Chemical Ventures Conference 2019

April 23-24, 2019
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The chemical space has a large untapped opportunity. It has a longer investment time cycle. It has the potential for continued repeatable and predictable financial performance more so maybe than the technology space or the industries directly dependent upon the fickle consumer. The movement of mass and manipulation of energy requires a disciplined development, design and commercialization process to deliver financial results. The opportunities provide high quality jobs, sustainable long term positive effect on the economy and provide critical materials to the broader marketplace. This conference will focus on Innovation, Investment, and Deal Flow in the chemical space.

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Session Topics:

  1. The Role of Venturing in the Chemical Industry
  2. Chemical Start-up Strategies
  3. Outcomes and Exits (M&A, Licensing, etc.)
  4. Structuring Deals for Success
  5. Presentations: Start-ups will present their technologies
  6. Lessons Learned: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
  7. Strategic vs. Financial Investing
  8. Incubation Space for Chemical Start-ups

Invited Speakers:

  • Jay Amarasekera, SABIC
  • Charles Andres, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
  • Jakob Bredsguard, Biosynthetic Technologies
  • Eric Breese, Evonik
  • Neil Cameron, Emerald Ventures
  • John Carlisle, Chain Reaction Innovations
  • Andrew Cottone, Adesis
  • Steve Dubin, SDA Ventures
  • Greg Fleming, Air Liquide
  • Judith Giordan,  ecosVC
  • Edward Greer, Dow Chemical
  • Jacob Grose, BASF Venture Capital
  • Laurence Hayward, Independence Equity Venture Fund
  • Frank Klemens, DuPont Ventures
  • Michael Krel, Sofinnova
  • David Mackanic, Dorm Room Fund
  • Ray W. Miller, Verdecute Consulting
  • Charles Paul, Henkel Adhesives
  • Christina Pellicane, Horn Entrepreneurship, University of Delaware
  • Rajeev Prabhakar, A.T. Kearny
  • William Provine, Delaware Innovation Space
  • Purnesh Seegopaul, Pangaea Ventures
  • Laura Silva, University of Arizona
  • Tony Stanco, NCET2
  • Bryan Tracy, White Dog Labs

Startup Presentations:

  • Radical Plastics
  • Basudeb Saha, RiKarbon
  • Frana James, Allied Microbiota
  • Derek Greenfield, iMicrobes
  • Erik Thostenson, Smartenious
  • Yushan Yan, W7Energy
  • Henry Uyeme, Intrida
  • Franchessa Sayler,Thrupore
  • Sumedh Surwade, SAS Nanotechnologies
  • George Diloyan, Nanotech Industrial Solutions, Inc.
  • Apoorv Sinha, Carbon Upcycling
  • Lawrence Sita, Precision Polyolefins, LLC
  • John Sofranko, EcoCatalytic
  • Gözde Senel Ayaz, Tandem Repeat Technologies LLC


  • Charles Paul, VP, Technology, Henkel Adhesives
  • Charles Roe, CTO, Co-Founder, AlgiSys
  • Wayne Tamarelli, Owner and President, AWT Private Investments

Organizing Committee:

  • Eric Breese, Evonik Venture Capital
  • Mark DeGrandpre, Head of Physical Sciences, Ben Franklin Technology Partners
  • Jim Gunton, Managing Partner, Tech Council Ventures
  • Mike Patterson, Director, Delaware Innovation Space
  • William Provine, President, CEO, Delaware Innovation Space
  • Purnesh Seegopaul, General Partner, Pangaea Ventures
  • Anna Lee Tonkovich, Managing Director, Tonkomo LLC
  • Bryan Tracy, CEO, White Dog Labs
  • Henry Uyeme, Founder/CEO, Intrida
  • Mark Vreeke, Co-Founder, Chemical Angel Network
  • Sid White, Founding Member, Chemical Angel Network
  • Stephan Wolf, Evonik Venture Capital


Wayne Tamarelli on Chemical Ventures

February 8, 2019

Angel investor Wayne Tamarelli discusses trends for chemical startups and what you can expect form the Chemical Ventures Conference.

Featured Speakers

Jay Amarasekera

Dr. Jay Amarasekera is a Senior Technology Manager attached SABIC Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation which is one of the world’s top diversified chemical company. Prior to this role, he served as the Technology Manager for Performance Chemicals and Innovative Plastics business units of the company. Before SABIC, Jay served in many managerial positions in General Electric’s former Plastics and Silicones businesses both in USA and China. Prior to joining GE, Jay worked as a Research Scientist in BASF Corporation's Colorant & Coatings and Performance...Read more

Judith Giordan

Judith Giordan is a co-founder of the Chemical Angels Network ( , Managing Director of ecosVC, Inc. ( , professor of Practice at Oregon State University, a former Fortune 100 executive and an entrepreneur. Judy serves as board member, co-founder, advisor and investor in seed and early stage STEM aligned startups.

Her previous executive positions include Corporate Vice President and Officer/Global Director of Research and Development at...Read more

Jacob E. Grose

Jacob E. Grose, Ph.D. is an Investment Manager for BASF Venture Capital, where he heads the Boston office. He is a board member for NBD Nanotechnologies and a board observer for Provivi. He is responsible for making strategic minority investments that bring value to BASF and the greater community. Previously, Jacob worked for BASF New Business, where, among other projects, Jacob scouted and led BASF's strategic partnership with EnerG2 Technologies. During this time, he was involved in the negotiations, due diligence, and subsequent integration for BASF's acquisition of EnerG2 in 2016....Read more

Laurence Hayward

Laurence Hayward is a founding partner of Independence Equity, an early-stage venture fund focused on resource efficiency. 

Hayward is co-founder of Cornerstone Angels, which has invested in more than 60 companies since 2006, and founder/CEO of VentureLab.  

Previously, Hayward was President of, an early version of equity crowdfunding.  Vcapital was acquired in 2002 by a NY-based investment bank. 

Hayward led global marketing for the Emerging Company Services practice of Arthur Andersen.  He was appointed to represent the firm...Read more

Frana James

Allied Microbiota was found to bring low-cost sustainable solutions to treat these recalcitrant pollutants using environmentally friendly microbial solutions. Founded in 2017 by Dr. Ray Sambrotto and Frana James from Columbia University, Allied Microbiota has developed methods of bioremediation using naturally isolated bacterial cultures and their enzymes for remediation of soil, sediments and groundwater using techniques like composting, and flow through reactors....Read more

Frank Klemens

Frank is the Managing Director of DuPont Ventures (Concurrent with Director of Licensing) in the areas of Nutrition & Health, Industrial Bio Sciences, Electronics & Imaging, Safety & Construction, and Transportation & Advanced Polymers. He works closely with the DuPont businesses to capture new and strategic opportunities primarily in the Specialty Chemical areas (IoT, machine learning, biotech, food, beverage and supplements that address digestive, metabolic and cardiovascular health, as well as specialty food protection, electronics and imaging, and construction and...Read more

Michael Krel

Michael joined Sofinnova in 2013 and has been involved in the investment activity of the Sofinnova Green Seed Fund and Sofinnova Capital funds and Sofinnova IB 1 fund, a 125 million euros fund dedicated to the decarbonization of the chemical industry. He is an observer on Comet Biorefining board. He was the acting CEO of EnobraQ at the very beginning of the company, and remains a board member since a new CEO has been hired.

Prior to Sofinnova, Michael spent two years as VP Business...Read more