The MIT Startup Exchange Lightning Talks and Startup Exhibit listed below are part of the full agenda for 2023 MIT Sustainability Conference - Frontiers of Sustainability.
Sustainability is a broad and popular topic. Renewable energy; energy transition; recycling and the circular economy; climate and environment; water and food – these topics are quickly maturing into fields of their own. But what is next for sustainability? What lies beyond what we now consider sustainable technologies and business practices, and how will they affect your industry? What does emerging government policy suggest will be the hot sustainability topics of the future? Join MIT faculty, researchers, and startups as we review core topics like energy and climate, but also explore new ones, like digital sustainability, sustainability for the built environment, and how we teach sustainability – both to the workforce of the present and the workforce of the future.
Catarina Madeira joined Corporate Relations in May 2021 as Program Director, Startup Exchange.
Madeira has been working with the Cambridge/Boston startup ecosystem for the past 10 years and joins Corporate Relations with a solid network in the innovation and entrepreneurial community. In 2010, she joined the startup accelerator IUL MIT Portugal working in Lisbon and working with the Cambridge team on all aspects related to the accelerator’s launch. She held positions including Operations Coordinator, Program Manager, and Business Developer. The accelerator soon achieved steady growth in large part due to the partnerships that Catarina led with regional and global startup ecosystems. Most recently she worked at NECEC, leading a program that connects cleantech startups and industry. In this role, she developed and built a pipeline of startups and forged strong relationships with both domestic and European companies. She has also held positions in Portugal and France including at L’Oréal and Saboaria e Perfumaria Confiança as Pharmacist and Technical Director.
Madeira earned her Bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Porto and her Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She went on to earn her Master of Engineering for Health and Medicines at University Lyon 1 and EM Lyon in France.
Co-Founder and CEO, Labby
Julia Somerdin, the trailblazing CEO and Co-founder of Labby, is reshaping the dairy industry with transformative technology. With Labby's instant on-farm milk testing, Julia and her team ensure healthier cows, superior milk quality, and transparent supply chains. Armed with two decades of experience in technology commercialization, Julia deftly merges innovation with real-world impact. While pursuing her engineering leadership degree at MIT, she made the audacious decision to put it on hold, following her entrepreneurial dreams. Julia's visionary leadership empowers sustainable practices and memorable outcomes in the dairy world.
Co-Founder and CEO, Mantel Capture, Inc.
Cameron Halliday is co-founder and CEO of Mantel, a carbon capture start-up based in Boston. Mantel’s solution captures CO2 at the high temperatures found inside boilers, kilns, and furnaces, and by doing so, aims reduce the energy cost of carbon capture by more than 60%.
Originally from the UK, Cameron studied chemical engineering at Loughborough University before joining the PhDCEP program at MIT. As a PhD student in the Chemical Engineering department, Cameron developed the newly discovered carbon capture technology with Professor Alan Hatton and Takuya Harada. After demonstrating the technology at the bench-scale Cameron joined the MBA program at MIT Sloan, where he launched Mantel with co-founders Sean Robertson and Danielle Colson.
Dr. Paloma Gonzalez-Rojas, serving as the CEO of Atacama, holds an impressive record of academic and entrepreneurial accomplishments. With a Ph.D. from MIT in Applied Machine Learning and a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT Chemical Engineering sponsored by the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium, her work synthesizes the cutting-edge realms of AI and sustainable materials. Under her leadership, Atacama has achieved significant milestones, including winning the prestigious Nucleate Eco and MITdesignX awards in 2022. Her strategic vision and steadfast commitment to innovation have led to securing commercial pilots with global clients, marking an exciting era for Atacama.
Co-Founder & CEO, Found Energy
Peter Godart, PhD is the co-founder and CEO of Found Energy, an MIT spinout commercializing breakthrough technology that turns aluminum into fuel for generating low-cost, clean hydrogen on demand. He holds BSc degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering and an MSc and PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT. After earning his bachelor’s degrees in 2015, Dr. Godart spent two years as a research scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (347G), where he worked daily operations for the Mars Science Laboratory (“Curiosity”), qualified hardware for the Mars 2020 Rover (“Perseverance”), and led a research team in the exploring aluminum-based fuel for potential Europa lander applications. For his doctoral work, Dr. Godart developed new ways of extracting energy from aluminum waste to power electricity generation and seawater desalination in the aftermath of natural disasters, laying the groundwork for his company. Dr. Godart is also an avid educator and writer, and his first book Thermodynamics and Climate Change is available on MIT Opencourseware.
Matt comes to Alsym with more than 20 years of marketing and technology experience. Before joining Alsym he led growth marketing and communications at Allegro MicroSystems and led brand and corporate marketing at Rocket Software. Matt has also held marketing leadership roles at Dassault Systems and began his career at Circuit City, where he was editorial manager for the company ecommerce website.
CEO & Founder, Foundation Alloy
Jake Guglin is CEO and founder of Foundation Alloy, where they take a materials-first approach to enabling modern engineering through faster production of better metal parts for a variety of applications. He is most excited about Foundation's broad potential to bring the best of what can be designed into reality, and make the world a safer, greener and more exciting place in the process. Jake has previous experience in business formation, supply chain, operations and strategy at companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX, and an MBA from MIT.
Project Engineer, MAAT Energy
Matt Hudson is a Project Engineer at MAAT Energy, a renewable energy startup focused on converting methane and carbon dioxide into valuable molecules sustainably. His role within the company started with conducting plasma chemistry experiments and expanded to performing techno-economic and lifecycle analysis, project controls, and technical procurement. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a master’s in Energy Systems Engineering from Northeastern University.
Mike Strauch is a senior systems engineer for Transaera, a startup developing a new class of ultra-efficient air conditioning systems. Transaera is on a mission to cut the cost of ownership of air conditioners by more than half using a combination of novel materials and systems. Strauch is responsible for managing commercial partnerships and system modeling efforts for Transaera’s technology, which uses materials with nano-scale pores to remove moisture from the air, dramatically reducing the energy consumption of air conditioning. Prior to joining Transaera, he worked as a design engineer for GE Aviation, after completing GE’s engineering development program. He earnedan MS in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from MIT and a BS in aerospace engineering from Ohio State.
CEO, Primitives Biodesign
Virj Kan is an engineer, designer, and entrepreneur. Her work centers on building experiences that reshape human relationships with the environment and each other. She is the CEO of Primitives Biodesign, a biomaterials startup that produces functional, intelligent, and biodegradable materials to combat environmental issues in kelp conservation, plastics pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and food waste. As an avid scuba diver, Virj draws on her first-hand experiences with marine ecosystems, to develop market-based solutions to drive climate action. Virj Kan received her master of science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she utilized ocean-based materials to develop stimuli responsive biopolymers that changed color, released odor, and changed shape for industrial design applications. She has over seven years of hands-on materials engineering and formulation experience with a range of biological materials. Her body of work spans from engineering functional biomaterials, to building digital fabrication tools, designing 3D robotic manipulation, IoT and mobile computing interfaces at the Samsung Design Innovation Center & NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
Co-Founder & CEO, DMAT
Paolo Sabatini is the CEO of DMAT, a ground-breaking startup revolutionizing the concrete industry. Inspired by ancient Roman practices, DMAT has pioneered a novel concrete formulation with self-healing capabilities, extended longevity, reduced embodied and operational carbon footprint, and no retrofitting costs. As co-founder and CEO, Paolo is driving the company's growth to make this innovative concrete the global standard for durable and sustainable building and infrastructure. DMAT has successfully developed and tested its technology through partnerships with leading concrete laboratories and is now actively working on its first construction projects. The future of more resilient and sustainable structures begins with DMAT's visionary leadership and cutting-edge solutions.
Director of R&D, Capra Biosciences
Dr. Mark Poole has a Ph.D. in biological engineering and environmental engineering from North Carolina State University where he applied advanced synthetic biology techniques to engineer challenging non-model organisms. With an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering and previous experience building custom bioreactor systems, Dr. Poole is able to apply his multidisciplinary experience to lead Capra's bioreactor development and synthetic biology programs as Director of Research and Development. Mark also has unique entrepreneurial experience –as a graduate student, he and his mother founded a Kombucha business in Cary, NC called IngeuiTea Brews.
Disclaimer: MIT Startup Exchange can make introductions that ideally provide open ended discussions in order to share mutual interests and potentially create common ground that incite the parties to collaborate. MIT Startup Exchange introductions may eventually lead to mutual partnerships, but that is not in any way guaranteed by MIT, MIT Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) or MIT Startup Exchange, which takes no responsibility for these outcomes and no formal part in such discussions following our introduction. MIT Startup Exchange and its activities and events are not for purposes of soliciting investment or offering securities.