Monthly Programs - April 12, 2011

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Campus Center - Odeum Room
Doors open for networking: 5:30 p.m.
Meeting: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free for members, $15 for WPI alumni and past case presenters, $30 general public

Clean Technology and Renewable Energy: Partnerships Key for Clean Tech Success

Co-moderators: Michael LeFleche and A.R.M. Azad, '92

In the business of clean technology, good partnerships are key to success.  But how can clean tech companies identify and secure the right partnerships?  Clean tech addresses the roots of ecological problems with new technology, using business models that offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges in ways that improve the productive and responsible use of natural resources. 

At the April 12, 2011 WPI Venture Forum meeting, keynote speaker Vincent DeVito will highlight the strategic and growth opportunities that partnerships offer this industry, which saw $7.8 billion in venture investment worldwide last year.

Vincent DeVito

Keynote Speaker: Vincent DeVito, partner, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP in their Boston office

Vincent DeVito is a corporate and regulatory attorney with a business focus on energy and clean technologies. Experienced in renewable energy development and corporate sustainability issues, DeVito has worked on legislative and regulatory corporate disclosure and compliance matters at the state, national, and international levels, and has advised Cabinet members, governors, ambassadors, and corporate leaders. Director of the Institute for Energy and Sustainability, a central Massachusetts clean tech incubator collaboration between Clark University and WPI, he is also a member of the Worcester City Manager's Energy Task Force.

DeVito previously worked in the general counsel's office of the U. S. Department of Energy and has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs, where he oversaw the Climate Change Technology Program. He also served as an energy lawyer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, both within the legislature and at the Department of Public Utilities. In those capacities, he pursued the development and implementation of the state’s electric utility deregulation plan.

Case Presentation: Altaeros Energies

Altaeros Energies, Inc. is developing a groundbreaking airborne wind turbine to produce abundant, low-cost, renewable energy. Altaeros uses safe and reliable technology from blimps and tethered surveillance aerostats to lift its wind turbines to operate at higher heights where winds are much stronger and more consistent than on the ground.  Company co-founders Adam Rein and Ben Glass will present the company’s case. Altaeros Energies, Inc. is a Massachusetts-based business led by MIT and Harvard alumni. Link to company web site.

Ben Glass

Case presenter: Ben Glass, Inventor

Inventor of the Altaeros Airborne Wind Turbine, Ben Glass is responsible for overall design and engineering.  He has engaged in a number of MIT wind research projects.  Prior experience includes the design and construction of a solar/electric race car and structural analysis of a commercial rocket propulsion system at Space X.

Adam Rein

Case presenter: Adam Rein, Business Development, Sales, Marketing

Adam Rein is responsible for business development, sales, and marketing.  He previously worked as a strategy consultant for three years for Bain & Co. and a consultant to develop the biodiesel market in Southern Africa. 

Dennis Costello

Panelist: Dennis Costello, Managing Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures

Panelists who will offer their comments on case include Dennis Costello, Managing Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures. Costello has more than 30 years of experience in the energy and venture capital industries and is author of New Venture Analysis: Research, Planning and Finance.  Previously a partner with Advent International, an international private equity firm, Costello was also a managing director in Rock Maple Ventures, an early-stage technology venture fund in Boston. He started in the venture capital industry as a general partner of Zero Stage Capital. Founder and chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Colorado, Costello was the first Executive Director of the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute and began his career in alternative energy with positions as a project manager at Midwest Research Institute and staff member of the National Solar Energy Research Institute.