Vermont's Climate Economy Business Accelerator
 
 

Accel-VT is advised by an innovative group of leaders across various disciplines, with the common goal of innovation and expertise in renewable, efficienct energy resources.
 

 
 
 
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Advisors & Staff


Accel-VT Advisors and Staff will be engaged with cohort members over the course of the accelerator.

Facilitator

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Joseph Steig is CFO at Long River Ventures, a seed and early stage venture fund. Long River is actively investing out of its third fund in New England and the northeastern United States with a sector focus on healthcare and enterprise IT. In addition, Joseph develops entrepreneurship curriculum and teaches in accelerator programs both in the United States and globally. He has worked in a diverse range of industries from aquaculture to Internet and has extensive consulting experience with universities and innovators on technology commercialization.

 

Joseph also serves on the Board of Directors of Greentown Learn, the educational non-profit affiliated with the world’s largest clean tech incubator, Greentown Labs. He grew up in Vancouver, Canada and went to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He now lives in Massachusetts. More information at www.steig.com

 


Energy Practice Advisor

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Marilyn Waite leads the strategy for energy acquisitions and investments at Cox Conserves. She formerly lead the energy practice at Village Capital, where she found, trained and invested in ventures solving pressing challenges in the energy sector. Marilyn has worked across four continents in investment (Lincoln International), public policy (National Academy of Sciences), and nuclear and renewable energy (AREVA). Author of Sustainability at Work, Marilyn also serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and is a former Senior Research Fellow at Paul Hawken's Project Drawdown. Marilyn holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.


Accel-VT Advisory Board Members

Kristin Carlson is the Vice President of Strategic and External Affairs for Green Mountain Power (GMP). At GMP she is responsible for communications, marketing, social media, and led the effort to create an Inspire Space at GMP that has attracted energy innovators from across the country. She joined GMP in 2014, after working 14 years at WCAX-TV covering politics and anchoring a public affairs show. While at WCAX, Kristin won numerous awards for her investigative work, including several Edward R. Murrow awards, and an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award in 2010, the highest award in broadcast journalism. She was appointed a member of the Governor’s Climate Change Commission in 2017 and is on the Public Policy Committee for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. She graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

 
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Sara Chamberlain leads venture investment activity as managing director of Energy Foundry, an early-stage venture fund based in Chicago. She maintains an active role with each of the firm’s portfolio companies, and sits on the Board of SiNode Systems, Advanced Diamond Technologies and Tank Utility. Prior to Energy Foundry, Sara built a government advisory practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and helped energy startups raise $300M in non-dilutive funding. She has also held roles with GE Energy and environmental consulting firm, GaiaTech. Sara holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from Emory University. In 2015, she was recognized by Midwest Energy News “40 Under 40.”

 
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Patrick Clemins is the Cyber Specialist for Vermont EPSCoR. In this role, he provides support to students and researchers across the state of Vermont using high performance computing (HPC) resources. He is also responsible for Vermont EPSCoR’s private sector outreach programs. Prior to joining Vermont EPSCoR, he was the Director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program where he served as an international expert on the U.S. federal research and development investment and an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation in the Directorate for Biological Sciences. He received his bachelors, masters, and doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Marquette University, focusing on machine learning, digital signal processing, and bioacoustics.  

 

Clint (Jito) Coleman is a consultant with 30+ years in the renewable energy industry and the major distributed energy technologies: wind, solar, combined heat and power, biomass, power electronics, storage and controls. He has developed and implemented diverse innovative systems, products and power system architectures which have been successfully marketed, sold and installed worldwide. He has also taken renewable energy products from concept to commercialization by creating viable, first-of-their-kind product designs and providing guidance through the manufacturing process. And he is an entrepreneurial leader who has managed a rapidly growing private company which then merged into a public company in the developing renewable energy market sector with strategic focus on product positioning, project planning/execution, partnering, financing and corporate governance. He currently is the Technical and Business Manager of Microgrid/Renewable Power Systems at TDX Power, Anchorage, Alaska. Concurrently, has provided product and market insights, engineering evaluation, design support and strategic vision for clients who are pursuing renewable energy business opportunities through his consulting firm Green Toolbox in Warren, VT.  For 27 years, he served in multiple leadership roles at Northern Power Systems, Inc./DESC in Waitsfield and Barre, Vermont.

 

Dan Harvey is the Director of Operations for the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Vermont. Dan manages the entrepreneurial activities of the office (serving on the boards of Generator and BTV Ignite). He is responsible for the oversight of and coordination with the administrative units that support the research, scholarship, and creative works of the faculty of the University. Prior to this position, Harvey was the Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff for the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences from 2005-2010. A graduate of the UVM Class of '84, Harvey used his Mass Communication degree to land a position at Vermont PBS, Vermont's public television network. He was a director for many years before moving into administration, culminating in his appointment as General Manager from 1999-2005.

 
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Kerrick Johnson is Vice President – Strategy and Communication at Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO). Kerrick joined VELCO in 2006 as the company undertook a $1 billion expansion – the largest in its history. He conceived and led VELCO‘s work to secure the nation’s only successful statewide smart grid project through a $68 million DOE investment grant. Kerrick’s responsibilities expanded to include IT/Telecommunications as the company built a statewide radio system and 1,500-mile fiber optic network. His work now includes: operationalizing the Vermont Weather Analytics Center – an energy data and analytics platform that lowers weather-related operational costs, increases grid reliability and unlocks the value of renewable generation; and, leading VELCO’s strategic partnership with Utopus Insights, a new energy analytics software company. Kerrick attended Vermont’s Johnson State College and served four years in the US Air Force as an airborne Russian linguist. 

 
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Bill Mitchell is a business executive with a proven track record of providing leadership and vision in emerging and high technology product markets to grow companies and teams in complex international environments. Bill is currently a Senior Corporate Investment Director at Jabil where he leads the Distributed Energy sector, and oversees the development and execution of corporate growth and investment strategies that capitalize or extend Jabil’s capabilities into energy storage, energy generation, and thermal efficiency/HVAC related markets and products. He is also responsible for overseeing all operations related to Distributed Energy. Bill brings over 20 years of experience in clean energy technologies and has experience across all core business operations. Prior to joining Jabil, Bill was Vice President of sales and marketing for grid and commercial systems at A123 Systems, and was a founder of Nuvera Fuel Cells, now part of Hyster-Yale Material Handling, Inc. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

 
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Dennis Moynihan serves as Executive Director of BTV Ignite, an organization sponsored by key community stakeholders to help Burlington and surrounding communities thrive in a 21st century digital economy. Prior to joining BTV Ignite, Dennis was based in London as the UK Director for EIT Digital, a European-funded organization focused on large scale innovation and digital scale-up acceleration. He has held leadership and technical positions in university, business, non-profit and government settings. Dennis holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Development from Kings College London and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Liberal Arts) from Wayne State University in Detroit. 

 

Ken Nolan is General Manager of Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA), a joint action agency providing power supply and consulting services to twelve municipal electric utility members located throughout Vermont. Prior to joining VPPSA, Ken was Chief Operating Officer at the Burlington Electric Department where he led the utility's efforts to deploy smart grid technologies and to source all of its energy from renewable sources. He presently serves on the Board of Directors for Vermont Electric Power Company and VEPP Inc. Ken and his wife Sally are both life-long Vermonters who have held numerous elected and appointed positions representing their home town of Milton. Ken also attended the University of Vermont where he received a BSEE degree.

 
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Dr. John Tuttle is an entrepreneur, executive, and technologist with 30 years of experience in the semiconductor, cleantech, and energy Industries. He is presently a senior commercialization advisor at ARPA-e within the U.S. Department of Energy where he focuses on distributed energy resources (DER), the grid, and capital funding of early-stage energy technologies. Prior to joining ARPA-E, he founded and led two start-ups (DayStar Technologies, Inc. & Skypoint Solar, Inc.) in the solar photovoltaics (PV) industry focused on new product development and innovative manufacturing. In the case of DayStar, he raised over $45 million, primarily in public equity, through the Nasdaq National Market, built two state-of-the art technology facilities, and transitioned the company from R&D to production with over 100 employees. Early in his career, Dr. Tuttle spent eleven years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and is internationally renowned for his pioneering work in thin-film PV. Dr. Tuttle also serves on several nonprofit boards in the educational realm. He has authored or co-authored over 70 publications, 14 Patent’s and Patent applications, and conducted in excess of 200 presentations to both technical and business audiences. Dr. Tuttle holds a Ph.D. in E.E from the University of Colorado, an M.S. in Physics from the Colorado School of Mines, and a B.S in Engineering Physics from Cornell University.

 
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Sara Woldt is a recent transplant to Vermont from Madison, Wisconsin. She currently serves as a senior manager at CB Insights, with a focus on client engagement in corporate innovation and venture. CB Insights is a New York-based SaaS company that aggregates and analyzes massive amounts of data using machine learning, algorithms and data visualization to help its customers answer massive strategic questions around their innovation, technology and investment strategies. Prior to CB Insights, Sara spearheaded business development efforts at “Top 15” U.S. startup accelerator, gener8tor. She was responsible for all relationship management and new business with corporate leaders and venture capitalists. In this capacity, she planned and delivered large-scale events and roundtables for corporate members serving more than 500 investors, startups and corporate executives. She co-founded a national conference series to benefit the venture fund’s startup investments with greater access to high level corporate leaders and later stage investors (onrampconference.com). In addition, she sourced, recruited, researched and evaluated early-stage startup companies for the fund’s 12-week accelerator programs and supported 54 portfolio companies with access to later stage investors and corporate partners.


Staff

Geoff Robertson Geoff Robertson joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in 2017 as Director of Business Assistance. In this role he manages a suite of business assistance services to help Vermont business owners and management teams advance profitability, job creation, and sustainable business development. Most recently Geoff held the position of CEO at Empower Mobility, a mobile platform and software company, where he was responsible for managing business development, human resources, and finances. As the CFO at School Spring, LLC, Geoff negotiated the successful sale of the cloud based recruitment and applicant tracking system for K – 12 schools. He previously served as the Entrepreneurial Advisor at Davis & Hodgdon CPAs serving School Spring, the Vermont Food Venture Center, and many other small businesses in Vermont.

Geoff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in community development and applied economics and Master of Business Administration from the University of Vermont. As an MBA candidate, he focused on finance and sustainable business practices and earned professional certificates in sustainable business and collaborative management (public/private partnerships). Geoff serves on the board of the Owl Research Institute and was an early member of the Stowe Climate Action Network.