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    Scaling Clean

    The podcast for cleantech CEOs, investors, and the people who advise them.

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In March 2022, Tigercomm launched “Scaling Clean, the podcast for clean economy CEOs, investors & the people who advise them.”

You can find episodes on Apple, Spotify, Radio Public, Amazon Music, iHeart, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Think of this clean energy podcast as a cross between NPR’s “How I Built This” and the New York Times’ “Corner Office” interview series. We’ll glean lessons and best practices from experienced cleantech leaders and curate them for the next generation of sector leaders – all in a compact, rich 30 minutes.

Some context…. If I don’t count the college car washing business I had with my buddy, Mike Duffy, Tigercomm’s the first business I’ve ever run. When I started this firm, it took me a few years to understand that working on the business was an actual skillset that took time and effort to develop.

The more we’ve executed for CEOs, the more I’ve admired their skill and fortitude. Theirs is a tough job. Stay on their “A game” 90% of the time. Handle the customer crisis that develops 15 seconds after the red eye flight lands. Terminate the well-liked, under-performing member of their leadership team. Be good at 10-15 things. Be great at another 3-5 things.

As a group, they’re impressive people. Not perfect, not always right, sometimes impatient. But on an individual level, I find them fascinating and inspiring. That’s why we’re focusing on the lessons they’ve learned about some of the basic components of building, leading and running companies:

  • Evaluating members of inherited leadership teams
  • Leading people
  • Hiring and firing
  • Properly defining the role of the CEO
  • Advice for up-and-coming corporate leaders
  • What makes leading clean economy companies different (or not)
  • What’s more important: what they do or what they don’t do

ScalingClean final logo-3


Jing Tian

Today, we are bringing you perspective from Jing Tian, who co-founded her own company early in her career and also led the U.S. presence for three different international cleantech firms. And Jing Tian is also Dr. Tian, who earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Drexel University and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department at Princeton University. Jing is now the chief growth officer of Tigo Energy, a company accelerating the adoption of solar energy worldwide through innovative solar power conversion and storage products. She has a wealth of insights from her career of building and managing teams in the clean technology sector, some of which were international in their scope and their focus. You can learn more on the podcast writeup here.


Silvia Ortin

On today’s Scaling Clean, a discussion with Silvia Ortín. She has worked in the power sector her entire career. Silvia started as a contract trading analyst for TXU Energy in the late 1990s. Over a quarter century later, she is the CEO of RWE Renewables Onshore Wind and PV division. Silvia is the first woman to hold the position. Our goal on Scaling Clean is to aggregate insights from CEOs, investors and advisors on building and running winning teams at clean economy companies. I am really excited to share this interview with our listeners because Silvia has experience as a key part of #cleantech teams in four countries on both sides of the Atlantic. She is a rich source of culturally-portable management lessons invaluable on the global stage. You can learn more in our podcast writeup here.


Claus Nussgruber

Ever heard the joke about the engineer who walked into a podcast interview and turned out to be a fountain of wisdom and soundbites? Well, our guest today is just that… except he’s no joke. South African-native Claus Nussgruber leads Utility Global, a net-zero hydrogen company based in Houston. He spent his 31-year career working in and leading corporate initiatives focused on hydrogen and other rare industrial gasses. To me, Claus represents the influx of talent that’s coming into cleantech from other parts of the economy. They’re diversifying the available expertise and perspective, and we’re the better for it. And you’re going to be better for listening to Claus. While we like to keep our takeaways to five or fewer, this was one of those interviews that overflowed with so many great nuggets of wisdom that we just couldn’t winnow the list past this. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.



We’re back with part two of our conversation with Soluna Computing CEO John Belizaire. John’s current company is building modular green data centers that run on renewable energy. And though he just turned 50, John has already sold two companies. Our conversation for Scaling Clean was incredibly rich. You can hear the first half of the conversation on last week’s episode. In last week’s episode, John described the attributes such as active listening and mentorship that are keys to successful entrepreneurship. Part two is just as interesting. John and I discuss hiring, how an effective CEO inspires change in his team, and the key determinants of success in cleantech companies. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.


John Belizaire is CEO of Soluna Computing, which builds modular green data centers running on renewable energy. Though he just turned 50, John has already sold two companies. In his current role, he testified before the U.S. Congress and rang the NASDAQ bell. His speaking and writing attract the interests of new and legacy media, including Cheddar News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Plus, John is also a thoroughly wonderful human being, with an informative perspective on building and running the companies looking to grow our industry. Our conversation for Scaling Clean was incredibly rich, so much so that our conversation ran double the normal time. Here is the first half, in which John describes how active listening and grit are key to successful entrepreneurship. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.

al subbloie
We’ve got a heavily experienced growth company CEO for you in this episode who is lighting up the traditionally workhorse energy-efficiency sector. Al Subbloie is the CEO of the energy efficiency as a service company, Budderfly, based in Shelton, Connecticut. Budderfly has 125 employees operating in 49 states with a growth rate of well over 50% for this year. And this is the third company Al’s built. As Al describes it, he “starts companies, and then runs them for a long time.” That’s why I know you’ll find this episode rich in lessons on how to build and run dynamic cleantech companies.

You can learn more in the podcast write up here.


Kimberlee Centera
Host Mike Casey speak to Kimberlee Centera, President and CEO of TerraPro Solutions. Kimberlee is a trailblazer in the renewable energy sector who has helped build over 10,000 renewable energy projects in the U.S. alone. She can accurately be described as an “OC,” an “original clean-techer,” and has been involved in land-use questions her entire professional life.
If you look up “breadth of development” experience on Wikipedia, Kimberlee’s photo ought to be the visual. That’s why we were thrilled to have Kimberlee on Scaling Clean.

You can learn more in the podcast write up here.


Graham Richard

Host Mike Casey talks with Graham Richard, the former mayor of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He's one of the few people in clean tech who served in elected office. After his political career, Graham took the reins at the Advanced Energy Economy, a national trade association. He's now a senior advisor at the San Francisco-based investment fund, Finite. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.


ken locklin

Host Mike Casey talks with Ken Locklin, who is the cleantech oracle you probably haven’t heard of because he has the enviable combination of foresight and humility. For more than three decades, Ken’s honed his ability to observe the major developments within multiple clean economy sectors, and then distill the trends for the rest of us. While serving as Impax Asset Management’s North American Director, he co-wrote a Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) 2016 “Mapping the Gap: The Road from Paris.” In clean economy, BNEF reports are the closest thing we have to religious scripture, and it’s fair to describe Ken as belonging to a small field of elite advisors and trend spotters for clean economy sectors. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.


Abby Hopper

Host Mike Casey catches up with Abby Hopper, the head of Solar Energy Industries Association. That's the U.S.' main solar trade association. Abby is a lawyer by training, and a veteran of several top regulatory posts at the state and federal levels. That includes leading the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in the years that followed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010. In short, Abby’s developed an expertise in leading teams within complex organizations facing big, existential challenges. You can learn more in our podcast write up here.


Chad Farrell-1

So far on our podcast, we’ve interviewed cleantech leaders that are in a later stage of their careers. We figured that wisdom comes from a combination of gray hair and track record. Chad Farrell is different, and that’s a good thing. As the CEO of Encore Renewable Energy, Chad’s first company is his current company. Encore develops what it calls “community-scale” renewable energy projects, often on land reclaimed from past industrial uses. But Chad’s been driving Encore’s success for almost 15 years, which is plenty of time to gather a body of lessons learned we can pass to others in his position. You can learn more in our podcast writeup here.


Mark Bassett photo

Host Mike Casey catches up with Mark Bassett, the former CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor. During his tenure, he saw sales surge even in the face of the COVID recession. He's worked most of his career in heavy, mature industries, including more than a decade rising through the ranks of Dow Chemical. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.


Bob Fishman

Host Mike Casey catches up with Bob Fishman, a veteran leader of energy companies. His background includes stints at Ausra, General Atomics, and the NAES Corporation. you can learn more in the podcast write up here.


Brad Mattson

Brad Mattson has been appropriately described as a Silicon Valley legend. He’s founded and run two renewable energy companies. Before he shifted his energy over to solar, Brad took two semiconductor companies from his garage all the way to NASDAQ. You can learn more in the podcast write up here.