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Chicago Region Clean Energy Series Session #3

Chicago Region Clean Energy Series by WBC, Nicor Gas, & bp gathers local clean tech leaders

Launched in October 2021, the WBC-led thought leadership series explores Chicago’s role as an emerging leader in the future of energy.

From startups to Fortune 500 companies, the city and region’s business community is playing a major role in developing new technologies and practical applications aimed at reducing carbon emissions and driving a clean energy economy. Launched in October of 2021, the four-part virtual series invites local executives, civic leaders, and founders focused on sparking new ideas, investments and partnerships. 

Meena Beyers, vice president of business and community development at Nicor Gas, kicked off the third session with a fireside chat between mHub CEO, Haven Allen, and CEO of Evergreen Climate Innovations, Erik Bikerts, as they discussed mHub’s upcoming Climate and Energy cohort accelerator. The accelerator will select 8-10 of the most promising startups from a pool of global applicants to participate in its intensive 6-month incubation program.

Dr. Garry Cooper, Founder & CEO of Rheaply, moderated the session that followed, gathering a panel of three local cleantech entrepreneurs. Featured panelists included: 

  • Vic Shao, CEO of AMPLY Power 
  • Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet
  • Joanne Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Mycocycle 

Panelists examined ways that public private partnerships are the key to strengthening the clean tech innovation ecosystem across Illinois. Additional topics of conversation included policies that local legislators can support to bolster climate innovation in the region, how the cleantech and climate tech space can focus on equitable distribution of resources for entrepreneurs of color and gender diverse entrepreneurs, and what is up and coming for their companies. The panel ended on a positive note when Vic, Jimmy, and Joanne shared how they stay optimistic about the work that they do. 

Closing remarks were provided by Emily Leung, bp’s vice president of Future Mobility and Electrification – Americas. 

Missed this session? We invite you to watch the recording on World Business Chicago’s YouTube channel. The fourth and final Clean Energy Series session will focus on accelerating Chicago’s hydrogen economy and is scheduled for Thursday, April 7 from 12-1pm CST. Interested in attending? Email to RSVP.


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