Jumping into the private sector
The challenges and opportunities of developing a weather-related business
The latest free webinar in our series on the business opportunities of extreme weather & climate change focuses on the challenges - and opportunities - facing people who have left the public and academic sectors to set up a weather business.
In particular, we'll investigate those challenges associated with raising funds, developing a strong product/service offering, building a management team, recruitment of key people, and, of course, identifying and understanding your customers and what it is they actually need.
As well as two people who've made such a transition, our expert panel includes an expert on the opportunities in the insurance & investment sectors, and a seasoned corporate finance professional with a strong track record in science based start-ups. Our chair can best be described as a serial weather business entrepreneur.
Our target audiences include those who are seeking to start up a weather related business, those assesing the potential for diversifying into the weather space, and those who wish to better understand the business opportunities being created by climate change.
Chair & Panellists:
Dr. Jan F. Dutton - CEO, Prescient Weather Ltd
Dr. Carlos Gaitan - CEO & Co-founder, Benchmark Labs Inc
Dr. Josh Hacker - Earth and Ocean Systems, Co-founder, Jupiter
Rebecca Leonardi - Managing Partner, Wx Risk Global
Alan Richards - Partner & Co-founder, West Hill Capital
Dr. Jan F. Dutton
CEO, Prescient Weather Ltd
Jan is the creator of the World Climate Service seasonal/subseasonal forecast application and holds a PhD in Meteorology and an MBA from Penn State University in the United States.
His career spans over 20 years in the weather information industry.
Dr. Carlos Gaitan
CEO & Co-founder, Benchmark Labs Inc
Dr. Gaitan is the Co-founder and CEO of Benchmark Labs. He did his doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) working with William Hsieh in machine learning applications in the environmental sciences. He also holds a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and a Master degree in Hydrosystems from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia).
He is an elected member of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Artificial Intelligence Committee. He previously worked at early stage start-ups in the environmental science space, including VP of Weather Forecasting and Head of Data Science at Arable Labs, and as Research Scientist for the South Central Climate Science Center at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey.
Dr. Josh Hacker
Earth and Ocean Systems, Co-founder, Jupiter
Former NCAR Director Joint Numerical Testbed Program, Science Lead for National Security Applications Program. Along with university partners, led the containerization work in the NSF-funded Big Weather Web project. Expert in weather and climate applications for DoD and NOAA
Jupiter is the market leader for climate risk analytics in key industries, including insurance, banking, asset management, real estate, energy, utilities and power, oil and gas, manufacturing, chemicals, mining, retail, agriculture, the public sector, and NGOs.
Managing Partner, Wx Risk Global
Rebecca Leonardi is one of the original founders and partners of Wx Risk Global, an international weather risk solutions company that provides risk transfer products and services to individuals, organizations, cities and nations worldwide.
Rebecca has years of experience in entrepreneurial partnerships over multiple business types as well as various board positions with non-profit foundations. As Principle, Rebecca is responsible for managing the business relationships between the corporate client base, the OTC derivative counter parties, and their various finance-related business partners. Rebecca also manages the company’s weather-related investment fund, Weather Logix, LP. The Fund executes a market neutral strategy designed to capitalize on the pricing inefficiencies within the over-the-counter weather derivatives market when significantly anomalous weather patterns are detected.
Partner & Co-founder, West Hill Capital
Alan has more than 30 years’ experience in investment analysis, corporate finance and venture capital with companies including Barclays, HSBC and Maple Securities before co-founding West Hill in 2003.
West Hill invests around £60 million annually in early stage companies across a range of sectors including software, digital platforms, fintech, cleantech, medtech and bio-industrial.