Automotive Partnering Summit

Strategic Investment for Early-Stage Advanced-Tech

June 4, 2018 | Hotel Del Coronado | San Diego, CA


Venture capital is an integral part of the development of new technologies. The Automotive Partnering Summit is designed for CEOs and CFOs interested in developing partnerships on the path to automotive commercialization, from sensors and software in autonomous cars to advanced battery packs and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The panel discussions will provide insight into what VCs look for in funding companies and strategies for business development and individual presentations will showcase the latest technologies from early-stage companies seeking funds. In addition to presentations and panel discussions, the symposium is also designed to provide opportunities for one-on-one meetings that will allow for in-depth conversations and next-steps.

Final Agenda

Monday, June 4

7:00 am Summit Registration & Morning Coffee


8:15 Organizer’s Opening Remarks

Shannon Given, Editor, Cambridge EnerTech

8:20 Navigating the Landscape of Structuring Partnership Agreements for Early Stage Companies

David Jacoby, President, Boston Strategies International

Early stage investments in EV require partnerships, but they also require the development of strategic customer relationships and intellectual property. How can you be proactive and early to the market while avoiding the erosion of strategic customer relationships and intellectual property to partners who you may not be married to for the long term? Hear examples of agreement structures and relationships that balance risk and reward for early-stage partnerships.

9:05 STRATEGIC INVESTING PANEL DISCUSSION: Partnering & Investing on the Convergence of Mobility, Artificial Intelligence, Energy Storage & Renewable Energies

Moderator: Dirk Michels, Partner, Energy and Project Finance Group, Ballard Spahr LLP

Saman Farid, Partner, Baidu Ventures

Joshua Posamentier, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Congruent Ventures

William D. Lese, Managing Partner, Braemar Energy Ventures

Cassie Bowe, Associate Vice President, Energy Impact Partners

By 2030, it is predicted that 95 percent of US passenger miles will be served by on-demand autonomous EVs owned by fleets in a business model dubbed “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS), whose market size is expected to exceed $120 billion by 2025. Discover what VCs look for in funding companies and new business strategies in a TaaS based economy and how to ready your company to participate in the upcoming mobility disruption.

10:00 Networking Coffee Break & 1-1 Partnering Meetings


11:00 Economical, Scalable, and Precise Autonomous Vehicle Localization and Navigation with ‘Fingerprint’ Technology

Paul Drysch, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Civil Maps

Civil Maps provides vehicular cognition for self-driving cars, emulating the mental routines of human cognition used in the tasks of driving and navigation. Fingerprint Base Map (FBM) serves as a component in Civil Maps’ cognition offering, enabling autonomous vehicles to understand where they are in the world and what is around them. Unlike solutions that are dependent on processing hardware and third-party data centers, FBM is utilized entirely on-the-edge, in-vehicle.

11:15 Wireless Charging: Integrating Electric Vehicle Autonomy, Renewables, and Battery Storage

Jeremy McCool, CEO, HEVO, Inc.

HEVO represents how to achieve electric vehicles adoption, and accelerate renewable development and energy storage implementation. As autonomy becomes more prevalent in disrupting the transportation industry, and electric vehicles become the common platform, it is required that ubiquitous universal charging be made available, and seamlessly connected to renewables and battery storage. Only through the integration of this ecosystem will the full potential of all technologies and industries be fully realized.

11:30 Connected Car Keeps Drivers Safe

Ezana Tesfu, Director, Operations, CarVi

CarVi device prevents drivers from a dangerous situation by giving them real-time alert and feedback on their driving behavior. A connected car is improving and reducing auto accidents on the road and expediting the claim on insurances.

11:45 STRATEGIC INVESTING PANEL DISCUSSION: Investing in the Potential of Global Automotive Innovation

Moderator: To Be Announced

Panelists: Quin Garcia, Managing Director, Autotech Ventures

Bic Stevens, Managing Director, Hamilton Clark

Kevin Deneen, Senior Associate, Aster Capital

Andrew Byrnes, Investor, Comet Labs

The transportation sector is undergoing several epochal changes simultaneously: autonomous driving, electric vehicles, and connected cars. Each will significantly impact the auto sector. This panel gives a glimpse of the future opportunities globally, the innovation centers across the globe, and how VCs harness the investment potential in these different areas.

12:40 pm Lunch & 1-1 Partnering Meetings


2:05 Solid-State Batteries for an EV-Driven Future

Erik Terjesen, Senior Director, Licensing and Strategy, Ionic Materials

One of the largest barriers holding back electric vehicles from widespread adoption is range anxiety. To enable a green future that’s powered by affordable, long-range EVs, car manufacturers are cranking up R&D efforts around solid-state battery solutions. In this session, attendees will learn about the different advantages of solid-state systems and, specifically, how they will increase EV range by allowing for previously inaccessible, higher energy density, battery chemistries.

2:20 Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving

Catherine Carroll, COO, Sober Steering

Sober Steering developed a touch based alcohol interlock to prevent drunk driving. Upon ignition, drivers place a hand on our biosensor in the wheel, which detects alcohol by touch. If alcohol detected exceeds a pre-set limit, the vehicle is immobilized. Sober Steering completed a prototype wearable alcohol sensor that detects alcohol in real-time. The biosensor technology is small, rugged, inexpensive and specifically designed for industrial and automotive use.

2:35 How Do We Power Millions of EVs?

Jason Appelbaum, CEO, EverCharge

With many new electric vehicles slated for 2020 and beyond, cities, consumers, and OEMs must consider how they plan to power these vehicles. Investing in a massive infrastructure overhaul will be time consuming and expensive. However, by leveraging smarter dynamic charging technology, we can power more vehicles by simply using power more efficiently.

2:50 STRATEGIC INVESTING PANEL DISCUSSION: Alternative Investing Structure

Moderator: Richard Baxter, President, Mustang Prairie Energy

Panelists: Conrad Burke, Vice President of New Ventures, Intellectual Ventures

Robert Rango, President & CEO, Enevate

Paul Ho, Managing Director, AIM

Investment is surging into all facets of the EV supply chain as the opportunity to gain a piece of the evolving new vehicle market emerges. This panel will evaluate the opportunities of alternative investment structures that allow institutional and strategic investments to marry innovative technologies and business models with investment firms with deep pockets, access to customers and partners, and the understanding on how to navigate small companies on high growth trajectories.

3:50 Networking Refreshment Break & 1-1 Partnering Meetings


4:50 Commercialization of a New Class of Additives to Improve Li-Ion Abuse Tolerance

Steven Weiss, PhD, President, Xilectric, Inc.

Xilectric has developed a new approach for managing electrolyte degradation. The technology helps with high voltage, high temperature, and fast charge. More generally, the technology improves the abuse tolerance of Li-ion batteries. We have shown a greater than 2.5x lifetime increase for a variety of electrolyte and cathode formulations.

5:05 Liquefied Gas Electrolytes for Lithium Batteries

Jungwoo Lee, CEO, South 8 Technologies, Inc.

A novel class of electrolytes using liquefied gasses for lithium batteries has demonstrated compatibility with lithium metal and high voltage cathodes, excellent performance from ambient to -60°C, and improved safety through the mitigation of thermal runaway. The improved energy density from the use of lithium metal with high efficiency and NMC cathodes with stable performance will push this technology beyond the 400 Wh/kg threshold while maintaining excellent cycle life.

5:20 Close of Summit