

Connect: Investors + Startups


Sarah is interested in meeting with startups offering materials / chemistry / bio technology in the areas of energy, electronics, health, agriculture and sustainability.

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Kathleen Baireuther, Austin Technology Clean Energy Incubator - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Kathleen Baireuther is a strategic planning and business development professional with 13 years combined experience in economic development, management consulting, and technology commercialization.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Pitch Decks


Consult with Kathleen on how to make your pitch deck more attention grabbing and effective.

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Steve Barcik Amstel, High Tech Design, CEO - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Steve is an entrepreneur with 30 years in high tech startups. He has started 6 companies and had 4 exits. He is the CEO of High Tech Design providing design/ certifications, advice to investors on technology. He is also the founder of City Motor Club, which is a classic and exotic car or motorcycle club and storage facility to be opened in Austin in November 2015.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Top 10 Aspects of Starting Up

Steve will provide guidance and advice on the top 10 aspects of taking your business to the next level, whether it is tech, go to market, financing, partnering or personal goals. He will also prep you for the pitfalls of being a startup leader.

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Kinder Baumgardner, SWA, President - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Kinder is the president of SWA and the managing partner of SWA's Houston office. Kinder has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Louisiana State University and has been practicing landscape architecture for over 25 years.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic:
Scaling Up and Manufacturing


Meet with Kinder Baumgardner, President of SWA Group - an urban planning, design and landscape architecture firm. Gain insight on design and urban planning approaches and innovative and informed responses to a wide array of urban and regional challenges.

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Darren Beck, Director of Environmental Initiatives, Sprint - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Darren is responsible for driving innovation at Sprint that helps reduce environmental impact while enhancing the company’s reputation and its bottom line. He achieves this by advising a range of operational working teams at Sprint focused on areas such as device recycling, sustainable packaging, waste reduction, water conservation, responsible procurement, and "winning with corporate responsibility" in business sales. Darren holds an MBA from the University of Kansas.

Connect: CSR
Interested in Meeting: Those interested in piloting solutions that would improve Sprint's environmental footprint. Also any who can help Sprint with our digital inclusion efforts - providing youth with mobile access, content and mentorship.

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Natalie Betts, City of Austin, Recycling Economic Development Liaison - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Natalie Betts is the Recycling Economic Development Liaison with the City of Austin’s Austin Resource Recovery and Economic Development Departments. Natalie oversees the Recycling Economic Development Program to create green jobs through zero waste.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in meeting: Startups, Large Corporations, NGOs & Investors in the recycling, reuse, composting, waste management, zero waste, and resource efficiency space.

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Maggie Bishop, Director, Clean Energy & Power Technology, Austin Chamber of Commerce - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Maggie Bishop is the Director of Clean Energy and Power Technology at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. As a part of the Economic Development team, she is tasked with recruiting jobs and investment within the clean energy and power technology industries to Central Texas.Maggie is also responsible for overall public relations and marketing of the greater Austin regional clean tech community.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in Meeting: Companies interested in investing or creating jobs in Central Texas

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Saurabh Biswas, Texas A&M Technology Commercialization, Dir New Ventures - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Dr. Biswas, director of New Ventures, leads the creation of new ventures leading all aspects of due diligence, venture formation, and equity investments. He is an entrepreneur with extensive experience building technology based ventures from conceptual stages.

Connect: Startup + Investor
Interested in Meeting: Startups

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Trevor Boehm, UnLtd USA, Venture Fellow - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Trevor Boehm is a Venture Fellow for UnLtd USA, where he coaches entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental challenges. He previously founded Penny, a e-commerce startup, and Frame, a learning design agency.

Coaching: Startups


Topic: Relationships and Network Building, Pitching and Storytelling, Fundraising

UnLtd USA embeds entrepreneurs into the center of a city's most powerful networks and finds ways to get those networks to accelerate their missions. Work with Trevor, a Venture Fellow and coach for UnLtd USA, to identify who can help move your venture forward, how to meet those people, and how to talk about what you're doing in a way that gets them to act.

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Bart Bohn, Austin Technology Incubator - Water, Founding Partner - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Bart is the founding Partner of the Water Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator. Previously, Bart co-founded two big data analytics startups: Ravel and Embrace. He founded UT’s SEAL Accelerator program, 3 Day Startup, the Entrepreneur Lounge and BearingPoint’s the Energy Strategy practice. .

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech, Water, Analytics, IoT and Big Data Startups


Coaching: Startups
Topic: Customer Identification + Market Opportunity


Bart will provide advice on identifying a customer need and market opportunity.

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Lauren Casey, Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection, Deputy Director - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Lauren manages climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives on behalf of Sonoma County local jurisdictions and agency partners. She is passionate about public sector innovation to deploy climate solutions that work for everyone.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in meeting: Distributed resource vendors, utilities, electric vehicle industry, financial and insurance institutions.We are working on two main initiatives: building resource efficiency through a tariffed based on-bill program and electric vehicle/grid integration.

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James Connelly, International Living Future Institute, Director Living Product Challenge - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

James is the director of the Living Product Challenge, a program that re-imagines the design and manufacturing of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world, with Net Positive impact across their lifecycle.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Living Product Challenge
Consult with James to learn how your product or service can have a Net Positive impact across its lifecycle.

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Lina Constantinovici, BVC Fund, Founding Partner - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

For over 20 years, Lina has been engaged in startup, finance, and leadership education innovation. Lina is a Partner in BVC Fund and the Founder/CEO of StartupNectar. BVC Fund invests in early-stage startups that create conditions conducive to life and StartupNectar enables early-stage, biomimicry-based ventures to access resources and gain traction in the marketplace. The incubation model is informed by nature’s strategies, building startups aligned with Earth’s operating conditions.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Water, energy, and materials science startups


Coaching: Startups
Topic: Biomimicry


Consult with Lina on how to integrate biomimicry into your startup.

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Alisa Cordesius, Indiegogo, Manager of Social Innovation & Design - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

As Manager of Social Innovation & Design at Indiegogo, Alisa empowers entrepreneurs and change-makers to to leverage crowdfunding for social good. She graduated from UCLA and received her Masters in Policy & Administration from NYU. She’s a fanatic for Africa, community tables, and live music.

Coaching: Startups


Topic: Crowdfunding
Spend some one on one time with Alisa from Indiegogo and see if your venture is fit for crowdfunding. Learn how Indiegogo can help you validate your market, build your brand, test your product, grow your evangelist base, and of course raise funds.

Elizabeth Corr, NRDC, Manager of Art Partnerships - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Elizabeth works with artists, architects and designers, whose commitment to the environment dovetails with NRDC’s ongoing program efforts, to heighten public awareness of and interest in the environmental problems facing our communities. In April of 2014, she created the first-ever Artist-in-Residence program at NRDC.


Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Beyond Disciplines - Working with Cultural Producers to Increase Non-Profit Effectiveness

Elizabeth will focus on the ways in which non-profits can build meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with artists, architects and designers to support their mission in nontraditional ways. She is also interested in giving coaching advice to interested artists, architects and designers on how they can start to work with non-profits and find support for their creative endeavors.

Marc Coudert + Amanda Rohlich, City of Austin, Office of Sustainability - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Marc Coudert, Environmental Program Coordinator


Marc Coudert is an Environmental Programs Coordinator with the City of Austin Office of Sustainability, where he created and manages the Austin Green Business Leaders program. He also works on corporate sustainability and increasing climate resilience in City of Austin operations and services.

Amanda Rohlich, Environmental Program Coordinator


Marc Coudert is an Environmental Programs Coordinator with the City of Austin Office of Sustainability, where he created and manages the Austin Green Business Leaders program. He also works on corporate sustainability and increasing climate resilience in City of Austin operations and services.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in Meeting: Climate resilience, sustainable urban design, including green infrastructure, and innovative clean startups

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Sander Dolder, NYCEDC, Senior Manager-Urban Innovation & Sustainability - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Sander is part of the New York City Economic Development Corporation's Urban Innovation and Sustainability team. He develops initiatives that support entrepreneurs and innovation in the cleantech, energy, and smart cities sectors. He is passionate about horticulture, music, and the outdoors.

Connect: Cities


Interested in meeting: Startups and supporting organizations - Cleantech, Energy, Smart Cities, Built Environment and Resiliency.

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Wendy Dunnam Tita, Page Architects, Principal - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Wendy is a Principal with Page. She directs Interior Architecture and Design and is a trusted creative partner in developing brand architecture for Corporate, Multi Family, and Hospitality clients. Her work emphasizes, the client as “muse” and fully immersive design.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topics: Developing architectural design that embodies brand and culture, Creating a healthy, creative workplace, Office space design, and how knowing how the brain works can influence design and architecture.

Consult with Wendy on how to create your company's best work environment and how to create an office space that embodies your company's brand and ethos. Consult with Wendy on current research related to healthy workplace design

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Michael Ehst, Business Incubation Specialist, World Bank infoDev - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Mike is a Business Incubation Specialist with the World Bank’s infoDev program that supports entrepreneurship in emerging markets. With infoDev, he has helped to design and launch the Climate Technology Program that supports clean technology innovation centers in seven countries globally. Previously Mike held positions with the science committee of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. National Academies of Science and worked on technology policy issues for the Japanese government.

Connect: Causes


Interested in Meeting: Startups (particularly clean tech interested in emerging markets), designers, other development minded organizations

Juliana Escobar Navarro, Ruta N + Sebastian Gomez, ProColombia - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Juliana Escobar Navarro, Ruta N, Consultant


Born in Medellin, Juliana studied Economics with a specialization in marketing management. She is now with Ruta N: Medellinnovation District, focusing on implementation of strategies to help the development of Medellinnovation District.

Sebastian Gomez, ProColombia, Trade Representative


Sebastian is a representative for IT and creative sectors working for the Colombian government in the U.S. He is experienced in business development. Educated in business processes and marketing. He matches Colombian and American companies in finding partners that can help them grow while staying competitive.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in meeting: Startups, enterprises and entrepreneurs that have projects that need to be financed and are interested in entering the Colombian market and moving or opening an office in Medellín.

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William Espey, Chipotle, Brand Voice Lead - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

William is the driving force behind Chipotle's unique brand voice—irreverent and cheeky yet generous and intelligent. Starting with Chipotle over 16 years ago, as the Brand Voice Lead he ensures that Chipotle's original tone and personality remains consistent across all aspects of the growing brand.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Branding is Everything

Consult with William to discuss the importance of building your brand from the beginning — based on a genuine expression of your, and therefore your company's, values. The human brain perceives brands in the same way it does individuals — so developing a personality that is expressed through every aspect of the brand experience and connects with your customers is essential to success.

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Travis Farese, Member, Houston Angel Network - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

A Houston Angel Network member and full time startup investor, Travis has a background in upstream oil and gas. Most recently he has successfully exited from an oil and gas service company he co-founded. Travis’s investment interests are in energy related software.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Startups only. I am attending on behalf of HAN and myself and interested in qualified investment opportunities. Companies must have demonstrated market traction with an emphasis on capital efficient business models. NGO's and non-profits are not our specialty.

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Steven Feldstein, US Stete Dept, Deputy Assistant Secretary - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Steven Feldstein is a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State where he is responsible for human rights issues in Africa, international labor affairs, and international religious freedom. He has previously served as the Director of Policy at USAID and as Counsel on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Connect: Causes
Interested in Meeting: Not-for-profits, NGOs and social enterprise startups.

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Neil Fromer, Caltech, Resnick Institute, Executive Director - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Dr. Neil Fromer is the Executive Director of the Resnick Institute, Caltech’s endowed program for energy and sustainability. Neil works to develop new ideas and research technologies related to a sustainable future, and to translate those technologies quickly from the lab to the marketplace.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Technology development and product-market fit
Get feedback from an engineer/entrepreneur and mentor with cleantech start-up experience on solar and smart grid/connected home technologies and market fit.

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Mike Gabriel, Lending Manager, RSF Social Finance - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Mike manages RSF’s Ecological Stewardship portfolio. Previously, Mike served as the Asia Regional Manager for Grameen Foundation’s capital markets team focusing on providing financing to businesses focused on alleviating poverty. He received an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech + Social Impact Startups

Borrower Criteria
•Mission-aligned
•Incorporated in the US or Canada
•Funding needs ranging from $200,000 to $5 million
•Enterprise is profitable, or can demonstrate a clear path to profitability in 12 months
•Annual revenue of $1 million or greater

Please visit our website to learn more about criteria and financing options within this focus area:
http://rsfsocialfinance.org/social-lending/ecological/

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Timote Georges, Smallholder Farmers Alliance, Executive Director & Co-Founder - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Born in Haiti in 1978.I studied Natural Resources and Peace at the United Nations mandated University for Peace in 2008.In 2012 I co-founded a Haitian community based grass-root called Smallholder Farmers Alliance in creole “Alyans Ti-plantè.

Connect: Causes


Interested in Meeting: Individuals and organizations interested in connecting with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance

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Heather Grady, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Vice President - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Heather Grady leads RPA's strategy and program development in global philanthropy. She helped to launch a new collaboration between major foundations and the UN to encourage philanthropy to engage more meaningfully in the Post-2015 Agenda.

Connect: Causes
Interested in meeting: Startups, Foundations, Not-for-Profits, Designers.

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Michael Green, Director of the Center for Environmental Health, Founder and Executive Director - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Michael Green is Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Health which he founded in 1996. He is a leader in national efforts to protect children and families from lead and other toxic chemicals in consumer products, and from illnesses related to pollution in our air, water and food.

Connect: Causes

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David Greene, Energy and Climate Program Coordinator, Austin Water - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

David is an Environmental Engineer and Climate Coordinator at Austin Water since 2007. He runs energy, resource and climate sustainability projects and research throughout the water and wastewater utility. He has twenty years of experience in the sector in Texas and California, as well as many developing countries, working with startups, NGOs, consultants and utilities.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech + Water Startups

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Technology Assessment + Verification

Let's discuss how your idea can support - or transform - the critical services of sustainable water and wastewater in our cities - how to demonstrate it, describe it, and sell it.

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Bert Haskell, Chief Technology Officer, Pecan Street Project - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Bert is the Chief Technology Officer for Pecan Street Inc, specializing in disruptive architectures that impact distributed infrastructure. Currently working on IoT, Big data analytics, mobile APP integration, and hardware systems architecture for residential energy and water systems.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Technology commercialization.


How does a company rapidly test the value proposition for a new product of service? Consult with Bert to help develop your technology-to-market strategy.

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Sara Hochman, Energy Foundry, Managing Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Sara leads all venture investment activity for Energy Foundry. Prior to Energy Foundry, Sara co-managed a government advisory practice for energy startups at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and held roles with GE Energy and an environmental consulting firm. She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Emory University.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in meeting: Early-stage energy technology startups (e.g. distributed renewable power, cybersecurity, building technologies, advanced vehicles, efficiency); ideally companies with a working prototype and/or beta customer.

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Frances Holuba, The White House, Global Engagement National Security Council - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Ms. Holuba currently serves in the office of Global Engagement on the National Security Council at the White House. Previously she worked at Ashoka’s Changemakers, coordinating global competitions on innovation. Ms. Holuba graduated cum laude from UVA in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Global Expansion and Strategy
Meet with Frances to learn from her insight into best innovative practices from her expertise as a high policy level official looking at global entrepreneurship as a pillar of U.S. Diplomacy.

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Tim Horan, BKM Sowan Horan LLP, Partner - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Tim has more than 30 years of experience in public accounting, equipping him to deal effectively on behalf of his clients on issues related to tax planning, compliance and consulting. Tim works closely with clients on tax minimization by using various tax strategies.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Entity choice and formation, accounting and tax issues

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Mitch Jacobson, ATI - Clean Energy, Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Mitch is the Director of the ATI Clean Energy Incubator at the University of Texas. He serves on the Advisory Board of CleanTX, SXSW Eco, The Environmental Sciences Institute at UT Austin, The Nature Conservatory, & The Austin Young Chamber.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech Startups

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Business case feedback

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Helen Johnson, Kresge Foundation, Arts & Culture Program Officer - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Helen Davis Johnson serves a program officer on the Arts and Culture Program team at The Kresge Foundation, working to elevate the effective use of arts and culture in transforming and revitalizing communities.

Connect: Causes

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Alex Johnston, Opportunity Lynchburg, Civic Innovator - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Alex is a Civic Innovator who believes it’s time to reimagine the way government serves its citizens. When communities work together to ensure economic opportunity for all, cities become places where people from all walks of life can turn their energy and ideas into economic prosperity.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in meeting: Tech companies and B-Corporations. Lynchburg's concentration of institutions of higher education, low cost of living, and proximity to metropolitan areas like Washington, DC make it a unique home for startups.

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Mark Jordan, Austin Water, Water Conservation Program Coordinator - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Mark Jordan currently serves as a Conservation Program Coordinator, Water Conservation Division, with the Austin Water Utility.

Connect: Cities + Utilities

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Liz Judge, Earthjustice, Advocacy Communications Director - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Working with litigators and legislative advocates, Liz Judge, Earthjustice's Advocacy Communications Director, strives to advance the fight for a safer, healthier and more vital environment. She works to bring real-life stories from the courtrooms to the court of public opinion.

Connect: Causes


Interested in meeting: Clean Energy solution startups, Clean Water solution startups, Sustainability endeavors, Early-stage not-for-profits solutions, Media outreach consultant/contractors, Other NGO's and Community advocates.

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David Kenney, Oregon BEST, President & Executive Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Led Oregon BEST since ‘08, overseeing the development of all programs, growth to a $3M budget, and Oregon BEST FEST, the Pacific Northwest’s premier cleantech innovation conference. He brings 25 years of business, nonprofit & public sector management experience, including 12 years at Intel Corp.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech Startups


Coaching: Startups
Topic: Utilizing Universities


Consult with David to learn how startups (even w/o university IP) can leverage universities’ human and lab capacity to make better products and get to market faster.

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Lauren Kickham, Vulcan Inc, Senior Project Developer - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Catalyzing investment into entrepreneurial solutions that have the potential for large-scale social impact has been Lauren’s focus for the past decade. Lauren leads Vulcan’s work in sub-Saharan Africa to identify market-based solutions to rural electrification, broadband and fresh water access.  She manages a portfolio of investments, grants and projects in Eastern and Southern Africa that demonstrate viable models for achieving social, environmental and financial objectives across these program areas. Vulcan Inc. is the private, Seattle-based company that manages Paul Allen’s business and philanthropic interests.

Connect: Causes


Interested in meeting: Entrepreneurs who are looking to solve challenges in Africa, specifically around water, electrification, broadband, mobile, heating/cooking and waste management. Also looking to meet with potential co-investors with the same investment focus and attention to social impact.

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Sam Kim, Bandgap Ventures, Managing Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Sam is a managing director at Bandgap Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Austin, TX. Sam has been a serial entrepreneur and investor in many early stage technology companies across a wide variety of industries including advanced materials/nanotechnology, biotechnology, semiconductors, and energy/cleantech. Sam holds a BS and MS in Engineering from Stanford University, and a Dual PhD in Electrical Engineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington.

Connect: Investors + Startups


Interested in Meeting: Startup companies in hard science and engineering technologies such as advanced materials, energy technologies, advanced manufacturing, sensors/systems, and electronics/semiconductors.

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Anica Landreneau, HOK, Principal, Global Director of Sustainable Consulting - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Anica manages the successful development and implementation of sustainability strategies on local and worldwide projects. Anica leads the sustainable discipline and consultancy practice as well as strategic planning at HOK. Anica serves on the Board of Directors, Design Board and Marketing Board.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Sustainable Design, Policy and Advocacy


Anica will consult with designers and planning professionals on design, policy and advocacy for sustainability through the built environment. Anica can offer advise on how to become involved at leadership level and how to leverage public engagement into consulting and design opportunities.

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Joan Larrea, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Managing Director, Business Development & Partnerships - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

OPIC is the US Government’s development finance institution, offering financing and political risk insurance to enterprises operating in 160 developing countries. Joan Larrea leads OPIC’s efforts to partner with other investors targeting these markets. She also oversees a pilot program to support smaller investment funds, particularly innovative and impact-focused vehicles.


Connect: Causes


Interested in meeting: Foundations, Not-for-Profits, Individual and Angel Investors, Companies Active in Emerging Markets.

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Nic Lauten + Adam Thomson, Krotchet Kids Int'l - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Nic is Director of Community Involvement at KK intl. Nic began his work with the organization in 2007 as their first In-Country Director of Uganda, contextualizing their vision and establishing a foundation for their empowerment model. .

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Measure your Impact


Meet with Nic Lauten and Adam Thomson to learn how to help your startup become a conduit of positive impact.

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David Lear, Dell, Executive Director of Sustainability - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

David leads sustainability programs to create longterm steak holder value and opportunities by integrating economic, social and environmental responsibility into Dell’s core business strategies.Previously at Dell, Lear served as the Director for Dell’s product development team, responsible for the delivery of Dell global product compliance programs, covering EMC, ESD, Acoustics, Environmental and Safety requirements. His team engaged with key stakeholders such as NGOs, regulators, leading industry groups, and agencies to collaborate on global policy and standards development.

Connect: CSR

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Colin Lee, Director of Corporate Affairs, Cargill - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Responsible for reputation management, external communications, internal communications, and corporate social responsibility efforts.

Connect: CSR

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Juha Leppänen, Demos Helsinki, Consultant - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Juha works as the CEO for Demos Effect, a part of Demos Helsinki, leading independent Nordic think tank. We work with municipalities, government, companies and ngo's to create both products and services that enable sustainable lifestyles and solutions that empower people to engage in the urban sphere.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in Meeting: At Demos, we work with both public and private actors. For instance, we operate a "smartup" program that supports leading consumer cleantech companies. Likewise, we work with large companies.

I would love to meet with both larger companies and startups that look for new ways to engage in creating solutions for the grand challenges of our times. In addition, would love to meet anyone who's looking to work in the Nordic countries as our networks could probably be beneficial.

One of our projects is called Smart Retro which is a model for public-private experiments in city suburbs. Together with Stockholm, Oslo and Lahti, we've created a platform in which startups, municipalities and companies can collaborate to create actual and concrete solutions.

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Mike Lightman, NYC ACRE, Program Manager - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

ACRE is New York's premier business incubator for clean energy, smartgrid/smart cities and resiliency. We provide product and business mentors, professional services, access to customers and partners, help with fundraising, support with finding employees and interns, and an international network.

Connect: Investors + Startups


Interested in Meeting: Clean energy, smart grid/smart cities and resiliency startup that is pilot ready with an addressable market in the New York Metro area.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: VC Funding


What To say, what not to say, what information to prepare, how to go after the right folks, questions to anticipate and more.

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Hugh Locke, Smallholder Farmer Alliance, Co-Founder + President - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Hugh is the co-founder and President of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, a ground-breaking hybrid social business model that has transformed the lives of thousands of Haitian men and women farmers and has resulted in the planting of close to 4 million trees to date. Prior to Haiti, Hugh was a pioneer in international development and the environment working for 20 years alongside a veritable who's who in the development community around the world. In 2015, Hugh’s unique “exit strategy aid” piloted in Haiti will begin expanding to other developing nations.

Connect: Causes


Interested in Meeting: Those working in CSR, agriculture, communications, potential investors and donors

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Øyvind Lyngen Laderud, Business Adviser, City of Kristiansand - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Business development adviser/international adviser and coordinator in City of Kristiansand, Norway. Economic growth and development activities. Working with international partners in Europe and US for the benefit of the region and the city. Facilitating international business and university relations, projects and different events.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in Meeting:City planners, designers, startups and more

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Sachin Mahan, Executive Partner, Ashoka Changemakers - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Sachin Malhan is the Executive Partner of Changemakers. He leads the program in its efforts to search, convene and catalyse high-potential changemakers and their ideas and resources, through the power of collaborative competitions and partner networks.

Connect: Causes


Interested in meeting: Social Impact + International Startups, Corporates working on their impact pieces (i.e. social intrapreneurship)

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Rose Maizner, RenewableTech Ventures, Analyst + Professional Consultant - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Rose is an analyst with RenewableTech Ventures, is the founder and CEO of CauseRock Consulting and serves on the board of Sustainable Startups. Before entering the private sector, Rose spent a number of years in the nonprofit world, serving as both Associate Director and Interim Executive Director of an organization working with underserved communities in Salt Lake City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College, after which she spent time conducting research out of the country as part of a Fulbright Scholarship.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech Startups

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Business case feedback

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Cheryl Martin, Harwich Partners, Founder - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Cheryl Martin recently launched the consulting firm, Harwich Partners, to work with public and private sector entities to identify critical business, technology, finance, regulatory and policy drivers that would accelerate adoption of new technologies into key markets. Before this she served as the Acting Director of the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E). In addition, she was the Deputy Director for Commercialization at the agency where she developed ARPA-E’s Technology-to-Market program, which helps breakthrough energy technologies succeed in the marketplace.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in meeting: Startups + Utilities interested in developing new distributed grid systems.

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Ryan McCarthy, Fish & Richardson, PC, Attorney - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Ryan is an attorney who specializes in patent prosecution, litigation support, opinion work, IP due diligence, IP strategy, portfolio management, agreements and licensing. Ryan has developed a particular focus on advising entrepreneurs and emerging companies. This work includes developing short- and long-term IP strategies in view of business goals and resources.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Legal


Ryan will be available to provide high-level guidance on a range of topics including IP protection (when/how), technology commercialization, funding, co-founding, and several other topics that impact emerging companies.

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Christine McGrath, Mondelez International - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Christine is the VP Internal Affairs and CGA External Affairs at Mondelez International. She leads the global Call for Well-being strategy, which includes Sustainability, Mindful Snacking and Community/Safety. She works with business teams to reduce the company’s environmental global footprint and leads Cocoa Life.

Connect: CSR

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Kate Mohan, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Target - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Kate Mohan (@kbmohan) is part of Target’s Corporate Social Responsibility team, managing social investment portfolios designed to deliver business and community impact.

Connect: CSR


Interested in Meeting: Not-for-profits, NGOs, values-based businesses or B-corps.

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Tim Mohin, Director, Corporate Responsibility, AMD - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Tim Mohin joined AMD as the Director of Corporate Responsibility in December 2009. In this role, Tim is responsible for the development of AMD’s corporate responsibility strategy, oversees the company’s responsibility programs, and heads AMD’s cross-functional corporate responsibility advisory council.

Tim is the Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (2013/14), Current Chair of the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative and the author of the 2012 book Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations.

Connect: CSR

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Yann Moneau, Veolia Research and Innovation, Research 7 Innovation Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Based in Chicago, Dr Moreau is R&I director North America for Veolia Research and Innovation. His role is to reinforce Veolia’s R&I capacity in North America and support the establishment of collaborations with North American research organizations and innovative companies.

Connect: CSR


Interested in meeting: Cleantech and Energy-Tech Startups in bio-resources, municipal water and wastewater, industrial wastewater, recycling & waste recovery, sustainable and green cities, smart cities, smart building, energy optimization and health and environmental performance.

Micaelah Morrill + Manvi Goel, Greentown Labs - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Micaelah is the Program Manager for the Manufacturing Initiative at Greentown Labs, and Mandi is the Program Director for Strategic Partnerships. Greentown Labs helps connect hardware startups in Massachusetts with locally based manufacturers and provides training, networking events and education on manufacturing best practices, in addition to matchmaking.

Connect: Investors + Startups


Interested in Meeting: Hardware startups, Cleantech startups, Investors, Corporates and Manufacturers.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Scaling Up and Manufacturing


Consult with Manvi and Micaelah to identify issues hardware startups face to scale and get to market. They'll cover how startups should talk to manufacturers to build at scale, and how they should talk to corporate partners to finance their product development.

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Peter Muhoro, Perdenales Electric Cooperative, Director of Energy Research and Strategies - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Dr. Peter Muhoro is the Director of Energy Research and Strategies at Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), the largest electric distribution cooperative in the United States. Peter works to strategize on the implementation of cutting-edge, cost-saving technologies such as energy storage, demand response, advanced lighting, and micro-grids, to mention a few. His role oversees initiatives that help the cooperative advance in technology while keeping rates affordable for the members. Prior to PEC, peter served as an Advisor at the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Peter worked with the whole CRN research portfolio providing both technical and project management support. His specific areas of research were in Renewables, Power Generation, and Environmental Issues. His goals were to find innovative ways to advance technology in power generation while keeping rates low and addressing environmental issues. Peter is an entrepreneur at heart. He has launched two small businesses, a consulting firm focused on addressing bottom of the pyramid issues and poverty reduction through the access of electricity and serves on the board of directors of two not-for-profit organizations and several committees. He is a sought after speaker both on the national and international arena. Peter holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics with an emphasis in energy policy from the University of Michigan.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in meeting: Any company interested in locating within the Hill Country, outskirts of Austin, I-35 corridor. We serve approximately 8,100 square-miles in the hill country area.

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Melodie Naja, Everglades Foundation, Chief Scientist - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Dr. Naja’s research interests focus on identification & removal of pollutants impacting water quality. Her skills include water quality modeling, optimization & application of practical remediation processes. Dr. Naja is leading the technical development of the $10million Phosphorus Grand Challenge.

Connect: Causes


Interested in Meeting: Startups in water and clean tech. Corporations and their Sustainability Directors.

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Mark Newton, Samsung USA, Head of Corporate Environmental Affairs - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Mark Newton directs Samsung’s efforts to serve markets responsibly in North America and has led global CSR and sustainability efforts at Timberland, Dell, Apple and Motorola. Mark also serves as a director of the Smallholder Farmer’s Alliance, supporting the creation of social businesses in Haiti.

Connect: CSR


Interested in meeting: Mark interested in exploring partnerships with agencies, NGOs, consultancies or businesses focused on electronics clean production, green materials, energy efficiency and product recovery/reuse.

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Nick Slavin, EES Ventures, Managing Partner - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Nick is managing partner of EES Ventures, which focuses on seed-stage energy and sustainability technologies. He is also CEO and trustee of the Slavin Family Foundation, which operates a fellowship for student entrepreneurs. Nick started his first company as an 18-year-old senior at Yale.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Seed Stage Energy + Sustainability Tech Startups, Students

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Jacques Nsengiyumva, Environmental Standards & Regulations Officer, Rwanda Environment Management Authority - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Jacques NSENGIYUMVA is a civil servant charge of Environmental Standards & Regulations at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority department of Environment Pollution & Regulation Control. He is also a Guest Assistant Lecturer of Environmental Hazards & Mitigation at INILAK. He helps not only in mainstreaming environmental sanitation in the community, but also in drafting environmental standards, monitoring compliance, & enforcing environmental standards & regulations across different sectors of development. He is now a Community Solutions Program Fellow that hopes to learn about effective & efficient environmental techniques that will help to solve sanitation problems in rural areas of his community. Upon completion of the fellowship, he plans to domesticate learnt techniques in hotspot areas (schools & hospitals) of Eastern Province.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in meeting: Designers/Engineers and Placemakers or NGOs

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Jason Ornstein, J.M. Ornstein LTD, Managing Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

J.M.Ornstein LTD identifies platform technologies that could constitute the foundation of a new startup company. We ‘license-in’ or co-develop original technology and structure a new enterprise around this technology for commercialisation. We specialize in cleantech that is currently being developed at major universities and research institutions, allowing us to initially benefit from our commercialization capacity and then organically build IP. We have deep experience in working with publicly funded research to get to market.

Connect: Startups + Investors
Interested in meeting: Chemistry or biology driven innovators.

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Corinn Perry, SEED Spot, Operations Manager - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Corinn is passionate about socially conscious companies. Her position at SEED SPOT allows her to support and empower entrepreneurs who are working to follow their dreams of solving important societal problems. She’s worked with over 100 early stage ventures and social entrepreneurs.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: For- and Non-Profit Social Impact Startups

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Daniel Pittman, OMA, Business Manager, Strategy and Innovation - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Daniel Pittman is Business Manager for Strategy and Innovation at OMA, where he is responsible for building, and leading OMA’s in-house think-tank and consulting practice (AMO) in the Americas. Daniel’s recent work includes leading the OMA team’s winning submission for HUD’s Rebuild By Design competition—the development of a comprehensive urban water strategy for Hoboken, New Jersey—and collaborating with the Rockefeller Foundation on resiliency capacity building.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Design Review, Project Framing, Elevator Pitches
Sit down for a design critique with Daniel, and get pointers on design strategy and the storytelling of your project/business.

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Lauren-Kristine Pryzant, Mercury Fund, Analyst - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Lauren-Kristine Pryzant is a venture capital analyst at Mercury Fund in Houston, TX. She works with the investment team on deal sourcing, investment diligence, and the support of portfolio companies with their operations. Lauren-Kristine is an active part of the Houston business community and recently has guest lectured at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University and the University of Houston. In 2015 she was named a member of the Springboard Tech Council, a non-profit venture catalyst which coaches and supports female entrepreneurs. She graduated with highest honors in finance from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech startups

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Eileen Quigley, NRDC, Sustainability Manager - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Eileen is the Sustainability Manager at NRDC. She manages their capital improvement projects, oversees tasks related to real estate and educates on their environmental building practices. Under her guidance, two offices have been certified under the Living Building Challenge, firsts of their kind.

Connect: Causes


Interested in meeting: Anyone who wants to learn how to make their spaces more environmentally restorative and healthier for the occupants. I encourage people from any sector to meet with me but I am most interested in meeting like-minded not-for-profits who might most benefit from my advice in making the “business case” and managing a budget for our sector. My goal is to create a coalition of parties who are interested in changing the healthy materials market. I’m also interested in meeting designers, contractors and manufacturers that can affect how a space is formed and what goes in it.

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Shalini Ramanathan, RES Americas, VP Origination - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Shalini Ramanathan is VP Origination for RES Americas, a leading developer and constructor of wind, solar, and energy storage projects. Ms. Ramanathan has closed multiple deals with nearly $2B in total transaction value, In 2013, she completed a deal to sell green power to Microsoft, the first-ever wind power purchase agreement for that company. She has transacted with numerous utilities, including Xcel Energy, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, and Arkansas Electric Coop. Ms. Ramanathan previously worked for CAMCO in East Africa and for the National Renewable Energy Lab. She holds degrees from UT Austin and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Connect: CSR
Interested in meeting:Major corporates with an interest in green energy.

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Angèle Reinders, University of Twente, Professor of Energy Efficient Design - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Angèle works in product development with sustainable energy technologies in products and buildings. In general her projects are executed with companies and in interdisciplinary teams in the context of product innovation.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in meeting: Designers, Architects, NGOs and City Planners.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Designs of Products, Tech Commercialization


Meet with Angèle to receive feedback on your product design and its innovation potential and eventually its commercial perspectives.

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Thomas Schafer, Vice President of BioAg & Industrial Microbiology, Novozymes - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Thomas is VP of BioAg & Industrial Microbiology at Novozymes, the world’s largest maker of industrial enzymes and microbial technologies. Thomas heads Novozymes’ R&D in agricultural microbials. Photo is available in the app.

Connect: CSR
Interested in Meeting: Startups, anything in the Bio-innovation space

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Chris Scotti, Managing Director, Aggie Angel Network - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Chris runs the day to day operations of the Aggie Angel Network. AAN is dedicated to providing quality early-stage investment opportunities for accredited angel investors, and to assisting early-stage high-growth companies with fundraising. Investors in our network invest directly into entrepreneurial businesses, typically in return for equity. In addition to money, we bring connections, market knowledge, and mentoring to early-stage entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies.

Connect: Investors + Startups


Interested in Meeting: Any for profit company with an open (or almost open) Angel Round ($200k-$1m round size, $1m-$5M Pre-money).

Paul Seidler + Erik Birkerts, Clean Energy Trust - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Paul Seidler leads technology commercialization and venture development efforts at Clean Energy Trust (CET). Erik Birkerts is Executive Vice President at CET, an impact investor that fuels early stage clean energy innovation in the Midwest.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech startups from the Midwest

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Brigid Shea, Travis County Commissioner - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Brigid is the elected Travis County Commissioner. She is a long time environmentalist and businesswoman. She consulted on one of the most successful US municipal utility projects, AWCP, designed an award-winning CO2 redux project fora cement plant, is supporting RMI's Mobility Initiative and creating Community Climate Disaster Preparedness Program.

Connect: Cities + Utilities


Interested in Meeting: Inventors, technology designers, community social media specialists, autonomous vehicle designers, new mobility, transportation planners, water conservationists, engineers, city officials, consultants, futurists

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Jill Sims, Energy Excelerator, Co-Founder - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Jill co-founded the Energy Excelerator in 2013 and manages the Demonstration Track program, which funds about 6-8 projects per year with up to $1M of U.S. Navy funding. Prior to this, her experience was as a systems engineer and projects manager with the Department of Energy.

Connect: Investors + Startups


Interested in Meeting: Energy, water, cybersecurity and transportation startups

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Kelsi Smith, Stylesmith, Director + Owner - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Kelsi Smith is the Director and Owner of Los Angeles based PR and Marketing agency, Stylesmith. Stylesmith is a full service agency and has worked with clients such as UNIQLO and eco brands such as Looptworks, Vert Beauty and Linden.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Social Media Strategy


Get social with Kelsi Smith of Stylesmith and learn how to develop a social media strategy for your start up. We'll show you how to develop a strategy that aligns with internal goals and will make an impact on the interweb.

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Brett Snyder, Principal and Assistant Professor, Cheng+Snyder / UC Davis - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Brett Snyder works at the intersection of architecture and media. His work explores the relationship between media and the built environment. Snyder is a principal of Cheng + Snyder an experimental architecture studio in Oakland and an Assistant Professor of Design at the UC Davis.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Public Arts Projects


Consult strategies for developing participatory public design projects.

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Kim Soko Schaefer, Soko Consulting, Principal/Consultant - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Kim advises people and organizations to improve their ability to create impact. She works at the intersection of management consulting, social science and creative thinking. She is best at organizing and focusing confused organizations, being honest and straight with founders and coming up with fresh ideas to old problems.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Strategic Marketing


Meet with Kim for help identifying the root of the marketing issue you are currently facing to develop tactics to help you get un-stuck. Whatever issue you might have from strategy and marketing to amplifying your impact, Kim's been there and knows how to help.

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Rick Sowan, Managing Partner, BKM Sowan Horan LLP - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

As managing partner, Richard brings wide-ranging experience from more than 30 years in public accounting. He works with growing and mature businesses with assets ranging from $40 million to $4.5 billion, and his background encompasses a high degree of concentration in assurance services. He has experience in a number of industries, including real estate (REITs, MLPs, REMICs), oil and gas exploration, gas marketing and transmission, nonprofits, financial services, investment partnerships, manufacturing and wholesale distribution, and professional services.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Accounting


Entity choice and formation, accounting and tax issues

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Joe Speicher, Autodesk Foundation, Executive Director - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Joe Speicher is the Executive Director of the Autodesk Foundation. Prior to joining Autodesk, Speicher was on the founding team of Living Goods, where he spent six years leading operations for the global health organization. He began his career in the banking and finance sector, working with Deutsche Bank and Cambridge Associates. He then spent three years in the Peace Corps in the Philippines and has worked as a consultant for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Bank and Google.org. He earned a Masters degree from Columbia University and holds a Bachelors degree from Washington and Lee University.

Connect: Causes

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Niyanta Spelman, Rainforest Partnership, Executive Director - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Niyanta Spelman is the founder and executive director of Rainforest Partnership, an international nonprofit organization that protects tropical rainforests. By helping Amazon rainforest communities find and develop opportunities to make a sustainable income from the forest itself – sustainably gathering and selling palm fibers, building an eco-lodge for birdwatchers, or making and selling artisan products - Rainforest Partnership helps them protect their forest and their way of life. Established in 2007, her Austin-based organization is now also creating a global community of Rainforest Partners to raise awareness about the importance of tropical rainforests and to reduce deforestation.

Connect: Causes


Interested in meeting: People that are looking to partner with us whether it's someone with a product like Flash Tattoos or coffee (two current partnerships) or someone that has operations in South America, or is active in climate change and avoided deforestation (like Unilever) or someone that might want to partner with us on our education, sound or film initiatives.

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Erik Steeb, Los Angeles Clean Energy Incubator (LACI), Vice President of Programs - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Erik has over 25 years leadership experience in high tech and cleantech. Erik is an early-stage angel investor, serves on the board of directors for several companies in the cleantech sector, is VP Programs at the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and is Director of LACI@CSUN, a business incubator collaboration between LACI and California State University at Northridge. Through these groups, Erik works with hundreds of early stage companies each year, connecting them to investors, customers and talent.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Seed + Series A phase startups in transportation, built environment, water, grid or storage.

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Leah Stern, Fellowship Programs for Echoing Green, Senior Associate - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Leah manages Echoing Green’s Climate Fellows, ensuring they have the full support, guidance and resources of the Echoing Green community. Throughout her career, Leah has worked at the intersection of environment, gender and poverty at organizations such as the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, CDP, and the U.S. State Department. Since 2010, she has been involved with Innovation: Africa. Leah also served two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Senegal, where she focused on agroforestry and girls’ access to education.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting:
Early Stage Ventures focused on climate change - international and domestic.

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Kurt Stogdill, Austin Energy, Innovation Program Manager - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

At Austin Energy, Kurt works within the Emerging Technologies and Electric Vehicles Group, with a focus on emerging distributed energy technologies. His objectives include beta-testing and developing a business case for emerging technologies within the electric utility industry. He is also the DOE-funded Principal Investigator for the Central Texas Fuel Independence Project and Texas River Cities Electric Vehicle Initiative. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization, both from UT Austin.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in meeting: Groups offering solutions for energy utilities.

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Rebecca Taylor, Venture Principal, Shell Technology Ventures - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

At the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell, Becky's role includes identifying, vetting, selecting, and mentoring startups selected for investment by STV. Previously, Becky was Entrepreneur-In-Residence in two bureaus at the U.S. State Department, where she advised on governmental startup and university commercialization engagement. She is a 29-year veteran of the software and semiconductor industries, including working as Director of Software Platforms at AMD, and started her public service roles following the sale of her firm Taylor-Deininger Partners, Inc. (TDP) in June 2010. Becky is a Senior Member of IEEE and holds multiple patents. She has a BS in Computer Science from Iowa State University, and a Master of Public Affairs from the the UT LBJ School of Public Policy.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech startups

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A. Tianna Scozzaro, Sierra Club, Global Population and Environment Program Director - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

A.Tianna Scozzaro is the Director of the Sierra Club's Global Population & Environment Program. In this role she works to advance the connections between population, reproductive health, development, climate change and environment with youth, volunteers and national and global policies.

Connect: Causes

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Gemma Tillack, Agribusiness Campaign Director, Rainforest Action Network - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Gemma Tillack directs Rainforest Action Network’s agribusiness campaign that is addressing one of the main drivers of rainforest destruction and human rights violations in Indonesia: industrial palm oil. Gemma worked for Environment Tasmania and The Wilderness Society during the recent negotiations that lead to the signing of the $274 million Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement (TFIGA). This agreement was reached between environment Non-Government Organizations, the forestry industry and unions and aims to support the protection of important natural forests and a transition to a plantation based forestry sector in Tasmania. Gemma has a background in environmental science and community organizing.

Connect: Causes

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Caleb Tiller, United Nations Foundation, Executive Director - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 9:30am – 11:45am

Caleb Tiller is the United Nations Foundation’s Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs, and brings over a decade of experience in communications, marketing and public relations to the position. He helps manage an award-winning team of more than 30 communicators, shaping the conversation about the Foundation’s work to connect people, ideas and resources to help the UN take on the world’s most pressing challenges.

Connect: Causes

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Jan Triplett, Ph. D., Business Success Center, CEO - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Jan Triplett is CEO of Business Success Center, a green certified business. It makes other businesses more profitable & efficient by intervening directly in sales & growth development, funding, & alliance building. Triplett has worldwide connections & was Texas Small Business Advocate by the SBA.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: Project Management

Consult with Jan on any of the six areas of business that you are struggling with or want to improve: sales, marketing, finance, administration (HR), books and records, operations.

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Sarah Truitt, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Program Manager - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Sarah is a Program Manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) managing NREL’s Commercialization Assistance Program and the recently announced Small Business Voucher Pilot. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and holds a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Environmental Management and Policy from the George Washington University.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech Startups


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Mayra Urbano, Moneta Partners, Consultant - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

At Moneta Partners, we are the bridge between innovative, passionate ideas and reality. Our focus lies in selecting entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in clean technology, renewable energy, environment and solutions to improve social challenges.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting:
Post-revenue and select pre-revenue cleantech and social impact startups

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Saskia Van Gendt, Captain Planet, Method Products - Connect

Monday October 5th 3:30pm – 5:45pm

Saskia is Captain Planet for Method, the green cleaning company based in San Francisco. At Method Saskia works on greenskeeping for North America including projects on packaging, ingredients, supply chain, and green building. Prior to method, Saskia worked for 6 years at the U S Environmental Protection Agency. At the EPA she led material sustainability projects in packaging, building products, and food waste. Saskia studied industrial ecology at Leiden and Delft Universities and environmental science at Northwestern University.

Connect: CSR


Interested in meeting: People from other brands or nonprofits working on green chemistry, packaging, supply chain, social sustainability.

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John Weiss, Human Design, CDO + Co-Founder - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

John is deeply passionate about creating authentic experiences that are truly meaningful. Experiences that are rooted in elegant design and built with innovative technology. Experiences that create lasting relationships and shape the future.

Coaching: Startups
Topic: User Experience

John will teach attendees how to design a user experience that is desired by your audience, solves problems and can be successful in the market.

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Mark Wight, GE Ventures, Director - Strategy, Marketing + Operations - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Mark joined GE in 1995 in the Technical Leadership Program for GE Plastics. After positions in manufacturing and finance, Mark moved to Power & Water with roles in quality, M&A, project management and renewables marketing and strategy leader. In 2011, Mark joined the Corporate Ventures team and was promoted to managing director in 2013 focusing on collaboration between the Energy businesses and startup companies.

Connect: Investors + Startups
Interested in Meeting: Cleantech startups

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Jeff Wilson (aka Professor Dumpster), Kasita, CEO - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Dr. Jeff is CEO and Professor Dumpster at Kasita, an Austin-based company building small, beautiful and affordable urban housing. In his role as ‘Professor Dumpster’ he lived in a modified trash dumpster for a year. Wilson did post-doctoral work at Harvard.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Consult with Jeff for general advice on "turning up" the dial.

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Greg Wright, HATCH pitch, Founder - Connect

Monday October 5th 9:45am – 12:00pm

Greg is the founder of HATCH pitch, the revolutionary competition for tech startups making life better. We select and coach twelve finalists who pitch to an awesome judging panel. Since our first event at SXSW Interactive in 2012, HATCH pitch winners have gone on to raise over $150 million.

Connect: Startup + Investor


Interested in Meeting: Startups using information technology to make life better.

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Robbie Wright, Direct Energy, Vice President, Digital and Innovation - Connect

Tuesday October 6th 2:15pm – 4:30pm

Robbie Wright is the Vice President of Digital & Innovation at Direct Energy. He manages the digital platform and online experience for new and existing residential customers, and the innovation project pipeline for new initiatives.

Connect: Cities + Utilities
Interested in Meeting: Energy Startups, Relevant to Utilities

Coaching: Startups
Topic: How to approach utilities

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Nella Young, Program Director, Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship - Coaching

Wednesday October 7th 9:30am – 11:45am

Nella Young directs the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship, a social impact fellowship that pairs architectural designers with community development organizations to advance excellence. She has an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and a B.A. in studio arts.

Coaching: Design + Marketing
Topic: Social Impact Design Career Pathways

Meet with Nella during one-on-one coaching sessions to talk about your social impact design career. Get her perspective on networks, career pathways, and useful resources for community-engaged design practice.