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Consensus in Conversation

Lew Moorman: Soilworks Natural Capital, Scaleworks Venture Capital

Season 1, Ep. 8

This week’s guest is Lew Moorman, co-founder of Scaleworks, a venture capital firm, and Soilworks Natural Capital, an investment fund. Lew grew up in Texas Hill Country, home to some of America’s best ranchland, and although he started his career in consulting, he found his passion in venture capital, helping small software companies flourish.


Now, he has turned his sights towards one of America’s oldest (and largest industries) – agriculture – where he is helping to lead the regenerative agriculture sector to new heights while championing the idea that smart livestock ranching and natural climate solutions are one in the same.


Whether it’s about innovation in the agriculture sector or how maximizing profits incentivizes sustainability, you’ll want to hear what Lew has to say on this episode of Consensus in Conversation.

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  • 6. Nicolas Pinkowski of Nitricity on Lightning-Powered Fertilizer and the Decarbonized Future Of Food

    47:56
    50% of the global food supply relies on nitrogen fertilizer, which emits tons of greenhouse gasses. But startup Nitricity is making electrified climate-smart fertilizer by literally capturing lightning in reactors. Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Pinkowski joins the podcast to share the startup’s remarkable origin story from a make-shift lab in a Stanford backyard, to a full-fledged company revolutionizing agriculture and the future of our food supply.Hear how Nico went from engineer to entrepreneur, testing ideas on lemon trees and destroying a few toasters in the process, on Consensus in Conversation streaming now wherever you listen to podcasts. Episode Highlights00:00 Nicolas Pinkowski destroys a toaster in the name of science00:51 Conor Gaughan introduces Nico Pinkowski and Nitricity 03:49 Growing up, Stanford engineering, and Silicon Valley13:00 Nitricity’s origin, capturing lightning to decarbonize fertilizer26:26 Pitching and scaling decarbonized nitrogen fertilizer35:03 Working with farmers, potential impact, and future growth 44:06 What’s next and where to learn more45:33 End creditsIf you liked this episode, listen next to Matt Rogers of Mill Industries on Food Waste, Impactful Product Design, and InnovationMore on Nitricity and Nicolas Pinkowski:nitricity.colinkedin.com/company/nitricity linkedin.com/in/nicolaspinkowski https://ifdc.org/ (the International Fertilizer Development Center) Connect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone and instagram.com/ckgone Have questions, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comIf you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify – it really makes a difference! Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.
  • 5. Allison Wolff of Vibrant Planet on Beneficial Fire, Sustainable Software, and Nature-Based Climate Solutions

    54:45
    Allison Wolff co-founded Vibrant Planet with one goal in mind: to positively disrupt land management. An ESG trailblazer, Allison has decades of experience crafting positive impact strategies for huge disruptors like eBay, Google, and Facebook. Now, as CEO of Vibrant Planet, she’s combining that expertise with the power of machine learning to revolutionize land stewardship. Hear how Allison and her team at Vibrant Planet are restoring ecosystems with a balance of beneficial fire, sustainable software, and indigenous wisdom too. Episode Highlights00:00 - 00:50 Allison Wollf on land stewardship with beneficial fire00:51 - 03:49 Conor Caughan introduces Allison Wolff and Vibrant Planet03:50 - 11:26 Background, business and sociology degrees, work at Netflix11:27 - 24:59 Impact-based global platforms at eBay, Google, and Facebook25:00 - 36:54 Vibrant Planet’s origin, beneficial fire, and nature-based climate solutions 36:55 - 42:55 Using data to scale impact, sustainable policy, and Public Benefit Corporations42:56 - 52:40 Staying optimistic, women-led leadership, and combining ancient techniques with AI52:41 - 54:45 Where to learn more and end creditsIf you liked this episode, listen next to Tim Sheehy of Bridger Aerospace on Aerial Firefighting, the Military Mindset, and EntrepreneurshipMore on Allison Wolff and Vibrant Planet:linkedin.com/in/allisonclairwolff/ linkedin.com/company/vibrant-planet/ vibrantplanet.net/ Connect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone and instagram.com/ckgone Have questions, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comIf you enjoyed the show, please leave a review – your feedback makes a difference. Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.
  • 4. Keith Norman of Lyten on 3D Graphene, ESG 2.0, and the Future of Batteries

    52:03
    Lyten first created 3D Graphene by accident in 2015, but, thanks to its world-changing potential, it now has them poised to revolutionize the material science industry.Keith Norman, Lyten’s Chief Sustainability Officer, joins the podcast to share his journey across both sides of the energy industry and explain why graphene’s properties are so groundbreaking for EVs, battery technology, and even high-grade sensors. Episode Highlights00:00 - 00:57 Keith Norman on solving clean energy challenges in the real world  00:58 - 03:11 Conor Gaughan introduces Keith Norman and Lyten Inc. 03:12 - 07:17 Background, early influences, and college engineering07:18 - 17:05 ExxonMobil, working in Africa, and pivoting to a new career17:06 - 24:18 Amazon Web Services, supply vs demand, and clean tech24:19 - 33:37 Airbnb encounter leads to Lyten, the elevator pitch, and graphene33:38 - 38:29 Why 3D Graphene is revolutionary for battery and EV tech38:30 - 47:20 Building for the long-term, sustainability, and ESG 2.0 47:21 - 49:49 Leaving a legacy and where to learn more49:50 - 52:04 Conclusion and end creditsIf you liked this episode, listen next to Forrest North and Jason Marks of TELO Trucks on EVs, Mini Pickups, and Autonomous Tech. More on Keith Norman and Lyten Inc:linkedin.com/in/keith-norman-8611b5132linkedin.com/company/lyten-inc/ lyten.com Connect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone and instagram.com/ckgone Have questions, feedback, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comIf you enjoyed the show, please leave a review – it really helps us out! Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.
  • 3. Max Evans of ClimateAi on Dorm Room Entrepreneurship and AI-Based Climate Solutions

    43:53
    Artificial intelligence is booming, and Max Evans is ready for it. “Discovering machine learning was my very first moment of witnessing magic.” That discovery led him to co-found ClimateAi straight out of his dorm room at Stanford with his roommate, Himanshu Gupta, in 2017.Today, the startup operates in 50 countries, using AI-enhanced forecasting to climate-proof global supply chains. Listen as Max shares his path from student to startup founder, unleashing the powerful potential of AI-based climate solutions. Episode timestamps:00:00 - 01:10 Max Evans on learning about artificial intelligence at Stanford University.01:11 - 03:44 Conor Gaughan introduces Max Evans of ClimateAi. 03:45 - 06:49 Growing up, early influences, and school at Harvard. 06:50 - 11:43 Machine learning, the family business, and launching a few startups. 11:44 - 14:51 MBA at Stanford, environmental engineering, and artificial intelligence.14:52 - 20:27 The genesis of ClimateAi and its initial projects.  20:28 - 24:35 The elevator pitch, climate intelligence, and how ClimateAi actually works 24:36 - 33:02 AI’s potential, the reality around climate change, and being a voice in the industry. 33:03 - 39:54 Aligning purpose and profits, ClimateAi projects, and innovations to keep an eye on. 39:55 - 41:59 Motivation, finding solutions together, and staying optimistic. 42:00 - 43:54 How to learn more and closing credits.If you liked this episode, listen next to Ron Hovsepian of Indigo Ag on Farming, Sustainability, and Technology.More on Max Evans and ClimateAi:climate.ai/ linkedin.com/in/maximilian-evans-1b653770 linkedin.com/company/climateaiAnd be sure to check out Max’s new venture at okus.aiConnect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone and instagram.com/ckgone Have questions, feedback, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comIf you enjoyed the show, please leave a review – it really helps us out! Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.
  • 2. Grant Quasha of Eco Material Technologies on Green Cement and The Business of Building

    50:56
    Grant Quasha is betting big on green cement. "People don't realize how big the cement and concrete businesses are. [...] It's the number one commodity in the world other than water."  The chairman and CEO of Eco Material Technologies views the $350+ billion cement industry as a giant potential market for sustainable construction. After years of investment banking in commodities and materials, Grant moved from investing in other businesses to building his own, with major impact. Listen as Grant Quasha shares loads of insight from selling sustainability plans to envisioning the massive role the materials sector could play in building a decarbonized future.Episode timestamps:00:00 - 00:56 Grant Quasha on the twofold potential of sustainable concrete. 00:57 - 02:39 Conor Gaughan introduces Grant Quasha of Eco Material Technologies.02:40 - 06:18 Early career, materials and commodities, and the learning curve. 06:19 - 13:30 Business school, international shipping, and building businesses. 13:31 - 19:14 Green cement in Texas and concrete vs cement. 19:15 - 26:16 How Eco Material Technologies creates impact. 26:17 - 33:14 Capturing lightning in a bottle, potential growth, and pitching investors. 33:15 - 39:33 Capital markets and aligning doing good with doing well. 39:34 - 44:46 Public policy, climate legislation, and institutional support. 44:47 - 49:10 Upcoming innovations, leaving a legacy, and setting priorities.49:11 - 50:57 How to learn more and closing credits. If you liked this episode, listen next to Chris Anderson of Vantem Global on Building Sustainable, Affordable Energy Efficient Homes At Scale. More on Grant Quasha and Eco Material Technologies:ecomaterial.com linkedin.com/in/gquasha linkedin.com/company/eco-material-technologies Connect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone and instagram.com/ckgone Have questions, feedback, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comIf you enjoyed the show, please leave a review – it really helps us out! Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.  
  • 1. Peter Godart of Found Energy on Aluminum Fuel, NASA, and Engineering Impact at Scale

    46:22
    Peter Godart could have been a jazz musician, but instead pursued his other passion: engineering. After garnering a few degrees at MIT and working on space tech at NASA, Peter set his sights on yet another passion: saving the climate. In 2022, he launched Found Energy, a startup decarbonizing transport with aluminum. As Peter says, “When you work for NASA and one of your daily tasks is, you know, let's figure out how to catch a one meter sphere orbiting Mars at Mach 2… These problems that we have on Earth feel not that difficult by comparison… We could totally do this.”Join us to hear how Peter brought space-sized innovation back down to Earth.Episode timestamps:00:00 - 00:52 Peter Godart on solving problems for NASA in space and on the Earth.  00:53 - 03:02 Conor Gaughan introduces Peter Godart of Found Energy.03:03 - 06:41 Growing up, interest in music, and engineering at MIT.06:42 - 15:10 Robotics, internships, NASA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.15:11 - 22:20 The origin of Found Energy and using aluminum for energy storage.22:21 - 25:26 Use cases, decarbonizing difficult industries, and hydrogen hubs.25:27 - 31:30 Balancing roles, how engineering influences management, and lessons learned.31:31 - 37:42 Sustainability, what’s at stake, the clean energy transition, and policy.37:43 - 43:21 Humanitarian programs, motivations, and exciting new innovations.43:22 - 45:40 How to learn more about Found Energy.45:41 - 46:23 Closing credits.If you liked this episode, listen to Seonghoon Woo of Amogy on Materials Science, Decarbonized Transport, and Alternative Fuels and Jay Bellows of KORE Power on Renewable Energy, Storage, and Basketball Wisdom.More on Peter Godart and Found Energy:FoundEnergy.comlinkedin.com/company/found-energy linkedin.com/in/petergodartAs mentioned in the podcast, Peter wrote a freely accessible book on climate change and thermodynamics. To read it, visit https://ocw.mit.edu/, type “Peter Godart” in the search bar, hit search, and click the first link titled “Thermodynamics and Climate Change.”Connect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone and instagram.com/ckgone Have questions, feedback, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comIf you enjoyed the show, please leave a review – it really helps us out! Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.
  • 37. CiC 2023 Year End Wrap Up

    49:36
    2023 has brought us 35 new guests and more than 2,000 minutes of conversations– join Conor Gaughan as he shares his insights, takeaways, and analysis on a few of our favorite moments from the year.Whether it’s breaking down sustainable business blueprints, finding motivation during difficult times, or imagining an entirely new industry, this episode has you covered! Featuring01:20 - 04:10 Catherine Roggero-Lovisi: CEO, Modern Meadow 04:11 - 07:30 Rick Fox: Co-founder and CEO, Partanna 07:31 - 11:24 Roger McClendon: Executive Director, Green Sports Alliance 11:25 - 13:20 Tim Sheehy: Founder and CEO, Bridger Aerospace 13:21 - 15:50 Greg Putnam: Co-founder and President, Little Belt Cattle Co. 15:51 - 20:12 Andrew Gibbs-Dabney: Founder and CEO, LIVSN 20:13 - 24:59 Ben Bressler: Founder and President, Natural Habitat 25:00 - 27:48 Jenny Du: Co-founder and SVP, Operations, Apeel Sciences 27:49 - 30:17 Joey Zwillinger: Co-founder and CEO, Allbirds 30:18 - 33:43 Matt Rogers: Co-founder and CEO, Mill Industries 33:44 - 36:46 Chris Wood: President and CEO, Trout Unlimited 36:47 - 42:54 Tina May: VP, Rural Services and Chief of Staff to the CEO, Land O’Lakes 42:55 - 45:52 Michael Chanin: CEO, Cherry Street Energy 45:53 - 47:54 Paul Snyder: Executive Vice President, Stewardship, Tillamook County Creamery Association A big thank you to all of our guests this year, including Erik Oberholtzer, Nick Whitman, Ron Hovsepian, Seonghoon Woo, D’Wayne Edwards, Rick Fox, Matt Rogers, Ben Bressler, Jeff Siewicki, Michael Chanin, Jamila Norman, Forrest North and Jason Marks, Jay Bellows, Damon Barron, Catherine Roggero-Lovisi, Alfred Johnson, Chris Clark, Jenny Du, Chris Wood, Paul Snyder, Margo Walsh, Joey Zwillinger, Mark Danzenbaker and Peter Corsell, Jeff Simmons, Jean-Louis Warnholz, Cisco DeVries, Andrew Gibbs-Dabney, Chris Anderson, Jill Brosig, Greg Putnam, John Little, Tina May, Roger McClendon, Tim Sheehy, and Steve McHugh.Have questions, feedback, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at CiC@consensus-digital.comConnect with Conor Gaughan on linkedin.com/in/ckgone If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review – it really helps further our reach!Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume. 
  • 36. Erik Oberholtzer of Cohere on Founding Tender Greens, Food for Good, and Creating Fast Casual

    45:04
    This week’s guest is long-time chef Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder of Tender Greens, a revolutionary “fast casual” food brand. Now, as managing partner at Cohere, he helps other founders scale food brands making a positive impact.  But before finding success as a chef, entrepreneur, and author, Erik was at Temple University working towards an undergrad psychology degree. In need of money, he took a concierge job at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. The position required someone well-informed on the city’s culinary scene – the best restaurants, bars, cocktail lounges – so Erik immersed himself in that world.The experience ignited a newfound passion for food, and soon Erik was off to culinary school and much, much more. Join us to hear how Erik found himself on a mission to democratize food. Episode Highlights 00:00 Erik on the early days of starting a business.  00:53 Introducing Erik Obertholtzer and Tender Greens 02:58 Growing up, developing a passion for food, and culinary school 08:40 Early culinary career, the food scene, and entering the restaurant industry 16:47 Career leading up to founding Tender Greens and the origin story25:25 Fun startup stories, hardships, and scaling the business29:57 Leaving Tender Greens, consulting, and Erik’s work at Cohere37:55 Aligning purpose with profits and the democratization of food42:50 Conclusion and end credits To learn more about Cohere, visit https://www.coherestudio.co/Follow Erik Oberholtzer on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/erik-oberholtzer-930a934/Have a great idea or a guest in mind for a future conversation? Connect with Conor Gaughan on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ckgone/If you liked the show, please give us a follow and leave a review, it makes a big difference. Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.
  • 35. Nick Whitman of Divert on Food Waste, Renewable Energy, and Impact Technology

    42:55
    Today’s guest is Nick Whitman, co-founder and COO of Divert Inc. In 2007, Nick and co-founder Ryan Begin launched Divert with a simple, bold mission in mind: eliminate food waste. Since then, the firm has processed over 2.3 billion pounds of food waste, donated more than 10 million meals to the food insecure, and continues to develop new, innovative technologies. Nick has spent 16 years successfully scaling Divert to new heights, creating a first-of-its-kind food waste converter, designing and building a processing facility for Kroger, and revolutionizing food waste logistics.As you’ll hear, Nick is a treasure trove of business knowledge for aspiring founders, and just an all around fun guy to talk with –  listen in on your favorite podcast platform.  Episode Highlights (0:00) Nick Whitman on recycling (1:00) Conor introduces Nick and Divert (3:15) Growing up, business school, and energy (8:16) Origin story of Divert (13:42) Food waste and anaerobic digestion (15:49) Logistics and early growth (19:29) Divert’s technology (22:21) Stakeholders and policy (24:09) Getting the first yes and building momentum (26:49) Aligning profit with purpose (31:28) Sustainability and natural gas (34:54) Advice for future founders and growth mindset (38:06) Finding optimism (41:12) Conclusion and end credits For more on Nick Whitman and Divert, visit divertinc.com Connect with Conor Gaughan on LinkedIn and let us know what you think of the episode. You can follow, rate and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Youtube, or wherever you listen.Consensus in Conversation is a weekly podcast from Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.