About Us

A do-tank, not a think-tank

ADL Ventures focuses on developing and deploying new services and products on behalf of critical infrastructure incumbents. Our firm is a do-tank, not a think-tank, and our deliverables are outcomes as opposed to reports.

Our Venture Consulting Products

While every ADL engagement is bespoke, several core ADL products underpin our work:


Spin-in novel technology through our DOE-funded ProblemSpace Platforms.


Ideate, develop, and launch new businesses many of which emerge from IP that is “stuck” within incumbents.

New Venture Launch

Leverage our team of experienced entrepreneurs to build the strategic foundation for growing new ventures and entering new markets.

Every member of the ADL team...

Has start-up and/or venture fund experience AND knows “what good looks like” at scale through work at successful corporate entities. Collectively the team has cross-cutting experience spanning key sectors such as start-ups, major corporations, professional services (investment banking / consulting / PE/VC), and public sector work.

Our Industries
Energy & Utilities
Clean Transportation
Building and Construction

Our Team


Nolan Browne

Founding Partner

Nol is an innovation expert, entrepreneurial executive, investor, fundraiser and board member specializing in commercialization of emerging technologies in energy, automotive, technical R&D and innovation management who excels at developing first-of-kind programs and products, and leading teams of high performing technical, business and political professionals. A 5-time founder with 15 years of C-Suite experience in both startups and multinational corporations, Nol holds advanced economics and business degrees from MIT and Johns Hopkins.

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Frank Yang


Frank Yang is a Partner at ADL Ventures and the Founder / CEO of Liatris, an advanced insulation materials startup. Frank became inspired to help scale up ADL’s open innovation offerings after Liatris went through the ADL’s US DOE funded Building Materials Challenge as an applicant, and currently leads all of ADL’s DOE-related activities including its ABC (Advanced Building Construction) National Collaborative and American Made Solar Prize teams. Frank previously spent 10+ years in the solar industry as a co-founder of Stion, a US solar panel manufacturer and systems integrator. He ran all commercial operations for the company, raising >$500M in funding and selling out a 150 MW annual capacity production line. Frank received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Amherst College.

Chris Richardson


Chris is Partner-in-charge of ADL Ventures’ Energy & Transportation practices. A serial entrepreneur, Chris previously worked in energy and transportation strategy consulting and led demand response product marketing at EnerNOC (now Enel X). Chris has an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and an MBA (with honors) from the University of Chicago (Booth).


Jeff McAulay


Jeff is an applied technologist with a track record of new product development in multiple startup companies and larger established businesses. Most recently he launched solar and storage partnerships at EnerNOC. Prior to EnerNOC he co-founded the Fraunhofer TechBridge program to accelerate commercialization of cleantech startups. Jeff has technical degrees from MIT and Boston University.

Project Leaders

Ben Silton

Senior Principal

Ben is a data and analytics specialist focused on finding efficient ways to make our economy cleaner. Previously, Ben launched the analytics and customer success programs at Divert, a startup tackling retail food waste through an innovative IoT platform and anaerobic digestion. Ben has a joint bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.


Nigel Carr

Senior Principal

Nigel is a strategy specialist that transforms innovation into execution. He has founded and scaled early stage companies in energy and agriculture, concentrating on operations and product development. Nigel was part of the founding team at several startups including Flow Kana, Qorax (“Qor-ah”) and Brightfields, where he developed and commissioned 60MW of utility-scale solar projects. He is an Echoing Green Climate Fellow and was named a National Geographic Energy Innovator. Nigel received his BA from Amherst College and studied Photovoltaics at the Smith College Picker Engineering Program.

Virginia Spilman

Senior Principal

Ginny brings deep financial and operational experience to her work at ADL. Previously, she led strategic initiatives supporting the growth and efficiency of the global wealth management business at Goldman Sachs. Ginny has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a joint bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Politics.


Project Teammates


Kyungsu Alex Park

Engagement Manager

Alex is an operational strategy and innovation leader passionate about improving construction tools and processes. Alex was a project manager and internal Innovation and Quality leader at Mortenson, delivering 5 landmark projects in diverse construction environments and market sectors with a cumulative project value of $2B. Alex’s passion for industry development led to his leadership seats at the Design-Build Institute of America and Associated General Contractors. Alex studied Construction Engineering Management at Oregon State University, where he currently serves on the Industry Advisory Board.

Daniel Lesser

Engagement Manager

Dan is a business strategy and operations specialist focused on renewables and distributed energy resources (“DERs”). He helped launch new divisions at Enel X, Enel X Way, and most recently at Voltus where he led a partnerships team focused on monetizing residential and commercial DERs in wholesale electricity markets. Dan graduated from Bowdoin College with honors and was a 2022 Clean Energy Leadership Institute Fellow.


Conor Larkin

Senior Associate

Conor is a recent graduate of Colby College, where he majored in Environmental Policy and conducted biological conservation research for Round River Conservation. On campus he was a Buck Lab for Climate and Environment student researcher, a member of the Men’s Soccer team, and a personal care assistant. Motivated by work experiences focusing on climate change adaptation he is enthusiastic about cleantech innovation.

Alyssa Watson

Senior Associate

Alyssa recently graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Biology with a focus on renewable energy. Her background in climate change inspires her interest in renewable energy technologies as a solution to the climate crisis. Her interest in the energy transition took her to Copenhagen, Denmark on two occasions to study the transition in real-time, which culminated in her co-authoring two textbook chapters in Renewable Energy in the 21st Century on energy policies and the transportation transition.

clean energy intern at ADL

Isabelle Gorrivan


Isabelle is a recent graduate of Middlebury College with a B.A. in Architecture and Environmental Studies. On campus, she was a consultant for the sustainability solutions lab furthering the college’s sustainability goals and helping with waste management. She is passionate about environmental justice and energy security, and her work prior to ADL focused on expanding community solar in low-income neighborhoods in the U.S. At ADL, her work straddles decarbonizing the built environment through modular construction and helping utilities innovate to meet their sustainability goals.

Matthew Paul


Matthew is a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Human-Centered Design through the Thayer School of Engineering. With an interest in sustainability start-ups, he focused his academic curriculum on sustainable design and environmental economics. Matt has worked in start-ups focused on agroforestry, carbon offsets, and sustainable CPG products. He was also a captain of the Men’s Lacrosse Team.

Caroline McKenna

Caroline McKenna


Caroline is a recent graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in Government and a minor in Statistical & Data Sciences. On campus, she managed the finances of one of the college’s co-op houses and of the student-run newspaper, and she worked to improve digital accessibility of materials in the college archives. Her experiences have shaped her passion for clean transportation and using technological innovation to navigate the clean energy transition.

Devin Quinlin


Devin is a recent graduate from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and French. His senior thesis on the social history of nuclear power in France combined with his previous work experience in smart growth development has vitalized his interest in the larger sustainable transition. Devin is particularly interested in sustainable urban planning and public transportation with an emphasis on environmental equity.


Shelly Singhal


Shelly is a junior pursuing a dual degree in Operations and Data Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Recently, she worked with one of the largest utility companies in MA creating a KPI tracking tool for their decarbonization efforts. At school, involved with the Isenberg Undergraduate Consulting Group she works with clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 10. Shelly hopes to combine her interests in these areas to solve problems for a greener future.

Jack Weissman


Jack is a junior at Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science studying Operations Research and Sustainable Engineering. Passionate about solving both organizational and environmental problems, Jack has worked in technology, strategy, and operations for Columbia Climate School. He hopes to advance the world’s transition to renewable energy, from grid-level markets to the financial decisions of a family’s journey to electrification.


Nicole Jacobsen


Nicole is a senior studying Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Materials Science at MIT. She has had previous experience in sustainability consulting for the AEC industry and recently collaborated with a research institute in Amsterdam to help design sustainable solutions for the challenge of urbanization. She hopes to use her interdisciplinary background in engineering and architecture to decarbonize the built environment. 


Eric Wisch

Partner Emeritus

Eric is an innovation and operations specialist expert in the setup and operation of new ventures. He has built companies in tech and real-estate. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Eric served as a director of venture development at Redstar Ventures, where he led agriculture tech, energy tech, and healthcare tech investment research and venture development initiatives. Eric attended the University of Rochester, where he was a Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Scholar.

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Mei Shibata

Entrepreneur in Residence

Mei Shibata is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully started and sold two companies in the cleantech space over a 14-year period. In her most recent role as founder and CEO of Essense Partners, Mei worked with various city and state agencies, as well as with utilities across the country, to promote and implement energy innovations. Mei has authored four patents in the cleantech space, won 20+ marketing awards and was recognized as a New York Top 10 Energy Entrepreneur. Earlier in her career, Mei served as head of Strategy at Interbrand Health and Havas Life, as well as worked at Citigroup, Oliver Wyman and Pfizer. Mei has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in Medical Engineering from the Harvard/MIT HST Program and a BA in Physics from Harvard College.

Diana Fisler

Entrepreneur in Residence

Dr. Diana Fisler brings to ADL Ventures her passion for both building materials and the interface between early technologies and corporates. Over the years, she has delivered new business opportunities in the building space. Diana earned her PhD in Geophysics from Penn State University and contributes her expertise the industry organizations and committees performing as Chair of ASHRAE TC 4.4 Building Materials and Building Envelope Performance and Vice Chair of ASTM C16 Thermal Insulation and Advisory board member the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²).

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Colby Swanson

Executive in Residence

Colby is a serial entrepreneur, innovation strategist and construction technologist who has spent over 20 years in the building industry. He began as a framer, graduated to a forensics investigator, has authored corporate strategies at multiple Fortune 500 companies, and has led the launch of many new ventures. He is currently the Managing Partner at Momentum Innovation Group (MIG), an innovation consulting firm helping clients drive transformational growth. Colby recently co-founded and serves as the Executive Director of the Modular Mobilization Coalition (MMC), which consists of fifteen modular companies who own and operate two dozen modular factories around the US.

SJ Maxted


SJ accelerates innovation ecosystems and the systems that drive innovation and entrepreneurship. She has experience working on technology transfer and commercialization at the U.S. Department of Energy and 17 DOE National Laboratories. She holds a position on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems. Originally from Durango, Colorado, she graduated from Duke University, where she studied the intersection of policy, business and society.

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Jeremy Kirsch


Jeremy is an entrepreneur, executive, and advisor. Over the past 20 years, he has helped bring innovative technologies and business models to market and scaled them to IPO and acquisition, including at Opower (formerly NYSE: OPWR) and Viisage Technologies (formerly NASD: VISG). Jeremy earned his BA from Stanford and his MBA from MIT Sloan.

Pete Pedersen


Pete Pedersen was trained earlier in his career as a financier and lawyer. He was later a Co-Founder and Managing Principal for both Renova Partners of Wellesley, MA, a property redeveloper founded in 2001, and Brightfields Development, a solar developer founded in 2009. Pete remains involved in redevelopment projects and is or has also been an Adjunct Lecturer at Babson College, President of the Board of Directors of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, in various capacities for Chautauqua Institution of Chautauqua, NY and a speaker at professional and academic gatherings on solar development, redevelopment and environmental issues. Pete graduated from The University of Chicago Law School and Amherst College.

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Janis Eitner

Media Partner

Janis is a technical PR and marketing expert with over 15 years of experience as Head of Communications for the venerable Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Munich, Germany. As a trained journalist, he brings his expertise in communications, politics and organizational behavior to the team. In addition to a global network of cross-industry technologists, Janis founded a successful PR and digital media company.


Tyler P Martin

PhD, CPA Chief Financial Officer

Tyler serves numerous companies in an outsourced CFO role, aiding in financial management, tax planning/preparation, directing accounting systems, and aiding in other financial issues. He is also experienced in DCAA requirements and handles government invoicing and reporting requirements for small company awardees.

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Eriko Watanabe

Senior Business Operations Manager

Eriko is a project manager with extensive hands-on experience in driving all phases of project management in complex, domestic and international settings. In previous work, she led the global initiatives to comply with BSA/AML and sanction regulations at MUFG Union Bank. Eriko received BS in Management Studies and MS in Computer Information Systems concentration in IT Project Management from Boston University.

Arsen Milosev

Business Operations Manager

Ari is an operations and project manager experienced in startup foundation building, building processes based on company business goals, and managing execution of business goals through cross-functional team collaboration. Equipped with strong analytical and problem-solving skills ready to support the team to success. He studied law, internal affairs.

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Join our Team!

ADL is growing and we love having interesting conversations with folks who are passionate about innovation at legacy sector companies.

Please read more about our open positions and apply:

Marketing Manager

People and Operations Manager

Engagement Manager – Buildings

Engagement Manager or Principal – Energy and Utilities

Associate – Energy and Buildings Innovation

Project-based Consultants – Energy and Buildings Innovation

Energy Cybersecurity Go-to-Market Manager


Learn more about our current interns and alumni, all of whom have gone on to make a big impact in the energy transition and innovation.