VENTURE SHOWCASE COMPETITION
Columbia University is pleased to confirm that it will be hosting its 15th annual Venture Showcase on Friday, February 21, 2020! The Venture Showcase will provide early and intermediate stage ventures with a unique spotlight to pitch their innovations and ideas to a diverse panel of judges and compete for a winning prize. With participants from around the tri-state area and beyond, this event promises to bring the most cutting-edge and original ideas revolutionizing the energy industry. This event will give ventures the opportunity to network with influential energy professionals, advisors and peers.
The ventures will be grouped into two sessions based on their stage of development: early stage or intermediate stage. The panel of judges will include industry professionals, investors and academic leaders from the energy world who will provide valuable feedback and decide on the best pitch. There will also be opportunities to showcase ideas, interact with other participants and network with the Symposium attendees. Each winner will receive $1000.
More details regarding the 2020 Venture Showcase will be released soon!
Judges - 2019
Judith Lagano, Senior Vice President @ NRG Energy
Judith Lagano has been Senior Vice President of Asset Management at NRG Energy, Inc since January 23, 2016 and served as its Senior Vice President and Regional President of East from July 2015 to January 23, 2016.
Ms. Lagano has more than 25 years of experience in the power industry. She has been with NRG since 2001 and was responsible for leading the region's new business team. Previously she served as Vice President of Asset Management at NRG and was responsible for nearly 20,000 MW of generation assets in NY, PJM, New England and Florida. Prior to joining NRG, she was General Manager of Hydroelectric and Cogeneration Projects at United American Energy in New Jersey.
Ms. Lagano is a registered Professional Engineer in New York and New Jersey. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Baruch College.
Mitch Tyson, Principal @ Tyson Associates
Mitch Tyson is an experienced CEO, lecturer, board member, and mentor to numerous clean energy companies, while working towards building the regional innovation ecosystem.
He currently serves as chair at Northeast Clean Energy Council and the Venture Café Foundation, is a partner at Clean Energy Venture Group as well as board member of Greentown Labs and the Acadia Center. Mitch also serves on several public, private and VC backed company boards. He is an adjunct professor at the International Business School at Brandeis University where he teaches the course on corporate sustainability.
In 2017 Mitch received the “Decade of Influence Award” by the Northeast Clean Energy Council. Between 1987 and 2010 Mitch was CEO of several high tech and clean tech public and VC backed companies. Earlier he was science advisor and legislative assistant for energy policy to US Senator Paul Tsongas. Mitch is a graduate of MIT with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a Master of Science in Nuclear Energy and a Master of Science in Political Science.
Joanna Harries, Senior Vice President @ Endeavor Global
Joanna Harries is the SVP of Expansion at Endeavor Global, the world’s leading organization working with high-impact entrepreneurs. Operating in more than 30 countries, Endeavor identifies, mentors, and co-invests in entrepreneurs that build entrepreneurial ecosystems. Today, Endeavor’s 1800+ entrepreneurs provide more than 1.5 million jobs and generate $15 Billion annually.
Since joining Endeavor in 2010, Joanna has led efforts to expand Endeavor’s footprint in Lebanon, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. She has managed Endeavor Global operations in MENA and Asia, oversaw the F&B, Retail & Consumer Tech, Healthcare, and Agriculture portfolios, and championed efforts to bring the Endeavor model to U.S. cities. Prior to Endeavor, Joanna was an Acumen Fellow working in India and held brand management and sales positions at Unilever.
Joanna received her B.B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. She’s been recognized as a Kauffman Fellow and served on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Parity Task Force. Joanna serves on the advisory board for the Lazaridis Institute, and Unltd USA (now Techstars Impact).
Roshni Mali, Vice President @ Captona Partners
Roshni Mali is a Vice President at Captona Partners, where she supports the development of investment opportunities and leads the transaction process and execution of deals. Roshni is also responsible for the team’s asset management, strategy, and market analysis of Captona’s portfolio.
Roshni has 4+ years of experience in the energy sector, where she interfaced with investors, developers and counsel to successfully execute transactions. Roshni has managed close to $300MM in equity, tax equity, construction and term debt closings. Prior to Captona, she worked on Karbone’s Capital Advisory team underwriting a range of power projects for potential investors.
She holds a Master of Science from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science from McGill University.
Dan Giuffrida, Founder & CEO @ Plankton Energy
Dan Giuffrida is the CEO & founder of Plankton Energy, a solar and solar plus storage project developer dedicated to serving private schools, houses of worship, community centers, and small businesses. Plankton develops, finances, installs, owns and operates its systems with a mission of bridging the financing and development gap that has left the small commercial, NGO, and unrated entity subsector of the commercial-scale market drastically underserved.
Prior to founding Plankton, Dan was a Vice President at Safari Energy, a solar developer based in New York. Dan led the finance and development team, with a focus on tailoring financial solutions for nationwide solar portfolios for many Fortune 1000 REITs and real estate companies. At Safari, Dan was involved in developing over 100 MW of distributed generation projects in operation.
Dan received an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and holds a B.A. cum laude in Economics from Wake Forest University. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Earth Institute in the Sustainability Management program, teaching the course Solar Project Development.
Michael D’Aurizio, Investment Manager @ Centrica Innovations
Mike is an investment manager for Centrica Innovations, the venture capital arm of Centrica, a global energy and services company. In his role, Mike spends his time searching for, evaluating, and investing in technology startups that are looking to transform how we live, work and move.
Mike joined Centrica in 2010 and has held several roles across the company and its brands. For five years, he worked on the North America Business (Direct Energy Business) strategy team in various capacities, spending more than 3 years managing it. Mike and his colleagues served internal stakeholders as a center of thought leadership on the energy industry, lead strategic planning, and provided performance measurement. Mike’s primary responsibilities included running financial analysis, generating insights, and preparing high impact communication materials for leadership. He also contributed to M&A projects for the business, including the acquisitions of Hess and Panoramic Power.
Mike is a native of Toronto, Ontario and has an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Business in Political Science and Economics from the University of Waterloo
Jean-Noel Poirier, Managing Director @ Clean Energy Venture Group
Jean-Noel is Executive Managing Director of the Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG), a leading investment group that provides seed capital and management expertise to early stage clean energy companies.
Prior to CEVG, Jean-Noel was co-founder and CEO of Inventec Performance Chemicals USA, a specialty Chemicals Company focused on green chemistry, now integrated in the Dehon Group, a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals. Prior to this, Jean-Noel was Chief Sales Officer and SVP of Marketing at Global Solar Energy, a VC backed company that he positioned as a global leader of the flexible solar market, before the company was acquired by Hanergy.
Prior to this, Jean-Noel spent 7 years at Honeywell International in global leadership roles including Vice President of Global Marketing for the Honeywell Security Group (5 divisions, 10,000 employees, $3B in revenue) and director in the corporate strategy group.
Jean-Noel has extensive global experience, as he lived and worked in the United States, Europe and Asia. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a Bachelor in Applied economics and a Bachelor in Management Sciences from Dauphine University in Paris.