ARPA-E Summit 2024 Day 2 Recap Fast Pitch Bob Ledoux

Jumping Into Day 2 of the 2024 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

Day 2 of the Summit featured Fast Pitches, Breakout Panels, the Student PITCHES session, the Tech Showcase, and more!

Day 2 of the 2024 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit began with ‘Coffee with ARPA-E’ and the ‘Women in Energy Breakfast,’ where attendees had the opportunity to network with ARPA-E leadership, program directors, tech-to-market advisors, and fellows on the future of energy innovation and technology.

These events were followed by morning breakout sessions, which consisted of Fast Pitches and two Breakout Panels. 

The morning’s Fast Pitches included: 

  • ‘Bigger, Faster, Safer - A Crash Course in Construction Qualification’ from ARPA-E Fellow Dr. Ryan Chaban
  • ‘Get the F out! Why we Need Fluorine-free Polymers to Hit Net Zero’ from ARPA-E Fellow Dr. Julia Greenwald
  • ‘The Quantum Promise in Chemistry and Energy’ from ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Robert Ledoux
  • ‘Advancing and Accelerating Catalytic Material Discovery, Development & Deployment for Energy Technology’ from ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Cory Phillips

ARPA-E Fellow Dr. Ryan Chaban, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Robert Ledoux, ARPA-E Fellow Dr. Julia Greenwald, and ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Cory PhillipsARPA-E Fellow Dr. Ryan Chaban, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Robert Ledoux, ARPA-E Fellow Dr. Julia Greenwald, and ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Cory Phillips

The morning’s Breakout Panels included:

  • ‘What Investors Want Energy Startups to Know’ with Seyi Fabode, Director of Cleantech Strategic Growth at RWE, Paul Seidler, Managing Director at Evergreen Climate Innovation, Susan Su, Partner at Toba Capital, Rajesh Swaminathan, Partner at Khosla Ventures, and Dr. Evaline Tsai, Principal at Gigascale Capital. 
  • ‘Optimizing Capitalization on the Journey from R&D to Commercialization’ with Mike Gordon, Partner at McKinsey Operation Practice, Reese Goldsmith, Head of Government Affairs at Ara Partners, Dr. Liangbing Hu, Founder at InventWood, Dr. Amy Linsebigler, Chief Scientist and Enterprise Development Leader for the Decarbonization Mission at GE Vernova and Dr. Gleb Yushin, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Sila Nanotechnologies. 
  • ‘Federal Policy and Programs as a Tool for Startup Growth’ with Lynn Abramson, President at the Clean Energy Business Network, Dr. Barbara Burger, energy director, advisor and innovator at various organizations, Anna Douglas, CEO and Founder at SkyNano, Gabriel Scheer, Senior Director of Innovation at the Elemental Excelerator, and Natalie Tham, Senior Policy Analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Dr. Liangbing Hu, Reese Goldsmith, Dr. Gleb Yushin, Dr. Amy Linsebigler, and Mike Gordon

Dr. Liangbing Hu, Reese Goldsmith, Dr. Gleb Yushin, Dr. Amy Linsebigler, and Mike Gordon

Student PITCHES (Student Proposing Ideas for Technologies that Can Harness Energy Sustainably) Session also took place Thursday morning, where select graduate level students pitched their innovative energy technology ideas to their peers, Summit attendees, and a panel of judges including Dr. Olga Blum Spahn, Program Director at ARPA-E, Brenda Haendler, Director of Technology Management at Breakthrough Energy, Dhanush Mariappan, Technology Manager at GE Vernova Advanced Research, Josh Speros, Investment Manager at BASF Venture Capital and Dr. Emily Yedinak, Senior Technical Analyst at Koloma. 

The Student PITCHERS included:

  • Kyle Buznitsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “The Hottest Heat Storage Solution for All Industries”
  • Hadas Elazar-Mittelman, John’s Hopkins University: “Rethinking Cement Manufacturing”
  • Lexi Knight, Case Western Reserve University:
  • Katelyn Ripley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Solar Sprout”
  • Junwon Seo, Carnegie Mellon University: “Building Heat Exchangers from Scratch”
  • Christopher Simotas, University of California, Berkeley: “Surf’s Up: A Solution to Unlock Ocean Wave Energy”
Chris Simotas, Katelyn Ripley, Junwon Seo, Lexi Knight, Kyle Buznitsky, and Hadas Elazar-Mittelman

Chris Simotas, Katelyn Ripley, Junwon Seo, Lexi Knight, Kyle Buznitsky, and Hadas Elazar-Mittelman

During the first Technology Showcases session of the second day, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) demonstrated their Model Predictive Control for Energy-Efficient Maneuvering of Connected Autonomous Vehicles.

Tech Demo - SwRI

Tech Demo - SwRI

The afternoon included a slate of General Session programming:

General Session began with a Fireside Chat with Rudy Garza, President and CEO of CPS Energy, and Dr. Taylor Eighmy, President at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA.) They discussed the importance of stakeholder partnership, CPS Energy’s specific approach to the demand-oriented market and the critical impact of research universities, specifically UTSA, on the energy landscape in Texas and beyond. 

Rudy Garza and Dr. Taylor Eighmy

Rudy Garza and Dr. Taylor Eighmy

The Fireside Chats continued with Takajiro Ishikawa, the President and CEO at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, and Dr. Paul Sheng, Managing Partner at the Fathom Fund taking the Main Stage to discuss the changing global energy landscape and the impact of America’s investment in emerging energy technologies. 

Takajiro Ishikawa and Dr. Paul Sheng

Takajiro Ishikawa and Dr. Paul Sheng

Dr. Ioannis Michaloudis, Professor, Visual Artist, Researcher and Academic, demonstrated his aerogel sculpture in a Keynote Address meant to inspire energy innovators to think outside of the box. 

Dr. Ioannis Michaloudis

Dr. Ioannis Michaloudis

Thursday’s Main Stage wrapped up with a Fireside Chat with Jonathan Scott, Co-Founder at Scott Brothers Global and Molly Wood, Climate Tech Journalist and Investor. They discussed bridging the gap between consumers and energy technologies and simplifying the messaging around energy technologies to accelerate their adoption.

Jonathan Scott and Molly Wood

Jonathan Scott and Molly Wood

The evening’s Fast Pitches included:

  • ‘Addressing AI Driven Computing Energy Needs’ with ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Olga Blum Spahn
  • ‘Electrons as Shippable Commodity’ with ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Peter de Bock
  • ‘Macro-electronic Super-Highway Grid’ with ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Johan Enslin
  • ‘Synergy or Dysfunction? Co-designing Renewable Energy Islands’ with ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz
  • ‘The Energy Transition: What to Keep, What to Toss’ with ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard

ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Olga Blum Spahn, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Peter de Bock, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard, and ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Johan Enslin

ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Olga Blum Spahn, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Peter de Bock, ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard, and ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Johan Enslin

The evening’s Breakout Panels included:

  • ‘Carbon Markets: Financial Tools to Enable a Carbon Negative Economy’ with Jim Blackburn, CEO at BCarbon, Aldyen Donnelly, Co-Founder and Former Director of Carbon Economics at Nori, Dr. Scott Litzelman, Program Lead at ClimateStripe, and Jeanette Pablo, President and CEO at Just Transition Strategies LLC and the Climate Equity Foundation.
  • ‘Made in America: Developing the Domestic Workforce for the Energy Future’ with Betony Jones, Labor Advisor to the Secretary and Director at the Office of Energy Jobs at the U.S. Department of Energy, Donnel Baird, Founder at BlocPower, Erica Fein, Government Affairs Specialist at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Kieran Furlong, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Realta Fusion, Dr. Robert Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Dr. Robert Hampshire, Betony Jones, Kieran Furlong, Donnel Baird, and Erica Fein

Dr. Robert Hampshire, Betony Jones, Kieran Furlong, Donnel Baird, and Erica Fein

Day 2 also featured a second session of the Technology Showcase, where multiple ARPA-E performers had the chance to demonstrate their technologies.

Our return to the Technology Showcase for more demonstrations included:

  • Efficient Recovery of Dilute Helium Gas Using Molecular Sieve Membranes from Osmoses
  • Eliminating Methane Emissions From Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells from Foro Energy
  • Resilient Liquid Cooling for Maximum Uptime from Chilldyne

Tech Demo: Foro Energy

Tech Demo: Foro Energy

Day 2 ended with the first-ever Summit at Night, an informal socializing at networking event for all Summit attendees.