Energy Innovation Panel Lead by Jay Surina, Chris Varrone, Bill Lese, Chip Moldenhauer

What’s VC appetite for clean tech investments? Whats the next frontier in Solar, Wind, Nuclear, Biofuels and storage? How do we encourage clean energy entrepreneurship? How is the oil price affecting investment in technology innovation? What are some of the most innovative technologies that could reduce cost of supply? How do we encourage entrepreneurship in the O&G space? Does the low-cost environment make it difficult for entrepreneurs to innovate or does it create new opportunities?What are some of the latest innovations that the panelists are most excited about.

nuscale-cfo-surinaJay Surina, Chief Finacial Officer, NuScale Power

John “Jay” Surina, Chief Financial Officer, leads all aspects of NuScale Power’s finance function, including financial strategy, accounting, forecasting, corporate finance, corporate services and information technology.

Prior to joining NuScale, Surina was vice president, financial planning and analysis at Boart Longyear. He was instrumental in the initial public offering of Boart Longyear shares on the Australian exchange in 2007. In that role he co-managed the mining services company’s global finance function and led strategic planning and mergers and acquisition work within the finance function.

Surina previously held executive positions in energy industry finance, as well as mergers and acquisitions, with Texas Genco, Centrica North America, and Sithe Energies, including large equity and debt financing capital raising, both at the corporate and project levels. He was co-founder and a managing partner of Cornerstone Energy Advisors, an advisory firm focused on the sale and financing of electric generating stations.

Surina is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. A former nuclear trained submarine officer, he continues to serve as a Captain in the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program.


Chris Varrchris-varroneone, Managing Director, Silver Leaf Partners

Chris is the founder and President of Riverview Consulting, Inc., an energy and cleantech advisory firm, and Managing Director in the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Group at Silver Leaf Partners, LLC, a FINRA-licensed registered broker dealer located in New York City.

Chris has advised a wid
e range of cleantech companies including nine wind energy companies, four waste-to-value companies, three solar companies, two energy storage companies, and companies involved with advanced motor/generators, air-to-water, and tidal power. He has also done due diligence for investors on LIDAR, wind towers, and nanotechnology for battery applications. He holds beneficial equity positions in seven of these companies. He serves on the Board of Directors of UGE International (commercial solar) and Eocycle (wind turbines).

Chris was previously Chief Strategist, Technology R&D at Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines, based in Denmark. He was previously a Senior Principal at SAP, where he established value engineering in the Nordic region. Prior to joining SAP, Chris was a Vice President of Business Development at TeleTech. Before that he was Director of Business Development at ChannelPoint. Chris was previously a Managing Director at the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC. He started his career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York in 1988.

Chris holds the Master’s Degree in Economics (first class) from Cambridge University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Norway. He holds the Bachelor’s Degree (summa cum laude) from Williams College.


shopper-bill_lese_medBill Lese, Managing Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures

Bill is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Braemar Energy Ventures.  Bill has led or co-led investments across multiple segments and stages , including EnerNOC  “ENOC”,  TerraVia (fka Solazyme), Verenium “VRNM”, Ciris Energy, Ioxus, Sirrus Chemistry,  Utility, EcoMotors, Flywheel, General Fusion, Proterro, OPX BIO and  Enerkem.   He is currently active with Renew Financial and Carbon Free Chemical Holdings and was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Ioxus and BrightVolt.


Bill was one of the original team members of Sithe Energies, a global leader in independent power development where he worked on and managed several power projects. He then joined NPS Industries as Director of Corporate Development.    Bill entered in the energy technology investing arena when he joined Mantis Holdings, a venture capital firm that focused primarily on environmental and energy efficiency.

Bill serves on the Advisory Committee of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE).  He has a BA in Physics and an MS in Applied Energy Science from New York University.  


chip-moldenhauerModerator: Chip Moldenhauer, CEO, Law IQ

Chip is the Founder and CEO of LawIQ, LLC, a data analytics technology company that delivers quantitative insights into high stakes energy regulatory matters, including those involving oil, gas and electric generation projects. Previously as an energy regulatory attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, he worked with senior company leadership to find strategic solutions to bet-the-company regulatory, policy and litigation issues.

Before practicing law, and following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, Chip was an engineering officer, responsible for leading large engineering and operational divisions on warships deployed in support of the Iraq War.  

Along with a fellow Naval Academy classmate and software engineer, formerly with AT&T and the National Security Agency, they developed a data analytics and modeling platform that is used by many Fortune 100 companies and financial institutions.


xuan-headshotXuan Yong is CEO and co-founder of RigUp.

RigUp in an online marketplace facilitating transactions between a network of E&P companies and over 12,000+ oilfield service providers transacting over $300mn/month in awarded work.

Prior to co-founding RigUp, Xuan worked as an energy investor at various hedge funds including Citadel and D.E. Shaw.

Xuan began his career as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs and is a graduate of Texas A&M University.