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Trout Tank Participants Week 2

Renew West
What is it?

RenewWest is the company that makes money grow with trees.  We partner with landowners in the 7+ million acres of western land that burn in wildfire every year, replant them with native trees, and provide attractive returns to our investors through the sale of carbon offsets on the California carbon market. 

Our projects will have strong impacts on water through the more metered melting of snowpack, reduced stream sedimentation, and cooler watercourses.  In addition, we have strong outcomes on rural development, improved opportunities for tourism, and restoration of lost habitat.

Join us in changing how Americans value our forests.

Founders of RenewWest

A life-long westerner, Mike Smith grew up in Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho and has a family and personal history of scientific land management. He founded RenewWest in Denver in 2015. Prior to RenewWest, Mike served as an officer in the United States Navy, primarily as a FA-18 Super Hornet pilot.  Postings included Italy, Japan, and throughout the United States.  He led multiple independent projects with monthly operations budgets of $7+ million, 250+ personnel, and over $1.2 billion in assets.  His final tour on active duty was as the head of Navy cruise missile operations throughout Africa, Europe, and the western Middle East.

Mike earned his BS from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2002, majoring in Systems Engineering, with a focus on Environmental Engineering and a minor-equivalent in Political Science. He is a certified Project Management Professional and holds a Fundamentals of Engineering certificate from the State of Maryland.

John brings a background of entrepreneurial work in impact investing, capital raising, and commodities trading.  John’s track record of leveraging strong relationships to build and strengthen organizations supports RenewWest and its clients as they scale to achieve simultaneous social impact and financial return. Prior to joining RenewWest, John worked as Director of Operations at the Impact Finance Center, a non-profit expanding the field of impact investing.  He led efforts for sponsorship and fundraising for IFC's CO Impact Days annual event.  Prior to moving to Denver, John spent the majority of his 14-year professional career as a futures trader/broker and Managed Futures portfolio manager in Chicago.

John's passion for the outdoors and sustainability combined with his background led to his move west and involvement in the impact investing community. John received his BA in Communications and Business Administration from Michigan State University and holds his Series 3 and Series 30 Registrations.

Twitter: / @RenewWestLLC  
Mike's LinkedIn:
John's LinkedIn:

Open Water Foundation
What is it?

The Open Water Foundation (OWF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise that focuses on the development of open source software tools and open data to make better decisions about water resources.  OWF improves access to water data and increases transparency on complex water issues.  OWF helps government and other organizations understand complex water issues by providing data management, analysis, and visualization software.  Since founding in 2013, OWF has helped advance the concept of open innovation and collaboration with projects involving agricultural/urban water sharing, agriculture land use changes, municipal water use efficiency, water supply analysis, snowpack analysis, river basin modeling, environmental flow analysis, and other water-related projects.   OWF collaborates with partners in the water sector to provide software tools and datasets that benefit the public and support research, education, and the economy.  Open data.  Open software.  Open decisions.

Founder of Open Water Foundation

Steve Malers is founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Open Water Foundation (OWF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise that focuses on developing open source software and open data solutions for water resources to help organizations make better decisions about water.  He is also a partner and CTO at TriLynx Systems, which provides real-time data systems focusing on flood warning.  Steve grew up in La Junta, CO, has BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, and is a Colorado Foundation for Water Education Water Leader Program graduate.  He lives in Fort Collins with his wife Kate and four children.  Steve serves on the Fort Collins Water Board and Poudre Runs Through It Study/Action Work Group.  When not working, Steve enjoys spending time in the outdoors, coaching and watching soccer, and learning about many things.


VisuGen Global
What is it?
VisuGen was formed in June 2015 and has advanced an innovative water testing method with support from NSF and USDA SBIR grants. The VisuGen Global™ products will enable low-cost rapid on-site detection of pathogens. The technology permits low copy pathogen detection from 100 milliliters or more water by a molecular method with results available within 30 minutes at the site of sample collection. Our patented approach concentrates genes onto a “VisuChipTM™ and contamination is enumerated via a cell phone app.  Designed for non-laboratory use, it is ideal for use at food processing plants, at recreational lakes or beaches, on the farm, and extending to continuous monitoring of municipal water treatment and future direct potable water reuse plants. The ability to “Visualize Genes Anywhere” provides a means for more immediate assessment of water quality for more efficient water quality management resulting in improved public water use safety.

Founder of VisuGen Global

VisuGen has assembled a team with tremendous experience and leadership skills. Dr. John Gerdes, VisuGen President has over 25 years diagnostic/microbiology product development experience. He is the inventor of the technology and on 17 US patents.  Paul Donovan is CFO. He has 20+ years experience securing early-stage private, debt, government R&D funding for 50+ clients. Kris Buchanan is our engineering lead. He has 75 US patents and design and product development experience in healthcare microfluidic disposables. Kirsten Nelson is our senior scientist with 25 years technical and molecular biology experience. Our Board of Advisors include world authorities: Michael Doyle (food safety advisor to the FDA, CDC, WHO, and USDA), Rachel Noble (water microbiology expert at the University of North Carolina), and Ian Pepper, Co-director: Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center (WEST) awarded WateReuse 2017 Water Reuse Institution of the year. Ian is a world authority on water treatment microbiology.


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