| Cleantech Conference New York – Berlin November 3, 2016 in New York City
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Cleantech Conference New York – Berlin
November 3, 2016 in New York City

New York

The German cleantech sector has been enjoying steady growth in recent years. It produces an increasing number of successful young companies wishing to internationalize and tap into the startup ecosystem in the United States, particularly in New York. In this context, CleanTech Innovation Center Berlin hosted an international conference in New York City that included business and policy experts as well as startups from Germany and the US.

The conference was organized in cooperation with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Urban Future Lab, German American Chamber of Commerce New York, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Center for Research and Innovation.

 Venue: German House (Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany), Auditorium, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York



09:00 am:  Registration

09:30 am:  Opening & Welcome

Kai Hennig, Deputy Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany

Christian Gräff, District Counselor Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Berlin 

Prof. Kurt H. Becker, Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, NYU 


10:00 am:   Cleantech in New York and Berlin – Framework Requirements and Current Development



  • Berlin – Germany’s Cleantech Hotspot: Market Conditions and Business Opportunities

Michael Geissler, Chief Executive Officer, Berlin Energy Agency (BEA)

  •  Building Smart Grid /Smart Cities Companies in NY – Urban Future Lab and ACRE Incubator at NYU Tandon

Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director, Cleantech Initiatives, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

  • Showcasing Smart Cleantech Solutions and Projects from the German Capital Region

Wolfgang Korek, Head of Unit Energy Technologies, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology

  •  Opportunities in New York State – Limited Only by Your Imagination

Jeff Peterson, Program Manager, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – NYSERDA


12:00 (noon):  Lunch


01:30 pm: The Impact of Startups for the Cleantech Sector in Germany and the US

Moderator: Timon Meyer, T-Base Consulting

Startup Presentations with Q&A:

  • Fentrend (New York)
  • SunOyster Systems (Germany)
  • Hyperion Energy (Germany)
  • Radiator Labs (New York)
  • Faunder (Germany)
  • X-Wind Powerplants (Germany)
  • Clean Energy Global (Germany)
  • Gleensheep/CupnDo (Germany)


02:30 pm: Coffee break


03:00 pm:  Cleantech Case Studies from New York and Berlin – What does it take to be successful?


Panel discussion

Kurt H. Becker, Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
David Wortmann, Managing Director, Berlin-Brandenburg Energy Network
Dietmar Rieg, President & CEO, German American Chamber of Commerce New York (GACCNY)
Micah Kotch, Managing Director for MINI Urban-X accelerator
Sander Dolder, Center for Urban Innovation | Smart and Sustainable Cities, New York City Economic Development


Moderator: Christian Gräff, District Counselor Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Berlin, Business and Industry Promotion


05:15 pm: Networking & Buffet (German House Restaurant, 871 United Nations Plaza)


Prof. Kurt H. Becker


Prof. Kurt H. Becker

Kurt Becker is currently the Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and a Professor in the Dept. of Applied Physics and the Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Prior to joining the then Polytechnic University in 2007, he was Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology (2003–2007) and Professor (1997-2007) and Head of the Physics Department (2000-2007). He also held faculty positions at Lehigh University (1984–1988) and at the City College of CUNY (1988–1997). He earned a Diplom in Physik (MS) degree and Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) degree from the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

Kurt Becker is a physicist and is recognized as an international expert in the areas of the experimental atomic physics and plasma science and technology. He is known for his research into electron-driven processes, especially on electron ionization as well as his work on the basic properties of atmospheric-pressure microplasmas and their technological exploitation in areas such as surface modifications and environmental, biological, and biomedical applications. He holds 7 US patents on the generation and maintenance of stable atmospheric-pressure plasmas and their application and was involved in their commercialization through two startups.

Kurt Becker is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the National Academy of Inventors, the recipient of the Dr. Eduard-Martin Prize for Excellence in Research from the Universität des Saarlandes, the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, and the SASP Erwin Schrödinger Medal. He also holds an Honorary Professorship at the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Austria. He has written over 250 articles in refereed journals and books. In addition, he has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals.

Sander Dolder
Sander Dolder

Sander Dolder

Sander Dolder is an associate vice president at the New York City Economic Development Corporation where he leads the efforts to support the Smart Cities and Cleantech ecosystem, in addition to fostering sector innovation, advocating industry and sustainability policy, and developing local and international partnerships. Sander is specialized in economic development, sustainability, urban innovation, and organizational design. Prior to the NYCEDC, Sander worked in management consulting at Ernst & Young and Capgemini in their organizational design and digital strategy practices, respectively, for ICT/telecom and media clients. He has a MBA/MS Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan and enjoys backpacking, horticulture, music, skiing, and stock investing.









Christian Gräff

Christian Gräff

Christian Gräff is District Council of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, the easternmost district of Berlin. In that capacity, he is in charge of, among other functions, Economic development and city planning. Christian has been a member of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) since 1995. From 2002-2009, he was a member of the CDU’s City Board. In 2006, he was elected District Council, a position he has held since. Prior to his political career, he was the CEO of a medium-sized retail business.











Michael Geissler
Michael Geisler

Michael Geissler

Michael Geissler is CEO of the Berlin Energy Agency (BEA), a public-private partnership established by the State of Berlin. BEA develops and implements projects for the efficient generation and use of energy in public, commercial and residential buildings, focusing also on renewable energies. It is specialized in co- and trigeneration, solar plants (photovoltaic and solar thermal) and lighting technology. In Germany and abroad, BEA also offers project management and advice on the implementation of energy service models – e.g. Energy Performance Contracting in more than 1,400 public buildings in Berlin –, but also on capacity building and information campaigns.

Equipped with degrees in Process and Environmental Engineering and in Industrial Engineering and Management, Michael worked first as a project manager at Bewag (today Vattenfall Europe) and as an independent consulting engineer, before joining BEA in 1994. In 1997, he was appointed sole Chief Executive Officer.

Michael is, among other positions, honorary Secretary General of the European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and Environment (FEDARENE), Chairman of the German Federal Association of Energy and Climate Protection Agencies (eaD), member of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin and member of the Advisory Council of the Development Bank of the State of Berlin (IBB).

Wolfgang Korek
Wolfgang Korek

Wolfgang Korek

Wolfgang Korek is Head of Unit for Energy Technologies and CleanTech at Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, the business and technology development agency of Berlin. With customized services and an excellent science and research network, Berlin Partner provides a range of programs to help companies launch, innovate, expand and secure their economic future in Berlin.

In this position Mr Korek is also Deputy Cluster Manager of the joint Berlin-Brandenburg Cluster for Energy Technology. The cluster supports and advances the innovation process in the pioneering sector of energy technology. A team of professionals bundles the competencies of the German capital region and serves as a network for experts from industry, science, politics and the public sector.

Mr Korek has more than seven years of experience in business promotion, international project management and technology transfer. He also worked as a business consultant after graduating in European Business Management at ESCP Europe Business School in Madrid and London.




Micah Kotch
Mica Kotch

Mica Kotch

Micah Kotch serves as the Managing Director of Urban-X by MINI and HAX. Urban-X is a startup accelerator that assists companies with designing and launching products and services that improve life in cities and address the challenges of increasingly dense urban areas. In his role as Managing Director of Urban-X, Kotch leads accelerator startups focused on intelligent cities, urban hyper-growth, and society-scale challenges.

Kotch, an expert in smart cities, previously served as the Director of NY Prize and Strategic Adviser for Innovation at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. There, he was responsible for the design and execution of the nation’s first community microgrid competition and utility business model transformation. Kotch also serves as a national faculty member for the National Science Foundation’s i-Corps program and spent five years as the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he launched New York City’s sponsored tech incubator. Since its inception in 2009, nine of the incubator companies have been acquired and collectively they have created more than 1,000 jobs and have an economic impact approaching $500,000,000. A Chinese major at Colgate University, Micah graduated with distinction and started his first company while working in Ningbo, China.





Timon Meyer
Timon Meyer

Timon Meyer

Timon Meyer is the Managing Partner of T-Base Consulting, a Berlin-based, globally active consulting firm that specializes in marketing, market entry strategies, communications and PR. He has led numerous consulting projects for clients at the intersection of business, politics and administration.

From 2006-2010, Timon was Head of the Business Unit “Manufacturing Industries, Mobility & Clean Technologies” at Berlin Partner. Berlin’s renewable energies sector grew considerably during that period, with numerous companies setting up or expanding production facilities. Previously, Timon was with TOTAL Germany, serving as Head of Strategic Controlling of the Special Products Division. During his tenure, the division substantially improved several KPI, including ROI and profit per employee.

Timon holds a Diplôme de Grande Ecole / MSc in Management degree from ESCP Europe and is a certified systemic coach. Having lived in five countries, he is fluent in English, Spanish, German and French.




Jeffrey M. Peterson
Jeffrey M. Peterson

Jeffrey M. Peterson

As a longtime program manager at NYSERDA, Jeff’s primary focus is on building the foundation for a customer-focused entrepreneurial ecosystem to catalyze and facilitate the transition of ideas/inventions around the clean energy market into scalable business enterprises. Examples of programs in our portfolio include: Proof-of-Concept Centers to bring clean energy technology inventions out of the laboratory and turn academic teams into businesses; business incubators to mentor young companies to become investible business enterprises; and, executive transition and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence programs to provide quality leadership and counsel to early-stage companies and move them on a faster growth trajectory. Extracurricular activities over the past few years include: Member of the Advisory Board for the RPI Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship program, member of the Board of Directors of the American Solar Energy Society; Peer review of manuscripts submitted to Elsevier publication: “Energy Policy – International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy”; National Academy of Engineering Committee on U.S. – Chinese Cooperation on Electricity from Renewable Resources; National Research Council Panel on Electricity from Renewables – America’s Energy Future; and, chair, Board of Directors for the US Off-Shore Wind Collaborative.





Dietmar Rieg
Dietmar Rieg

Dietmar Rieg

President & CEO
German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Mr. Rieg has served as President and CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) in New York since July 2013.

Prior to joining the GACC New York, Mr. Rieg held various banking positions for Bayern LB starting in 1991. Since 1993, he served in multiple senior roles in Corporate Banking and Project Finance in New York. From 2006 to 2008, he re-located to the bank’s headquarters in Munich, where he was responsible for the corporate banking business in multiple industries, including energy, manufacturing, and telecommunications. He returned to New York in mid-2008 to take the position of General Manager of Bayern LB’s Branch office which he held until June 2013.

Mr. Rieg is an economist with a degree from the University of Tuebingen, Germany and holds an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.





Pat Sapinsley
Pat Sapinsley

Pat Sapinsley

Pat Sapinsley is the Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives at the Urban Future Lab/ ACRE at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. A LEED AP architect, Pat holds a Master’s in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has served on their Alumni Council. She is Co-Chair of the Committee on the Environment of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the Board of Building Energy Exchange, a frequent lecturer and industry panelist, and an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council and Urban Green. Prior to joining UFL/ACRE, Pat worked in venture capital at Good Energies and consulted with start ups in the building energy efficiency space. She was CEO of Watt Not, a LED lighting consultancy. As a Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, she assisted in translating biologically-inspired technologies into commercial products. She brings 15+ years of experience in the industry, connecting start-ups to sources of funding, customers, and business mentors.





David Wortmann
David Wortmann

David Wortmann

David Wortmann is owner and Managing Director of DWR eco, one of Germany’s leading agencies for strategic communication, political positioning and the development of new business areas in the cleantech sector. Mr Wortmann has more than 15 years of national and international working experience in public affairs and consulting, especially in the field of environmental technologies and renewables energies.

In politics, he supported the establishment of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE), among others as Director of International Policy Affairs. As a consultant, he worked on the government side for the Industrial Investment Council as Head of Asian Activities based in Tokyo and later for Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) as Head of the Energy and Environmental Technologies Department. In the industry, he served as Director of Strategic Planning and as Vice President for Public Affairs EU for First Solar. Furthermore, Mr Wortmann is Managing Director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Energy Network, which supports the engagement of regional businesses, actors and institutions in the field of renewable energy.