NOTE: This Agenda will be updated periodically; panel/showcase dates and time, panels and speakers may change without notice as the conference develops.

Preliminary Agenda

2021 Chemical Ventures Conference

Virtual Event

(The time schedule published in this agenda is in US Eastern Daylight Time (EDT))

Day 1: Tuesday, May 18

11:00 AM – 11:05 AM EDT   Opening and Welcoming Remarks
11:05 AM – 11:30 AM EDT  

Keynote Speaker

Vanessa Z. Chan
Chief Commercialization Officer
US Department of Energy

11:30 AM - 12:35 PM EDT  

Session 1: Developing Critical Partnerships – Key Steps

Session Chair:
Tim Mueller, PhD
VP of Operations and Technology, Delaware Innovation Space


  • Judy Giordan | Co-Founder; Vice President and Managing Director,
    Chemical Angel Network; ecosVC
  • Steve Socolof | Managing Partner, Tech Council Ventures
  • Neal Okarter | Investment Manager, Venture Group BASF
  • Clifford Brechner | VP, Life Science Group Colliers
About the Panel:
The stressors impacting founders do not dissipate once their start-up is launched. Every new step in growth, every new hurdle, even moving into the challenge of team-building can impact a start-up’s growth trajectory and either limit or enhance their ability to deliver on their mission. The value of networks and mentors is inherently understood and is a great mechanism to help offset some of these challenges, but these are often viewed as being external to formal engagements with strategic investors or partners. Leaders from the chemical and real estate Industry will join Venture Capitalists to share their thoughts on not just achieving a goal but how the journey and long-term partnerships can be viewed as a force multiplier in enhancing the outcome of any startup's journey.

12:40 PM - 1:25 PM EDT  

Round I: Startup Pitch Presentations

Moderated by:
Tim Mueller, PhD
VP of Operations and Technology, Delaware Innovation Space


  • Terecircuits Corporation | Dillon Love, Polymer Engineer
  • Sironix Renewables | Christoph Krumm, CEO
  • Veramorph Materials | Doug Godfrin, President
  • Beacon Bio | Nicole Black, CEO/Co-Founder
  • Lignolix | Eric Gottlieb, CEO
1:25 PM - 1:35 PM EDT  

1:35 PM - 2:50 PM EDT


Session 2: Structuring Demonstrations That Matter

Session Chair:
Cheryl Martin, PhD
Founder and Principal at Harwich Partners
Board Member, Queen's Gambit Growth Capital


  • Shreya Dave, PhD | Co-founder and CEO, Via Separations
  • Dawn Lippert | CEO, Elemental Excelerator
  • Etosha Cave | Co-founder, Opus 12
  • Liesl Schindler | VP Technology Development, Trillium
About the Panel: A successful demonstration of your product concept is often a critical step to the next phase of development and ultimately customer adoption. However, too many demonstrations end up wasting significant time and money with little to show that matters to customers or investors. In this panel discussion, you will hear critical insights from entrepreneurs who have completed successful demonstrations and those who partner with them about what it takes: conducting effective customer discovery, determining the right scale and metrics, establishing productive relationships with partners and learning from the inevitable roadblocks and challenges.  

2:55 PM - 3:40 PM EDT  

Round II: Startup Pitch Presentations

Moderated by:
Tiffany Hoerter
Assistant Director, Member Programs, American Chemical Society


  • Kalion | Darcy Prather, CEO
  • DisSolves | Jared Raszewski, Founder/CEO
  • South 8 Technologies | Cyrus Rustomji, CEO
  • Volexion | Damien Despinoy, CEO
  • Closed Composites | Carlos Navarro, CTO/Interim CEO
  • Spero Renewables | Ian Klein, CTO
3:50 PM – 5:00 PM EDT   Breakout rooms to meet with Startups
Day 2: Wednesday, May 19
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM EDT  

Session 3: The Role of Sustainability in the Chemical Industry

Session Chair:
Eric Breese
Investment Manager, Evonik Ventures


  • Alexa Dembek | Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, DuPont
  • Coppelia Marincovic | Investment Manager, Solvay Ventures
  • Dr. Neil Cameron | Investment Manager, Emerald Technology Ventures
  • Stefan Haver | Head of Corporate Responsibility, Evonik Industries, AG
12:20 PM - 1:05 PM EDT  

Round III: Startup Pitch Presentations

Moderated by:
Ria P. Ancheta-Adrias
Director of Operations, NCET2


  • Membrion | Greg Newbloom, CEO
  • 3E Nano | Steve Ferrero, Corporate and Business Development
  • PolyCycle | Adam Veige, Professor of Chemistry/Founder
  • MITO Material Solutions | Haley Marie Keith, CEO
  • W7energy LLC (dba Versogen) | Santiago Rojas-Carbonell, COO
  • QUATCARE | Mario Mercado, Founder/CEO

1:05 PM - 1:15 PM EDT

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM EDT  

Session 4: Commercialization Strategies for Start-ups

Session Chair:
Purnesh Seegopaul, PhD
Co-Founder, Pangaea Ventures


  • Jeff Uhrig | CEO, Novomer
  • Dr. Jennifer Holmgren | CEO, LanzaTech
  • David Sudolsky | President & CEO, Annelotech
  • Anna Rath | CEO, Vestaron

About the Panel: Chemical and advanced material startup companies face unique commercialization challenges in their business growth. Significant issues include long product qualification cycle time, the high capital requirement for manufacturing scale-up and related financing needs, complex value chain, regulatory approval, IP management, and a competitive environment typically dominated by large, established corporations. The growth roadmap, however, can be successfully navigated by deploying smart strategies in the drive to shorten the time to market. Leaders from growth stage startup companies will discuss their experience and share insights on their approaches for successful commercialization.
2:35 PM - 3:25 PM EDT  

Round IV: Startup Pitch Presentations

Moderated by:
Lucy Alexander
Manager: AIChE Technical Entities


  • Airovation Technologies | Jared Goldfarb, Head of Business Development
  • BlueDot Photonics, Inc. | Jared Silvia, CEO
  • SusMer | Jake Larger, CFO
  • COnovate | Carol Hirschmugl, CEO
  • Phytoption| Joanne Zhang, Co-Founder/CEO
  • Ecovia Renewables Inc.| Kousay Said, Company Officer

3:25 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

  Best Pitch Award Presentation
3:50 PM – 5:00 PM EDT   Breakout rooms to meet with Startups