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Investor Speaker Series: Access to Success

April 14 @ 1:15 pm 2:40 pm Eastern Time

Join us virtually on Thursday, April 14 for the next event in our Investor Speaker Series!

Underrepresented founders in climatetech face unique and growing challenges to accessing investors and fundraising for their business. How can startups bridge this gap, and where can investors who want to begin diversifying their portfolios look for guidance? 

Join Greentown Labs virtually on April 14 for the next installment of our Investor Speaker Series, which will feature a panel discussion centered around prioritizing DEI in climate finance and reverse pitches from VCs who are leading unique DEI initiatives. 
As the climatetech finance industry strives to become more equitable, we have an opportunity to establish a network of founders and investors across the country. This event will offer actionable takeaways attendees can use to create a more equitable climate finance landscape. We hope you will join us!


  • 1:15-1:25pm: Welcome remarks from Juliana Garaizar, Head of Houston Incubator and VP of Innovation, Greentown Labs
  • 1:25-2:10pm: Panel – Prioritizing DEI in Climate Finance
  • 2:10-2:40pm: Reverse Pitches from Investors


Ken Alston, Venture Investor, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund

Ken Alston is an investor in energy, climate and mobility. His experiences include Director of Mobility and Energy Storage Investment at New Energy Nexus and CalCEF Ventures. He led New Energy Nexus’ financing and innovation programs for mobility/transportation and energy storage technologies. Prior to this role, Ken worked as a Presidential Appointee of the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy. At the U.S. Department of Energy, he worked as Special Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Ken was co-founder of the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Investment Center, chaired the Department’s Energy Finance Working Group, led the Department’s efforts to secure $4 billion in commitments for the White House Clean Energy Investment Initiative, and was an advisor on U.S.-China energy initiatives. 

Tanya Barham, CEO & Founder, Community Energy Labs

Tanya is the CEO of Community Energy Labs (CEL) a woman-owned and led energy technology company with a mission to enable affordable decarbonization of community buildings by 2030. CEL’s core AI-powered clean building control platform was a regional winner of CleanTech Open’s 2020 international accelerator, an overall winner in the 2020 Madrona Venture Labs Go Vertical challenge, a 2021 impel+ building innovator, EPRI Incubate Energy 2021 cohort member and 2021 US Department of Energy SBIR awardee. CEL emerged from the non-profit PECI as a nimble social enterprise with a suite of grid-edge and community-centric IT approaches to climate adaptation, local empowerment and clean energy. CEL’s executive team have track records that span 20 years from startups to organizations as large as Southern California Edison, NASA and Southern Company. In 2019, while at PECI, the team won the Smart Electric Power Alliance’s Visionary of the Year award for developing scalable community approaches to energy projects and technology deployment.

Daniel Acheampong, General Partner and Co-founder, Visible Hands VC

Daniel was most recently an Entrepreneur in Resident at MIT designX, where he co-founded a marketplace platform. He was an associate at Summit Partners, where he helped manage the firm’s due diligence process to raise investment funds. Previously, he was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he supported senior management in supervising the New England Private Wealth Management business. He received a dual Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School and Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University. He spends his free time trying new exercise routines, snacking on peanut trail mixes, and reading lots of non-fiction.

John McIntyre, Managing Director, American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact

John McIntyre is the Managing Director for the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (AmFam Institute) venture capital fund. John has more than 25 years of experience as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and business executive in Silicon Valley  and around the world. John brings that passion for working with entrepreneurs to the Institute, whose mission is to close equity gaps in America.  The Institute invests in visionary entrepreneurs who are building  scalable, for-profit social enterprises. To date the AmFam Institute has closed over 20 investments, who can find our portfolio company information here. 

Juliana Garaizar, Head of Houston Incubator, Vice President of Innovation, Greentown Labs

A Board Member of the Angel Capital Association, Juliana is a Lead Investor of the Portfolia Rising America Fund that invests in BIPOC and LGTBQ founders, as well as the Portfolia Consumer and Rising Tide Funds. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the University of Houston Cougar Venture Fund, the Houston Diversity Fund, the Investors of Color network and Impulse4women. A Kauffman Fellow experienced in Bridging the Gender Gap in investing, she is part of the City of Houston’s Women Commission. Juliana was the Texas Medical Center Venture Fund Director and the Managing Director of the Houston Angel Network. She was the Manager of the in the French Riviera’s Sophia Business Angels network and Antipolis Innovation Campus and Project Manager of several International Projects funded by the European Commission. Previously, Juliana worked for 5 years in Singapore: first as an International Trade Consultant for the Trade Commission of Spain in a broad range of industry sectors and then as a Project Manager for the Asia Technology Office of Citigroup, leading projects at the international level. Juliana obtained an MBA at the London Business School and Haas School of Business in Berkeley, specializing in Entrepreneurship.

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Questions? Reach out to Greentown Labs’ Senior Manager of Events, Jill Kirkpatrick ([email protected]).