SEATTLE (December 19, 2017) E8 (http://www.e8angels.com/) today announced the addition of three new board members and an advisory board member amidst a strong year of investments for the group, as well as that is has changed the name of the organization from Element 8 to E8. Ramez Naam, Dana Robinson and Eric Carlson have joined the Board of Directors, while Kirk Washington, previously a sponsor via Yaletown Venture Partners, has joined the Advisory Council.
Ramez Naam is a computer scientist, speaker, and angel investor. He's also the award-winning author of five books, including the science-fiction novel Nexus, and the non-fiction The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, which charts a course to innovate our way past challenges in energy, food, water, and climate. Ramez’s books have won the Prometheus, Endeavour, and Philip K Dick Awards, and been listed as an NPR Best Book of the Year.
Before turning to writing, Naam spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he played leadership roles on early versions of Outlook, Internet Explorer, and Bing, leading teams working on machine learning, information retrieval, and internet scale systems. He is the co-Chair for Energy and Environment at Singularity University at NASA Ames and speaks around the world on trends in clean energy and innovation.
Dana Robinson brings over 20 years of marketing, communications and finance and experience to E8. Raised by entrepreneurial parents, she learned about sales and distribution by visiting warehouses, factories and stores on family vacations. Throughout her career, she has gained diverse experience with both small and large companies including implementing marketing strategies in Asia and developing financial pitches in Europe.
Robinson graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a degree in Business Administration and Finance. She has also studied psychology and counseling and has lived in five countries, forming an international perspective to investing.
Eric Carlson is a Seattle native who returned here after nearly 30 years on the East Coast where he worked as an environment and energy consultant at national and international levels for organizations such as the World Bank and US government agencies. Here in Seattle he is engaged with - and invests in - early stage clean technology companies at E8, advises the UW College of Built Environments on research and community engagement initiatives and is creating conceptual installations focused on climate change. He has also been a member of Social Ventures Partners' environmental Collective Action Team. Eric holds graduate degrees from Yale and the University of Washington.
Kirk Washington is Group Vice President of Sacre-Davey, Vice President Corporate Development at SDE3 Engineering (a Sacre-Davey Company), and Principal at Washington Associates. He is a board member of several energy technology companies, an advisor to W-Fund and CoMotion Innovation Fund at the University of Washington, and to OregonBEST that facilitates sustainable technology commercialization at Oregon’s research universities.
Washington was a co-founder and spent 15 years as General Partner of Yaletown Venture Partners where he led the firm’s investments in 6N Silicon (acquired by Silicor), Microstaq (acquired by Zhejiang DunAn), EnerG2 (acquired by BASF), and Cooledge Lighting among others.
Prior to Yaletown, he spent 13 years at energy technology pioneer Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) where he led the development of stationary powerplants and advanced vehicle propulsion systems, before going on to lead corporate development. He is a mechanical engineer and holds 13 patents for his work in energy technology.
“The newest additions to E8 make an already strong team even stronger,” said Eric Berman, co-chair of E8. “Their skill sets and experience frame nicely the pathway to success for cleantech companies: bold and innovative vision, communication and operational excellence. We’re thrilled to have each of them on board.”
E8 is a community of accredited angel investors, themselves successful executives, engineers and entrepreneurs, who provide investment capital, connections and strategic advice empowering early-stage cleantech companies to achieve market success. Members of E8, whether seasoned investors or new angels with a desire to learn, gain access to quality deal flow and tools for making successful investment decisions. E8’s cooperative due diligence process, powerful business network, and impactful education opportunities provide members the opportunity and knowledge for creating a diverse portfolio to meet their unique investment goals.
Companies receiving investment from E8 members, its fund and other investors get more than just capital. They become part of a national network of people with a shared vision and a commitment to collaboration. E8 members offer their early-stage companies strategic and operational guidance, and help them accelerate development and commercialization by building critical relationships across the cleantech ecosystem of investors, customers, peer companies, strategic partners and research institutions.
“The new name is reflective of our aspiration to become a national network of like-minded investors and groups – the E8 Network – a process we’ve already begun through networking, outreach and of course our portfolio of investments from across the U.S. and Canada,” said Alison Shaw, a board member and chair of the marketing and communications committee.
E8 is the first angel investment group in North America to focus exclusively on cleantech, and continues to be a leading funder of early stage companies across the continent. E8 pairs its members’ collective expertise with outstanding entrepreneurs to help build successful companies that accelerate the transition to a cleaner future and prosperous sustainable world. To date, members have invested more than $29 million in 74 companies and capital funds in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington (state), Washington, D.C. and British Columbia, Canada. More information is available at: www.E8angels.com.
John Williams, Scoville Public Relations