Onzo, a startup focused on energy data analytics, has named Spencer Rigler as CEO. Rigler was previously VP of energy management at Elster, a global provider of gas, electricity and water meters. As we've reported, "Hardware-centric energy management firms such as Tendril, EnergyHub and Onzo have had to make drastic pivots in product and channel strategy in order to stay in the hunt for the customer. Finding a profitable business plan that navigates utility spend cycles, regulatory shifts and energy customer behavior has proven challenging."
Smart Wires, a startup developing "power flow control" for the electric grid, named Tom Voss, former CEO of Ameren, as the new chairman of the board. Voss spent his entire career at Ameren, a regional utility. Smart Wires competes in a grid control sector with Gridco and Varentec and seeks to "address congestion and enhance the performance of our aging electric networks" with a device that mounts directly on transmission lines and allows an operator to "reroute the flow of power."
Tim Cortes joined Plug Power as VP of hydrogen, while Jose Luis Crespo was promoted to VP of global sales. Cortes comes to Plug Power from Smiths Power, where he served as CTO and VP of engineering. Plug Power provides a fuel-cell-based lead-acid battery-replacement for forklifts and lift trucks in the material-handling business.
Alevo Group named Jeff Gates as director of sales and field operations. Gates will lead Alevo’s energy storage deployment and operations, following a fourteen-year stint at Duke Energy, where he most recently focused on the energy storage sector and helped develop the 36-megawatt storage system at Duke's Notrees wind farm in Texas.
Kelly Foley is now general counsel and director of regulatory affairs at California Clean Power, a community choice aggregator. Foley was previously GC at Sonoma Clean Power.
Sapphire Energy, a cleantech algae farmer, added Jim Astwood as senior VP of product management. Astwood was most recently with Aurora Algae, another algae farmer. Prior to Aurora, Astwood was VP of scientific and government affairs at Martek Biosciences (now DSM Nutrition). Sapphire closed a $139 million round from ARCH Venture Partners, Monsanto, and Venrock in 2012 to bring its VC funding total to roughly $300 million.
What happens to cleantech venture capitalists after cleantech?
- Ilya Fushman, once a principal at Khosla Ventures, is now head of product, business and mobile at Dropbox.
- Benny Bueller, once a greentech investor and solar PV expert at Khosla Ventures, is now CEO of Velo 3D, a 3-D printing firm.
- Dharmesh Thakker, once a cleantech VC at ATV, has joined Battery Ventures as a general partner, after a stint as managing director with Intel Capital.
- Jason Matlof, once a cleantech VC at Battery Ventures, is now chief marketing officer at LightCyber, a breach detection firm helmed by former Pythagoras Solar CEO Gonen Fink.
- Victor Westerlind, formerly a general partner at cleantech investment firm RockPort Capital, is now a director at Intel Capital.
Meanwhile, Eric Warner has joined SAIL Capital Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm focused on "sustainable innovation," as a managing director in the firm's new London office. He previously was co-CEO and head of investor relations at Altius Associates.