Expert Details

Expert in Entrepreneurship, Startup Financing, Business Plan Development, Due Diligence, Cleantech, Energy Technologies, and Nanotechnology

Expert ID: 723201 California, USA

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Expert has started two early-stage cleantech companies over the past 10 years in the water treatment and building materials sectors, raising multiple rounds of venture financing and securing numerous government grants for both. He drove IP development, strategic partner identification and management, joint development agreements, product development, and manufacturing strategy. He also built financial models and conducted techno-economic analyses of various technologies. He sold the water treatment company in 2012 and the company in the building materials sector is now entering pilot scale production.

Expert has served as an investment advisor to a family fund based in San Francisco that focuses on investments in the resources space. This includes fields such as oil and gas, energy storage and production, water treatment, chemicals production, synthetic biology, advanced/nanomaterials, and life sciences. He has evaluated the technical and commercial potential of over 400 different companies over the past 5 years, and helped portfolio companies with various operational issues such as business model analysis and iteration, as well as go-to-market and intellectual property strategy.

Expert has industry experience in electronic materials processing, having worked for Intel Corporation as a Sr. Process Engineer in the area of plasma etching for CMOS logic device fabrication. He has also conducted research in the area of hot-wire chemical vapor deposition for thin-film amorphous, polycrystalline, and epitaxial silicon growth. The applications of this research were in developing cheap methods for silicon solar cell (photovoltaic) fabrication.

He has utilized a variety of microfabrication techniques such as photolithography, reactive ion etching, ion beam milling, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (CVD), low-pressure CVD, sputtering, and electron beam deposition. These techniques have been applied towards nanomaterial device fabrication.

Expert has worked with researchers in the development of chemical micro/nanosensors based upon carbon nanotubes and other one-dimensional nanomaterials. These sensors can be used for trace gas detection/analysis and biomolecule (pathogen) detection.

Expert has conducted research into nanomaterials (e.g., carbon nanotubes) for application in nanostructured membranes. He has fabricated nanostructured membranes that can be used for gas separations, reverse osmosis/nanofiltration, and biomolecule filtration.

Expert has extensive experience in the broad area of nanotechnology. His specific expertise lies in nanomaterials growth and processing, particularly carbon nanotubes (CNT). He has developed novel processes for carbon nanotube membrane fabrication, having published this work in high impact journals such as Science and Nanoletters. He has worked with researchers in developing carbon nanotube-based sensors for trace gas detection and protein detection. He is well-read in the nanotechnology literature, from applications in electronic devices (CNT transistors) to renewable energy (CNT-based photovoltaics, thermoelectrics).

Expert has worked in academia and national laboratories in conducting research into thin-film silicon growth for low-cost photovoltaics. He has also worked with industry partners in evaluating the suitability of transitioning development-stage film processing techniques into industrial manufacturing processes.

Expert has utilized a variety of chemical analysis methods towards detection of analytes such as explosives, narcotics, and biomolecules. He optimized an ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) system used routinely for airport screening for narcotics and explosives. He has also used electrospray mass spectrometry techniques that can be used for biomolecule detection (e.g., proteins). Another area of work has been laser ablation mass spectrometry for direct chemical analysis of solids with no sample preparation required; this has been applied towards isotope ratio determination.

Expert has built extensive IP portfolios and crafted IP strategy while at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and in the private sector with two startup companies he built from scratch, and has experience in licensing IP from national laboratories. He also has experience advising startups on the above issues.

He has assisted a law firm in conducting a survey of the patent landscape in nanomaterials synthesis.He has worked with venture capitalists in providing technical due diligence for proposed investments in the clean-tech space, including technology assessment, market analysis and business model selection.He has consulted with clients interested in understanding the possible failure modes of semiconductor process tools.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: San Jose, California - San Francisco, California - Sacramento, California - Oakland, California - Stockton, California - Fremont, California - Modesto, California - Salinas, California - Santa Rosa, California - Hayward, California

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Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2002 Degree: PhD Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: California Institute of Technology
Year: 1997 Degree: BS Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: University of California, Irvine

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2012 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Investment Advisor Department: Responsibilities: Advisor to a San Francisco-based family fund started by renowned venture investor Tom Baruch. BFV focuses on investments in companies that address pain points in resource-constrained markets. Over the past 5 years, I've evaluated the technical and commercial potential of over 400 different companies spanning numerous disciplines such as: renewable energy storage and production, water treatment, chemicals production, oil & gas, synthetic biology, and advanced/nano- materials, among others. I've also helped portfolio companies with various operational issues such as business model analysi and iteration, as well as go-to-market and intellectual property strategy.
Years: 2012 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Vice President Business Development Department: Responsibilities: Founder of a venture-backed startup developing a next-generation electrochromic window technology. Led company's Seed and Series A venture financings and raised government grants, bringing in over $20M in capital. Cultivated
strategic partnerships within the glass and window industry, negotiating key Joint Development Agreements. Secured exclusive license to foundational IP from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and crafted company's IP strategy. Worked with R&D and Manufacturing teams to transition technology to pilot-production scale.
Years: 2008 to 2012 Employer: NanOasis Title: Chief Technology Officer Department: Responsibilities: NanOasis was a venture-backed startup Expert founded in 2008, developing next-generation reverse osmosis membranes for desalination. He authored the original business plan, developed its technical and business strategy, led a team of staff scientists, established JDAs with key suppliers, and led fundraising efforts. Secured more than $9M in venture capital
and government grants, including one of the first ARPA-E grants. Sold the company in 2012 to a private water treatment company.
Years: 2003 to 2008 Employer: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Title: Staff Scientist Department: Responsibilities: Led various research projects in nanomaterials for separations, sensing and energy harvesting. Lead inventor of carbon nanotube membrane technology for water filtration, which later served as the inspiration for my 1st startup company NanOasis. Internal/external fundraising from DOE/DOD to support research. Co-advisor to graduate students/postdocs on micro-/nano-fabrication research. Co-investigator on various chemical/biological forensics projects.
Years: 2002 to 2003 Employer: Intel Corporation Title: Senior Process Engineer Department: Logic Technology Development Responsibilities: Senior Process Engineer at Intel's Technology Development fab in Hillsboro, OR. Managed plasma etch and associated metrology tools, supervised technical staff responsible for tool maintenance/operations, and led investigation into novel optical technique for resist profile and film stack analysis.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 2003 to 2008 Agency: Department of Energy Role: Research Scientist Description: He worked as a researcher in the area of nanomaterials for a Department of Energy laboratory. He represented this laboratory at numerous professional scientific meetings and workshops and was a principal investigator on several projects sponsored by DOE.
Years: 2008 to 2011 Agency: Department of Energy/Department of Defense Role: Principal Investigator Description: He is/was principal investigator on several DoD- and DOE-sponsored projects aiming to commercialize nanomaterials membranes for seawater desalination.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2005 to 2008 Country / Region: Netherlands Summary: Collaborations with a membrane technology group at the University of Twente to optimize techniques used in the characterization of nanoporous membrane materials.
Years: 2003 to 2004 Country / Region: France Summary: Investigating methods for aligned growth of nanostructures by a variety of chemical vapor deposition schemes (thermal, DC plasma, ECR plasma) with a group at Ecole Polytechnique.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
MRS, IEEE, APS, FACSS
Phi Beta Kappa
Awards / Recognition
2012 Kauffman Fellows Finalist
2011 Kauffmann Entrepreneur Award
2010 R&D 100 & Editor's Choice Award
2007 1st Place Siemens Technology Entrepreneurship Award
Publications and Patents Summary
Over 20 scientific publications totaling >2500 citations
26 technical presentations, several invited or keynote
20 patents issued or pending

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
He has given numeous presentations to diverse audiences, several invited, at professional meetings and symposia in the areas of nanomaterials/nanodevices, microfabrication, process design, and solar energy. He has presided over sessions on nanocomposite materials at these meetings. He has also given talks on entrepreneurship to scientists wishing to start companies.
Vendor Selection
He has established relationships with a variety of companies involved in nanomaterials production and characterization, as well as processing tools used in thin-film and vapor deposition. He assessed their technology and performance specifications to see how well they matched with the needs of various projects. He has also provided them feedback on additional capabilities that he would like to see in future generations of their materials and tools.
Marketing Experience
He has keen insights into technology trends in the cleantech space, ranging from photovoltaics to water treatment technologies. He has interacted extensively with the venture capital community to learn about funding trends in these areas. He has also conducted detailed market segmentation analyses to develop appropriate go-to-market strategies for startups.
Other Relevant Experience
Served on a PhD thesis committee for a Chemical Engineering student at MIT from 2011-2015

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
Spanish He has moderate conversational, reading, and writing ability in Spanish.

Fields of Expertise

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