How the Innovation Incubator (IN2) is Scaling Emerging Cleantech Solutions for Energy Smart Buildings
On September 27th, 2017, Meeting of the Minds hosted a live webinar featuring Ashley Grosh of Wells Fargo, David Roe of LiquidCool Solutions, and Eric Kozubal of National Renewable Energy Lab.
How can a financial institution and a national laboratory partner to support breakthrough technology innovations to solve the energy and climate crisis in the building space? What are the necessary conditions that make such successes possible? To answer those questions we’ll be hearing about the IN2 program and innovators focused on applying new technologies on a mission to foster smart and connected communities. On August 16-17 of this year IN2 convened 150 leaders to gather the cleantech ecosystem and guide the future of the innovative IN2 program model. Ashley will be joined by IN2 portfolio company, LiquidCool Solutions and the NREL researcher helping them to overcome technical challenges on their path to market. LiquidCool Solutions (LCS) is developing a total immersion electronics cooling technology with the potential to save over 40% in energy savings and significant cost savings compared with air-cooling technologies. A safe and easy-to-maintain dielectric fluid is pumped directly into the server enclosure to cool electronic components while protecting them from environmental contaminants. Liquid has more than 1,400 times the heat-carrying capacity of air by volume and enables heat produced by the servers to be used elsewhere in the connected building.
Vice President & Manager of Strategic Environmental Philanthropy, Environmental Affairs
Ashley Grosh is vice president and Manager of Strategic Environmental Philanthropy for Wells Fargo, where she manages a $100 million environmental philanthropy fund to support the company’s sustainability initiatives and CSR goals.
In 2012, Grosh engineered two national grant programs – the Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program and the Clean Technology and Innovation grant program – both designed to further the connection between the company’s environmental initiatives and sustainability efforts led by customers, local communities, clean technology organizations and nonprofits, universities, and research labs.
In 2014, Grosh co-led the development of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) – a 7 year, $30 million philanthropy program fostering an ecosystem through deep collaboration with universities, national labs, and accelerators, providing sustainable building technology startups with technical and financial assistance to advance commercialization. The program has been recognized as an innovative solution for commercialization and been featured in American Banker.
In 2017 and beyond, Grosh will continue to lead the company’s environmental philanthropy, expanding the clean technology programs and adding environmental education as a key focus area.
Additionally Grosh collaborates widely with Wells Fargo’s internal business groups on the company’s strategic environmental commitment, and other social and economic imperatives, including impact investing efforts, supporting projects such as the installation of solar panels on Wells Fargo stores and the development of environmentally-beneficial financial products.
Grosh’s ongoing work and creativity to encourage innovation and the development of emerging clean technology companies has been widely recognized throughout the industry. She serves as a popular speaker, judge and mentor for accelerator and business plan competitions across the country. In addition, she serves on the National Board of Directors of the Cleantech Open, and the Investment Advisory Board for the National Renewable Energy Lab and the Industry Council Board at the Clean Energy Trust.
In 2017, Grosh was recognized as a 40 under 40 winner in Colorado and also recognized as a Top Women in Energy in the Denver Business Journal.
A nearly 14-year Wells Fargo veteran, Grosh joined the Environmental Affairs team in 2009. Prior to her current role, she was an Investment Management Associate with Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management/Alternative Investments Group and in Chicago, working with high net worth individuals, family offices and other institutional investors on financial solutions and alternative energy investments.
Grosh earned a B.A. degree in Economics with a minor in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as a student athlete on the CU NCAA Division One women’s soccer team. She also holds a certified financial planning certificate from DePaul University’s College of Financial Planning, and an Renewable and Energy Certificate from the LEEDS School of Business at her alma mater in Boulder.
Grosh resides in Colorado with her husband and two children.
David provides project management oversight and coordination on all LiquidCool Solutions Research and Development projects. He joined LiquidCool in 2010 after completing a 30-year career at IBM Corporation where he held both technical and management positions in server development and disk drive manufacturing. Prior to leaving IBM David held the position of Executive Project Manager with responsibility for multi-million dollar projects in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group.
David also teaches Project Management at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, MN. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.
Project Principle Investigator
National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
Eric joined NREL in 2002 and is a member of the Commercial Buildings Research Group. Eric researches new methods and technologies for energy-efficient air conditioning systems. He has tested more than 25 HVAC components and systems, including direct expansion, evaporative, and desiccant technologies. He improves manufacturers’ products by providing detailed performance, analysis, and design recommendations. He uses tools such as CAD, Matlab, Engineer Equation Solver, Excel, and statistical software to design new HVAC systems, such as the desiccant enhanced evaporative cooling concept. He has also worked to optimize hybrid air- and water-cooled geothermal binary power cycles.
Before joining NREL, Eric developed new flow control products for Emerson Process Management and was a test and manufacturing engineer for a hard disc drive component manufacturer (Now Western Digital Corporation). He is an active member of ASHRAE’s technical committees for desiccant and evaporative cooling and has co-authored test standards in these areas.