Jim Babcock founded what is now Cthulhu Ventures in 2007, prior to which he was a co-founder (in 1977), CEO, and, ultimately, Chairman of Babcock & Brown, a global investment-banking/funds-management firm that was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Prior to co-founding Babcock & Brown, Jim spent 2 ½ painful years practicing corporate and tax law, having graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and Harvard Law School (where he was a member and officer of the Harvard Law Review), and serving for a year as a law clerk to Judge James R. Browning on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the context of Cthulhu Ventures, Jim serves on the boards of a number of the companies in which Cthulhu Ventures has invested, including, inter alia, the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry (of which he is Chairman).
John Warner received his BS in Chemistry from UMASS Boston, and his PhD in Chemistry from Princeton University. After working at the Polaroid Corporation for nearly a decade, he then served as tenured full professor at UMASS Boston and Lowell (Chemistry and Plastics Engineering). In 2007 he and Jim Babcock founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, LLC (A research organization developing green chemistry technologies, where he serves as President and Chief Technology Officer), and Beyond Benign (a non-profit dedicated to sustainability and green chemistry education). He is one of the founders of the field of Green Chemistry, co-authoring the defining text “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice” with Paul Anastas. He has published over 200 patents, papers and books. His recent work in the fields of semiconductor design, biodegradable plastics, personal care products, solar energy and polymeric photoresists are examples of how green chemistry principles can be immediately incorporated into commercially relevant applications. John received The 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring, the American Institute of Chemistry's Northeast Division's Distinguished Chemist of the Year for 2002 and the Council of Science Society President's 2008 Leadership award. He also was named by ICIS as one of the most influential people impacting the global chemical industries. In 2011, he was elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and named one of "25 Visionaries Changing the World" by Utne Reader.
Joe Pont was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry on June 1, 2011. Prior to his appointment, Joe served in senior R&D and commercial roles in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the US and Europe, including the last 10 years with Lonza, where he most recently served as Head of Research & Development (2008 - 2009) and Vice President of Marketing & Key Account Management (2010 - 2011). He has extensive experience leading diverse, global organizations and a substantial track record in sales and marketing. Joe holds a BS in Chemistry from Yale University and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Princeton University.
Christopher Hill is Chief Financial Officer for Cthulhu Ventures and for a number of the companies in which Cthulhu Ventures has invested, including, inter alia, the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. From 2005 to 2007, Chris acted as Chief Financial Officer for Above Board Technologies, a company founded to manufacture construction products made from sustainable, non-wood fibers. Since 1995, he has served as the President and CEO of Modulus Guitars, a manufacturer of guitars and basses for professional musicians. From 1987 to 1995, he served as Senior Financial Manager, Vice President of Finance, and Director of Information Technology for ViTel International Inc., an international leader in electronic business messaging. Overall, Chris has over twenty years of experience in finance and information systems management and holds a degree in Accounting from Carlow University in Ireland.
Veteran leader of several start-up ventures and mature business units across a variety of industry segments, including: office automation software, information technology outsourcing, turnkey networking, pricing analytics software, and renewable energy structured finance. Rich is currently responsible for Corporate Development at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry ("WBI"). Prior to WBI, served as CEO of Advantage for Analysts ("Advantage"), a provider of structured finance solutions primarily to the U.S. renewable energy market. In 2009, he led the Advantage MBO and its divestiture from B&B. During his tenure at Advantage, he has overseen more than $3B in closed renewable energy transactions involving relationships across a wide range of industry participants, including: developers, sponsors, tax equity investors, utilities, private equity investors, and government officials. Frequent speaker at renewable energy conferences on a variety of topics, including: industry trends, tax equity financing, and valuation. Prior to Advantage, Rich held management positions and raised equity capital for a number of ventures and supported the IPOs for two businesses. As an executive at EDS and Keane, Rich lead six transactions with a total deal value of more than $500M.
Dr. Craig Rosenfeld received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and completed his internship and residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Rosenfeld completed fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. After completing his fellowships, he joined the Faculty of University of Pittsburgh. In 1990, Dr. Rosenfeld was appointed Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Western Pennsylvania Cancer Institute. In 1994, Dr. Rosenfeld moved to Dallas to establish and direct the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Medical City Dallas Hospital. In 2002, Dr. Rosenfeld was appointed Chief Scientific Officer at SuperGen, Inc. While Chief Scientific Officer, Senior Vice President, and later as Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board and Consultant for Dacogen NDA, Dr. Rosenfeld directed the pivotal trials to completion, leading to submission and FDA approval of Dacogen. In 2005, Dr. Rosenfeld co-founded The Vaccine Company, and served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President raising several million in private capital.
Dr. Rosenfeld currently serves on the Texas Israel Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, Dallas County Medical Society, and Texas Medical Association. Dr. Rosenfeld received the 2008 Dallas Humanitarian of the Year Award from B'nai Zion. During almost 20 years of practice, Dr. Rosenfeld has devised, conducted, and led numerous clinical research protocols from pre-clinical to FDA approval. He has authored or co-authored close to 100 publications in book chapters and peer reviewed journals. Additionally, Dr. Rosenfeld has presented original research and expert review at international symposia including the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Mahmut Karayel, Ph.D. is the managing partner of Nova Delta LLC, a private proprietary trading fund focusing on domestic equity markets. Mahmut has 25+ years of experience in applications of mathematical optimization and decision models under uncertainty. His finance career focused on Leasing, Real Estate Finance, Structured Finance, Project Finance, Capital Markets and Risk Management. Before Nova Delta, Mahmut spent extensive tenures at Babcock & Brown as the Head of Financial Analysis; at US Leasing and GATX as Manager of Investment Analysis, and at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. as a research scientist. He also had short tenures as Engineer, Professor and Software Developer, building prescriptive and predictive models to solve resource allocation problems in operational context and to optimizing transactions in the finance context. Mahmut is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he received a Ph.D. in Operations Research. He received an undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Engineering from UC Berkeley. Dr. Karayel is also a partner of Alta Bering Management Technology Consultants which focuses on operational performance optimization and incentive compensation structuring.
Dr. Chris Frederickson is CEO of Neurobiotex and adjunct professor at University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, as well as a Member of the Marine Biological Laboratory Corporation at Woods Hole MA. As a Graduate of Harvard College and University of Chicago, Chris started on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon and proceeded to become a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Texas Dallas (1975- 1999). Chris began his zinc research at UT Dallas in 1979, and discovered the zinc-secreting nerve cells of the brain in 1983. He edited the definitive 2 volume book on Zinc Neurobiology (AR Liss) in 1984, organized the first of continuing Annual Zinc Meetings in 1999, (Zinc Signals, I-XII ), and has published over 150 books, patents, and research papers on zinc in biology. In 1999, Chris joined University of Texas Medical School-Galveston, while also launching NeuroBioTex, Inc., a medical R&D firm that has initiated several commercial ventures with various UTMB departments as well as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins, and MIT. He has been a member and/or Chairman of NIH Small Business Innovation Research reviews panels continuously since 1992, and has participated in or chaired several NIH Symposia on zinc. Chris was also recently honored by the International Society of Zinc in Biology with the inauguration of their permanent, annual "Chris Frederickson Award for Best Research in Zinc Biology", first awarded in Melbourne, in 2012.
James, a California native who worked directly for Cthulhu Ventures for a number of years in the areas of financial and deal analysis and affiliate relations/oversight, recently moved to the Boston area from Cthulhu’s home office in Sausalito (a) to help found and become the CEO of Collaborative Aggregates LLC (“CollAgg”), one of Cthulhu Ventures’ affiliated companies, and (b) to be able to work more closely with the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry (“WBI”) in the context of managing the development and commercialization of CollAgg’s WBI-generated technologies in the construction and infrastructure fields. James holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Professor Ashley Bush (MB BS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FTSE) heads the Oxidation Biology Laboratory at the Mental Health Research Institute, The University of Melbourne, is Biomarker co-director within the Australian Imaging Biomarker Lifestyle Study (AIBL), Chief Scientific Officer of the CRC for Mental Health, lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and adjunct professor of neuroscience at Cornell University. He has received numerous awards including the Australia Fellowship from the NHMRC. Professor Bush has authored over 240 publications, with over 17,000 citations, 21 patents and founded 3 biotechnology companies. He discovered the interaction of beta-amyloid with zinc as a major factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Bush is the recipient of several awards including the Potamkin Prize for Alzheimer’s disease research from the American Academy of Neurology, the Paul B. Beeson Award in Aging from The National Institute on Aging and the American Federation for Aging Research and the Senator Mark A. Hatfield Award for Clinical Research from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Van Spence is the President of Denver-based Rampart Energy Company, which acts as an operating company for a variety of energy related ventures. Rampart (formerly known as Duncan Energy Company) was originally formed by Babcock & Brown in 1990 as the operator of NBB Energy Partners I LP, a ten-year, exploratory drilling project. Today, Rampart’s focus is on the remediation and revitalization of marginal, orphaned, or abandoned oil fields within the US.
Van has 27 years of technical oil and gas experience. Prior to joining Duncan in 1993, he held a variety of engineering and management positions with Shell Oil Company in Houston. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Wyoming where he received a degree in Petroleum Engineering and was an Academic All-America baseball player.