Jason is Co-founder & Managing Director of Earth Foundry, where he sets the firm’s vision, leads its investment activities, and advises its entrepreneurs.
In 2022, Jason was named to Crain’s Chicago Business list of Notable Leaders in Sustainability.
For the last decade Jason has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, teaching MBAs and PhDs how to turn science into high growth businesses. Jason is a Board member for an array of high growth companies and is on the Advisory Boards of leading research institutions and innovation hubs.
Prior to Earth Foundry, Jason co-founded Energy Results, where he was the company’s CEO. At Energy Results he built a leading residential energy business, which gained market traction and was adopted by industry leaders such as Best Buy. Jason also worked at McKinsey & Co. where he was a member of the firm’s Energy & Climate Change leadership teams.
Earlier in his career, Jason worked for the CEO of GVW Holdings, an industrial and transportation platform of the Carlyle Group, where he led direct investments and was an active Board Member of GVW’s portfolio companies. Prior to GVW, Jason served as Vice President of Corporate Development at the Interpublic Group. Jason’s other experience includes working for Sterling Partners and the Transaction Advisory Group at Arthur Andersen.
Jason frequently speaks on energy and cleantech and has been featured by numerous media outlets including NBC, New York Times, Entrepreneur, PBS, Forbes, Jerusalem Post, Chicago Tribune, INC and Bangkok Post.
He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he received the Dean’s Award of Distinction and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.
As Co-founder and Managing Partner, Sara leads Earth Foundry’s investment activities and maintains an active role with each of the firm’s portfolio companies.
In 2023, Sara was named to Fortune’s list of Climate VCs to watch, and to the Crain’s Chicago Business list of Notable Leaders in Sustainability.
Sara has worked in the energy and environment sector for nearly 20 years, with a core focus on helping startups develop commercialization strategies. Working at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship is a personal passion.
Prior to starting Earth Foundry, Sara built a government advisory practice for clean technology startups at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she successfully led multiple teams and helped climate tech startups raise $300M in non-dilutive funding. Sara’s previous experience also includes roles with GE Energy, where she developed a solar manufacturing expansion strategy, and with GaiaTech, where she led the environmental due diligence and regulatory compliance process for hundreds of industrial and manufacturing transactions across North America.
Sara holds several advisory roles including serving on the investment committee for accelerator Evergreen Climate Innovations, the advisory board for Chain Reaction Innovations, an incubator program at Argonne National Laboratory, and serving as an Executive-In-Residence at the Rustandy Center – Chicago Booth.
From working with large Fortune 500 companies to startup businesses, Sara has broad and deep industry knowledge of the energy sector.
She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Environmental Studies from Emory University.
Emmett supports core Earth Foundry business functions including early deal assessment, investment due diligence, targeted outreach, partnerships, trends analysis, deal sourcing, and pipeline management. Emmett collaborates with strategic partners to support and advance their innovation programs.
Prior to Earth Foundry, Emmett worked with Strategy% where he conducted complex analyses and work streams for commercial, operational, and technological due diligence. He worked to help launch a new emissions diligence offering for private equity clients, including building the framework and calculation model.
Emmett is experienced at market analysis and competitive benchmarking, and his experience spans building productions, commercial trucking and automobility manufacturing, fleet management and semiconductor robotics, all with an eye on sustainability-focused technology, solutions, and strategy.
Emmett earned is B.S. from Penn State University where he studied Chemical Engineering.
Henry leads the market intelligence function of Earth Foundry, identifying early innovation trends, evaluating the market potential of investment opportunities, and setting the fund's investment thesis. Henry’s passion for learning new technologies and how they can be used in creating new businesses is key to this role.
Prior to joining Earth Foundry, Henry spent six years as a strategy consultant for Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the Chicago office. Henry focused on Industrials (Chemicals / Materials, Ag) primarily working within the Corporate Development practice area (portfolio / growth strategy, M&A).
Henry received his PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University where he focused on developing theoretical techniques to accelerate development of new organic electronic materials for application in semiconductors and photovoltaics. Henry has a BA from Carleton College in Mathematics and Chemistry.
Judy manages due diligence and new investment activity, including overseeing Earth Foundry’s 1,500+ startup deal flow pipeline, and driving diligence and investment into the best opportunities that deliver returns and impact. Additionally, she supports portfolio companies and holds advisory roles with top cleantech incubators and accelerators.
Prior to Earth Foundry, Judy conducted over 100 energy efficiency assessments and sold dozens of retrofitting projects for a Chicago startup, Verde Sustainable Solutions (now Verde: Energy Efficiency Experts). Judy was a Princeton in Asia Fellow with the Natural Resources Defense Council China Program in Beijing, China where she worked with Chinese cities on sustainable urban development policy.
Judy earned her Bachelor of Science cum laude from University of California, Berkeley, with a double major in Environmental Science and Environmental Economics & Policy, and a minor in Energy Resources.
Jackie Marolda manages the marketing and operations for Earth Foundry. She builds awareness for the company brand through social media, manages outbound marketing, and organizes thought leadership opportunities in the market for the team.
Jackie coordinates with the team to manage events and oversees Earth Foundry's data analytics.
She has over 25 years of professional marketing experience focusing on data analytics, market research, marketing communications, event planning and new product development in a variety of industries including working with business-to-business and consumer products companies. She formed her own company, August Lion, Inc. in 2007, and today works with companies on marketing, marketing research, data analytics and business development opportunities.
Jackie is a native Chicagoan, graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a BS in Marketing, and earned her MBA in Marketing from DePaul University. She is “Certified” as a New Product Development Professional by the Product Development Management Association – a certification held by only around 1,000 individuals worldwide.
Matt has many years of consulting, accounting, income tax and payroll experience primarily focused on privately held companies and individuals. His specialization includes providing external controllership and consulting services to clients interested in outsourcing their accounting functions. Prior to starting his own firm, he was the CFO/COO of a multi-million dollar distribution company.
Matt earned a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society.
Chad is a Venture Partner at Earth Foundry where he helps identify startups to invest in and assists portfolio companies in accelerating their impact. Prior to Earth Foundry, Chad was a part of the founding team and Head of Products at SPAN, developer of smart electric panels and EV chargers that make it easier for consumers to electrify their life. Prior to SPAN, Chad spent over 6 years at Tesla first designing battery packs for vehicles and then joining the founding team of Tesla Energy and grew to lead the residential product team. Chad gained his engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.