Mission driven. Market focused.

Startups hoping to transform our energy future face enormous challenges. They have more significant capital needs and longer paths to market than software startups favored by investors. They rely on large, slow-moving, risk-averse corporations as critical customers, deployment partners, and acquirers. They must navigate complex market, regulatory, and policy landscapes that favor incumbents and challenge disruptors.

That is why we have built Third Derivative: a global, vertically integrated engine for climate innovation. We bring startups, investors, corporations, and market, regulatory, and policy insights into the same program, working closely together toward a common goal: to increase the success and speed to market for climate innovation.

How do we do it? Simple: we find, fund, hone, and scale the most-promising advanced energy technologies to achieve larger, faster reductions in global carbon emissions.

Founded with purpose

Tackling the climate crisis is a once-in-a-generation, trillion-dollar economic opportunity. And none of us can do it alone. That’s why Rocky Mountain Institute and New Energy Nexus founded D3 in early 2020.

Rocky Mountain Institute is one of the world’s leading clean energy think-and-do tanks, with nearly four decades of experience working across markets, policy, and regulation. New Energy Nexus is a globally respected entrepreneur support organization that knows how to attract, cultivate, and connect high-potential startups.
We are accelerating the rate of climate innovation together... by creating a network that includes venture funding and corporate partners seamlessly integrated from the beginning. These partners help to select and coach startups during the accelerator program, increasing their odds to attract follow-on investment and forge strategic partnerships on sales, development, and manufacturing. All of this infused with unprecedented insights into market, regulatory, and policy contexts so crucial for climate and energy innovation.

We all came together for one simple reason: The climate crisis isn’t waiting. The world needs a healthy global innovation engine to identify and massively scale new solutions that speed the clean energy transition. Traditional VCs, advanced energy startups, and corporation innovation teams struggle working in isolation. Our vertically integrated climate innovation engine solves those problems… so the ecosystem can thrive.
  • We work to make the world better, not from some airy theoretical hope, but in the pragmatic and grounded conviction that acting out of hope can cultivate a different kind of world worth being hopeful about. Third Derivative’s pragmatic, integrative way of deploying innovative climate technologies faster perpetuates the ‘applied hope’ that the world needs more of right now.
    Amory B. Lovins, Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • For energy and climate innovations to quickly grow from concept to full-scale deployment, it is essential for entrepreneurs to collaborate, align with, and get support from a diverse set of market-focused stakeholders. D3 is what's needed to accelerate the pace of innovation and deployment, focusing on solutions that address climate change, the largest challenge now facing humanity.
    Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • If we're going to achieve the speed and scale of change that the world needs to tackle the climate crisis, we have to take startups with the most-promising no-carbon solutions—and then immerse them in a new kind of innovation ecosystem that gives them their best shot at succeeding. That's what Third Derivative will do for dozens of companies at a time. It's a thrill to be building it.
    Danny Kennedy, CEO, New Energy Nexus

Meet the team

Industry Sector Lead
Josh Agenbroad

Building from an engineering background, Josh worked for eight years consulting on energy efficiency and renewables for a variety of sectors, including automotive, freight, heavy industry, manufacturing, and electric and natural gas utilities. He served on international teams, including RMI’s first three years in China and first two years working on energy access in Africa.

Research & Investment Associate
Madeleine Carnemark

Madeleine is a passionate advocate for sustainability, on a mission to bring together unlikely allies to achieve climate goals. After working for several years in regenerative agriculture research and policy in Washington, D.C., she transitioned to the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Sustainable Enterprise where she received a dual MBA and MS in Sustainability with a focus on Environmental Justice. With experience in coalition building and corporate partnerships involving a diversity of stakeholders from grassroots organizations to key legislators to Fortune 500 companies, Madeleine is excited to join Third Derivative and incorporate a lens of DEI into the acceleration of climate technology.

Board Director
Jon Creyts

Jon co-leads overall program activity as a managing director at RMI and is personally responsible for RMI Ventures, a global collaboration focused on accelerating early-stage climate solutions. He brings over 25 years of strategy, operations, and design experience to resource issues at the interface of markets and technology.  Jon is a recognized global change leader focused on the clean energy transition, and has worked extensively with officials at the highest levels of government, and with leading global companies and institutions both individually and in consortia. He has extensive experience in energy transition strategies, disruptive technologies (especially solar, storage, and blockchain), energy efficiency, and urban transformation.

Bryan Guido Hassin

Bryan is a global entrepreneur building a smart energy future. As a passionate startup CEO, he has led his teams to multiple successful exits. As an empathetic mentor and adviser, he has helped other startups achieve massive scale. Throughout his journey he has encountered exactly the problems that D3 has identified and now he is dedicated to solving them at scale.

Elizabeth Hartman

Beth Hartman is a manager in the Office of the CEO and the Electricity Practice at RMI, where she supports initiatives focused on energy industry innovation. Previously, Beth was at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), working in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to lead the Incubatenergy Network. This community of over 20 clean energy incubators and accelerators has collectively supported more than 500 startup companies. Prior to joining EPRI, she worked in roles including senior analyst at E Source and marketing manager at Simple Energy after the company completed the Techstars Boulder program. Beth has a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and completed a year-long fellowship at the Silicon Flatirons Center in the CU Law School, where she managed the CU New Venture Challenge student business plan competition.

Head of Corp. Partnerships & Marketing
Elaine Hsieh

With over 20 years of industry experience leading, managing, and consulting on a wide range of sustainability, green building, clean energy, and technology issues, Elaine is passionate about the power of multi-stakeholder alignment and helping people understand and respect the interconnectedness of our world. Prior to joining the D3 leadership team, Elaine was the program director for VERGE at GreenBiz, focused on scaling solutions where technology accelerates systems thinking and sustainability across cities and industries.

Buildings Sector Lead
Ankit Kalanki

With a background in mechanical engineering and energy technology and policy, Ankit is the technical lead and project manager of RMI’s Global Cooling Prize initiative, an international innovation competition to identify super-efficient and affordable residential cooling solutions with 5x lower climate impact. Prior to joining RMI, Ankit spent a combined four years working with a global food and beverage company as an energy engineer and as an energy efficiency consultant advising the government and several multilateral clients on scaling energy efficiency in India.

Board Director
Danny Kennedy

As the CEO of New Energy Nexus, Danny leads the organization in supporting diverse entrepreneurs to drive innovation and build equity into the global clean energy economy, while striving towards 100% clean energy for 100% of the population. Among many roles, he is also the managing director of the California Clean Energy Fund, overseeing the $24 million CalSEED grant program for very early stage startups and is an adviser to Young Greentech Entrepreneurs in China with the Asia Society. He also serves as President of CalCharge, a public-private partnership with the Department of Energy national labs, California universities, unions, and companies to advance energy storage. Kennedy is an entrepreneur at heart: he co-founded Sungevity in 2007, and Powerhouse, an innovation firm and fund in Oakland, CA. He was the first backer of Mosaic in 2011, the $1 billion solar loan provider, and remains on the Board of Powerhive, a solar mini-utility in Kenya. Kennedy authored Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy – and Our Planet – from Dirty Energy in 2012.

Director of Startups
Ryan Kushner

Ryan is an expert in energy, climate, technology commercialization, and innovation ecosystems (incubators, accelerators, venture studios, prizes). He is the author of "Accelerate This! A Super Not Boring Guide To Startup Accelerators and Clean Energy Entrepreneurship," sponsored by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Wildlife Fund, and New Energy Nexus, and featuring Y Combinator, Techstars, 500 Startups, Google X, and other innovation programs around the world. He is The Accelerator Guy / Global Network and Curriculum Lead at New Energy Nexus, founding team of the Free Electrons global utility accelerator, faculty at Singularity University in Energy + Environment, advisor to Carbon180’s CarbonTech Lab, founder of The Oceantech Community, mentor at Techstars Energy and Big Ideas Ventures. His life mission is taken from Buckminster Fuller’s World Game, which is to "Make the world work for 100% of humanity (and life)", and his epitaph will be "Let’s All Have Fun."

Electricity Sector Lead
Jason Prince

Jason has a decade of experience in energy finance, markets, and regulation. Prior to Third Derivative, he was a manager at RMI where he led thought leadership and consulting projects focused on innovation in utility business models, planning, and procurement. Before joining RMI, Jason worked in structured finance at SolarCity/Tesla where he originated a first-of-its-kind $40M debt facility to monetize renewable energy credit receivables. Before that, he led the research practice at energy financial services firm Karbone where he advised clients and helped structure transactions in various U.S. renewable energy markets.

Transportation Sector Lead
Hara Wang

Hara is a globally-minded climate tech innovator and practitioner. As a venture investor, she worked alongside entrepreneurs building and scaling next-generation energy, transport, and manufacturing solutions. As a consultant, she helped the world's largest institutional investors and industrial companies navigate the energy transition. As an engineer, she investigated opportunities for process innovations for Chinese solar PV manufacturers and built engineered clean energy systems for sub-Sahara African farming communities. Having advanced climate solutions across maturity stages, across verticals, and on four continents, she is now dedicated to accelerate the rate of climate innovation.

Head of Investments and Research
Cyril Yee

Cyril has held a number of positions in the cleantech and investment industries. Most recently, he was the U.S. cleantech and energy lead at IP Group, Europe’s largest VC fund with over $1.5B under management. IP Group funds and spins-out high-potential technologies from partner universities and national labs. He was previously a principal in RMI’s China electricity practice. He led business development and strategy at INEOS Bio, a company with a gasification / fermentation technology that converts biomass to ethanol. With DOE and USDA support, INEOS Bio built one of the world’s first commercial-scale advanced biofuel plants. Prior to INEOS Bio, Cyril was a strategy consultant focused on private equity diligence, energy, and financial consulting.


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