Chief Executive Officer, Elemental Excelerator
2015 Advocacy Award Winner
Dawn Lippert is CEO of Elemental Excelerator (Elemental), a startup program that each year funds 15-20 companies up to $1 million each to improve systems that impact the planet and people’s lives: energy, water, agriculture, transportation, and beyond. Dawn initially started funding companies in Hawaii in 2009, and in the past five years alone Elemental has awarded over $30 million to 82 portfolio companies. This funding goes toward innovation projects that are co-designed and co-deployed by the startup, customers, community members, and the Elemental team in the geographies of Hawaii, Asia, and California. Elemental portfolio companies have gone on to raise follow-on funding of over $350 million. Elemental is a non-profit funded by a coalition of utility partners, corporate partners, philanthropic organizations, and the U.S. Navy.
In addition to leading Elemental Excelerator, Dawn is Director of Innovation and Community at Emerson Collective, the investment and philanthropic platform led by Laurene Powell Jobs. Through her role at Emerson Collective Dawn shares Elemental's place-based model with communities and innovators around the world.
At the nexus of innovation and public policy, Dawn serves as Chair of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Advisory Board, a group of decision makers who ensure progress toward Hawaii’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. Dawn is a recipient of the 2015 C3E Award from the Clean Energy Ministerial and is a 2015 Omidyar Fellow. She founded WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy, a non-profit based in Hawaii), serves on the board of Incubatenergy Network (a national network of clean energy organizations organized by the U.S. Department of Energy), and serves as an Advisor for University of Hawaii Ventures LLC.
Prior to Elemental Excelerator, Dawn was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton’s alternative energy practice in Washington DC. She has worked on energy and environmental projects in communities around the world, including in Africa, India, and Latin America. Dawn graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in environmental studies. She received her Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management. A favorite quote comes from her love for sailing: “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”