Tony Lettich is the Managing Director of The Angel Roundtable. Tony has an extensive background in finance and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and has participated in the start-up and merger, acquisition and divestiture of numerous companies.

This includes the start-up of commodity and specialty manufacturing and sales businesses in the US, UK, EU and Asia, and e-commerce/service companies in the US. His M&A experience also includes the shutdown of several non-performing businesses; and venture capital investments into several start-ups, two of which went on to have successful IPOs in the public markets.

Jeff Kanel serves as the President and CEO of Renewable Algal Energy (RAE), is an entrepreneur, technology leader and R&D chemical engineer with broad experience in separation processes, patenting, and commercializing technology.

RAE has pioneered a breakthrough technology to produce sustainable, economically viable products from microalgae — from algal oil as a feedstock for renewable diesel fuel to protein, carotenoids, and omega-3 fatty acids for animal and human nutrition. RAE has won four SBIR awards under Jeff’s leadership.

He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has more than 26 years of experience in engineering research and process development through work at The Dow Chemical Company, Eastman Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation.

He is an inventor on more than 30 issued U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents, and serves on the President’s Advisory Council at the University of Akron. He has been invited twice to the National Academy of Engineer’s Foundations of Engineering Meetings, and he teaches a course on Liquid Extraction for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and for the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Kanel has been associated with several entrepreneurial endeavors since 1996, including: 1) the development and commercialization of technology to extract zeaxanthin from paprika; and 2) demonstration and sale to a Fortune 250 company of a process to grow and harvest algae for the production of natural beta-carotene.

John Hopkins is currently the CEO at the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). He previously served as a consultant as well as in faculty and senior management roles at the University of Tennessee and UT Research Foundation. John has a successful record as leader of multi-institutional teams, creator of new programs and better processes to support energy innovation and technology transfer, and innovator of unique solutions for industry problems. Many of these have required the development and management of complex partnerships with diverse working teams.

His experience ranges from basic research in laser-based diagnostics and laser materials processing, through applied development of patented surface alloying methods, to the commercialization of technologies emerging from basic and applied research via licensing and entrepreneurship. John managed the $24M TN-SCORE renewable energy research program, which included complimentary STEM and workforce development outreach to more than 80,000 students across Tennessee and led to the formation of start-up companies at UT Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.

His specialties include: Research-based technology development and commercialization, technology licensing, start-up business creation and support, and program development and management.

Shawn Carson is currently Director of Technical and Operational Assistance for Three Roots Capital. Shawn has worked with a number of startup companies to develop business models, funding strategies and preparation for fund raising. He has also developed a number of educational presentations on entrepreneurship.

Coleman Adams is a partner and managing director of Crescendo Power. Crescendo is a private equity firm specializing in distributed energy and microgrid project investments. Crescendo brings a flexible investment strategy to support a variety of energy technologies and project types. The firm services the full capital stack from sponsor and tax equity to sourcing debt in order to get the project efficiently deployed for the end customer.