Fireside Chat

Biomass1: Turning a New Leaf on Renewable Energy

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Hexas Biomass and Verdant AI have teamed up to help make a difference for farmers and biomass producers. We are building Biomass1, an online marketplace for biomass, an agricultural byproduct that normally goes to waste. Biomass1 will be the “Amazon” of biomass, providing a single location to buy and sell biomass for the best price.

Biomass is used to describe plant or animal material used for energy production, or for various industrial processes as raw substance for a range of products. Biomass is a valuable source of energy and fuel that is severely underutilized due to an underdeveloped supply chain and lack of ability for suppliers to connect with buyers efficiently.

The Department of Energy has identified the need to develop supply chains for feedstocks from waste streams and reusable carbon sources as a key priority.  We are building an AI-driven online marketplace for the sale of biomass, waste, and renewable carbon feedstock. Hexas has direct experience bringing new feedstocks to market, including educating potential customers on new feedstock composition, applications, and building the supply chain for their use. 

Underpinning this marketplace will be innovative AI processes to manage supply chain complexities, such as identifying available feedstock and matching biochemical content, as well as the physical and mechanical properties of a seller’s feedstock to a buyer’s application. The technology will also help optimize current manufacturing systems, resource mobilization for feedstock delivery, and generate source supply forecasts and analyses. The marketplace will help overcome commercial obstacles that can hinder the adoption of new feedstocks, such as a lack of standards, traceability, provenance, seller reliability, raw material certification, tracking, and more.

Confirmed Panelists

Brian Dolan is well known in the data community as a leading mathematician, data scientist, and cyberneticist with more than 20 years of hands-on experience.

Prior to starting Verdant AI, Brian co-founded Deep 6 AI, Qurius Inc and Discovix.  Brian has consulted and led enterprise analytic projects from design to implementation for clients like EMC, SuperValu, Northern Trust, Zions National Bank, Havas Media, T-Mobile, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and Research In Motion. Formerly Chief Scientist at Greenplum (acquired by EMC), Brian also headed up data scientist teams at Yahoo! Inc. and served as Director of Research Analytics at FOX/MySpace.

Throughout his career, he has developed thousands of machine learning products, and his consulting experience includes numerous state and local governments. He is also co-author of the seminal “MAD Skills: New Analysis Practices for Big Data,” which has been cited more than 400 times in the big data/machine learning industry.  In 2017 Brian spoke at TEDx Millsaps College on “A Cybernetic View of AI in HealthCare Systems.”  Most recently, he has written a chapter entitled “Information Pathways: From Natural to Artificial Systems, and Back Again” in the book Transforming Healthcare with Big Data and AI, to be published in 2019.

Brian has a Master of Arts in Pure Mathematics from UCLA as well as a Master of Science in Bio-Mathematics from the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Unconfirmed Panelists

Wendy Owens is the CEO of Biomass1, an online biomass marketplace. She is a serial entrepreneur with experience across multiple industries. Biomass1 is her latest venture and combines her background in materials engineering and biotechnology with a passion to save the Earth. Ms. Owens also is the CEO of Hexas Biomass, a producer of non-wood biomass. Concurrently with past entrepreneurial endeavors, she spent 14 years as an executive-level appointed advisor to the US Secretary of Commerce and US Trade Representative. Ms. Owens is a published author on a variety of subjects and has a Master of Art degree from Tufts University.

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