Team

Jean-Noel Poirier

Jean-Noel is founder and managing partner of Planet-A-Technology Partners. In parallel, Jean-Noel serves as global strategy officer for Inventec Performance Chemicals, a global manufacturer of environmentally friendly specialty chemicals. Prior to this, Jean-Noel was CEO of Inventec USA, the North American subsidiary of Inventec that he created through the acquisition and integration of a competitor.  Prior to Inventec, 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. Jean-Noel was also Vice President of Market Development at First Solar.  Prior to this, Jean-Noel spent 7 years at Honeywell in global leadership roles including Vice President of Global Marketing for the Honeywell Security Group (5 divisions, 10,000 employees, $3B in revenue), Director of Corporate strategy, Director of Worldwide Marketing of Honeywell Turbo technologies, and General Manager of the Turbo Racing unit.  Jean-Noel is actively involved in the Cleantech community, as an entrepreneur in residence for NYSERDA (New York state Economic Research and Development Authority), a mentor at the Cleantech Open (international mentoring program for cleantech startups), and a contributor at NECEC (North East Clean Energy Council). Jean-Noel 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. He has had a life-long passion for sailing and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1999 on Region Picardie, a maxi racing catamaran with 5 crew members in 17 days.

Charles Agosta

Charles is a low temperature experimental physicist who was originally trained to study the properties of fluids at very low temperatures. His present research interests are lower dimensional superconductors in very high magnetic fields, heat transfer in gas boundary layers and renewable energy. He received his BA at Wesleyan University and his PhD at Duke University.  He became a professor at Clark University after post doctoral work at Harvard and MIT.   Given his deep interest in complicated instrumentation, he and his students have developed a pulsed magnetic field laboratory where experiments are performed in one of the highest magnetic fields (51 tesla!) available at any university in the United States. His group studies anisotropic conducting materials at the extremes of parameter space, including temperature, pressure, and magnetic field to understand the relation of their chemical properties to correlated electron properties such as superconductivity. Agosta is also CEO and co-founder of Machflow Energy, Inc., a clean-tech company that is developing highly innovative heat transfer technologies. Machflow has created a disruptive Bernoulli Principle-based heat pump that works in a closed cycle using noble gasses that have no adverse effects on the environment, such as global warming. Machflow has six patents and was funded by Kleiner Perkins, the DOE,  and prominent angel investors. As a professor he teaches many of the core courses in the Clark University Physics Dept., but specializes in two signature courses, Astronomy and The Technology of Renewable Energy. His renewable energy course is focused on the technical and social issues of creating renewable energy microgrids.  He directs a project on campus using renewable energy and  leveraging the cogeneration plant on campus to create a local DC nanogrid. This project has been supported by National Grid, the local energy utility.

Shahed SM

SM Shahed is a world-renowned expert of engine technologies, with over 45 years of experience in research, teaching, advanced development and engineering from concept to production, dealing with heavy duty diesel engines, passenger car diesels, gasoline engines and component development.   He has been an active member of engineering organizations for decades, including the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where he was notably President in 2002, the Combustion Institute, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).  Shahed worked for 14 years at Honeywell International, where he served as Vice President, Engineering, Research & Development, Advanced Technology and as Corporate Fellow, where he was responsible for Turbocharger and Thermal Systems development from concept to production.  He also served in an advisory role with responsibility for developing cross business unit programs and relationships with outside centers of excellence, governments and technical societies.    Before this he worked for 6 years at the Southwest Research Institute, as Director, Engine Research.  Managing contract research and development on diesel, gasoline and natural gas fueled engines and control systems for OEMs worldwide, he developed technologies to improve fuel economy, control emissions, and to utilize alternate fuels.    Shahed also worked at Cummins Engine Co for 10 years, where he held various positions starting from Senior Engineer to Executive Director.  All positions were in Research and Technology (diesel engine development) demonstrating increasing responsibilities and leadership.    Since 2009, Shahed has been teaching at the University of Wisconsin, as an Adjunct faculty, teaching graduate level courses in internal combustion engines, and has been advising multiple start-up companies.

Team

Benjamin Gebien

Benjamin has extensive experience in international strategy and marketing for global technology companies across multiple industries. Most recently, Benjamin served as Client Service Director at Saatchi & Saatchi — a global marketing agency network.  Prior to this, Benjamin served as Senior Consultant at McCann Worldgroup offering strategic marketing consulting services for various international clients like Siemens’ smart grid business division.   Prior to this Benjamin worked for Global Solar Energy, Inc., a manufacturer of flexible CIGS solar modules, in various positions including Global Marketing Director. As part of this role he developed a global marketing strategy and successfully implemented processes and resources to execute the marketing plan. Furthermore he managed high-profile clients such as Nokia Siemens Networks, ContiTech and Evonik to develop new solutions for innovative applications together with the product management team in the US.    Most recently, Benjamin founded Fokus Strategies where he continues to advise multiple mid-sized tech companies from the US, France and Switzerland. Benjamin holds a B.A. in International Management from the FOM University of Applied Sciences of Berlin.

Gregory Audetto

Gregory is an entrepreneur with strong sales management experience in the cleantech sector. He is currently co-founder and sales director of Consortium Energia SpA, an innovative Italian energy provider that supplies electricity and natural gas generated from renewable sources. Its mission is to provide businesses with a 360° approach to reduce energy costs and maximize energy efficiency. Past positions include managing director at Renova Power, sales director Europe at Global Solar Inc and sales manager at Solyndra Inc. Gregory holds an MBA from IE Business School and a cum laude Economics degree from the American University of Paris.

Kevin Rich

Kevin is a proven finance & business leader, with 16 years of experience in finance leadership roles. He has a diverse background in business and science. He started his career as a biologist at the Smithsonian Institution and The Nature Conservancy. After receiving his MBA from Kellogg, he joined Amgen, where he became Director of Operations Finance. He then became Head of Finance at Veracyte, a biotech company founded in 2008 that went public in 2013. He has also worked as a financial consultant in the solar industry, and founded a company that developed financing tools for commercial solar energy installations. He joined Discovia, an eDiscovery company, as CFO in 2014. He has been a leader at Discovia during a period of rapid growth in revenues and profitability. He has built a world class finance team, developed KPIs used to improve performance throughout the business, led debt refinancings, and played a key role in the M&A process leading to the merger of Discovia and Lighthouse in 2017.

Team

John Santoleri

John has been a professional investor for the last 25 years with a focus on early stage investments in cleantech and fintech through StoneWork Capital, his personal investment vehicle.   John also currently serves as an Innovation Advisor for the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), where he is helping bring an investment lens to the agency’s clean tech grant program ($80mm annual spend), and mentors early stage companies through NYSERDA’s EIR program and the Clean Tech Open.    John’s career includes 15 years at Warburg Pincus, where he invested over $800 mm in equity and helped raise a further $1 Billion in third party financing for portfolio companies in the tech-enabled business services, fintech, financial services, environmental, real estate, retail and consumer products sectors. During his tenure, John served on 20+ boards ranging from start-ups to publicly-traded companies in the US and abroad, in deals which he sourced, negotiated, closed and ultimately exited.  For 10 years John ran an ethically-oriented hedge fund, StoneWork Partners, which he co-founded; StoneWork invested primarily in publicly traded securities of small and mid-cap companies in a range of sectors, including cleantech, and also made about a dozen early stage private investments.  Over his career John has analyzed thousands of companies and business plans and has invested in over a hundred of them.    John is also actively engaged in a range of non-profit board roles, with agencies involved in environmental and land preservation, human rights, youth service, and the arts.  His focus is on organizations with a unique mission and which are growing or otherwise undergoing significant change.

Mark McIntyre

Mark is an international technologist with 30+ years’ leadership experience at all levels and stages of business. He had experience in a number of industries, including Solar. He currently serves as Director at Gruppo Clavijo ELT, a developper of solar trackers. Prior to this, Mark served as director of systems development and as utilities segment leader at First Solar. He was also Director of Product management at Global Solar Energy. Mark has a proven ability to focus innovation, optimize business models, maximize value of offering, and quickly deliver winning solutions to leading-edge technology markets. Mark has technical expertise in R&D, Engineering (manufacturing / systems / project), and Products (development / management / applications). Commercial expertise in new product and service introduction, sales process / CRM development, and strategic alliances. He has management expertise in engineering teams, product lines, cross-functional programs, sales, and US division of international corporation.