AVEA

Pre IPO

Avanea Energy Acquisition Corp.

Raised
$200M
CIK
1850490
Focus
Energy, Technology
External link: SEC Filings

SPAC Team

Leadership

Peter Gajdos serves as our Co-Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors . Mr. Gajdos is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Presidio Partners Management LLC, a venture capital firm investing in Information Technology, Life Sciences and Energy Technology companies, a position he has held since July 2013. Since June 2019, he has also served as Head of Venture Capital at IPM Group, a global asset and wealth management company. Prior to joining Presidio Partners and IPM Group, Mr. Gajdos held various investment management positions at Silver Lake Kraftwerk Fund, L.P., an investment firm, from September 2012 to December 2012, Warburg Pincus LLC, a leading global private equity firm, from June 2012 to August 2012, and Virgin Green Fund, a private equity fund investing in the renewables and efficiency sectors, from April 2007 to June 2011. He currently serves as a board member of InoBat Auto, a battery production and research and development company, InoBat Energy, a battery production and research and development company, Cosair Pharma, Inc., a biotechnology company, and IPM Chirana, a medical device company, and as a board observer at Wildcat Discovery Technologies, Inc., a battery materials development company, ESS, Inc., a leading long-duration energy storage solutions provider and Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company. He also served as a board member at Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA), an agricultural biotechnology company, from May 2014 to May 2015, and he previously served as a board member of Jiangsu CNano Technology Co., Ltd. (Shanghai: 688116.SS), a nano-scale carbon materials production and research and development company, from September 2013 to January 2018 and Reel Solar, Inc., a solar manufacturing company, from August 2013 to Feb 2014. Mr. Gajdos began his career as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in the Energy Group in New York, NY. Mr. Gajdos received a B.S. in Business Administration at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. We believe Mr. Gajdos is qualified to serve as a director due to his significant investment experience in the technology sector.

Faysal Sohail serves as our Co-Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors . Mr. Sohail is a Managing Director at Presidio Partners Management LLC, a venture capital firm investing in Information Technology, Life Sciences and Energy Technology companies, a position he has held since January 2002. Prior to joining Presidio Partners, Mr. Sohail served as Chief Executive Officer at Cadabra Design Automation, Inc. from 1999 to 2001, a computer software company which was acquired by Numerical Technologies, Inc.. From 1990 to 1999 Mr. Sohail was co-founder of Silicon Architects, a technology company developing structured ASIC methodology, which merged with Synopsys (NASDAQ: SNPS), and from 1986 to 1990, Mr. Sohail was part of the early founding team at Actel Corporation, a non-volatile field-programmable gate array manufacturing company, which was acquired by MicroSemi Corporation (NASDAQ: MSCC). Mr. Sohail is currently the executive chairman of the board of InoBat Auto, a battery production and research and development company. In addition, Mr. Sohail serves on the board of Wildcat Discovery Technologies, Inc., a battery materials development company, FORO Energy, Inc., a high power laser provider for the oil, natural gas, geothermal and mining industries, Our Next Energy, Inc., a high energy hybrid EV battery company, and Altair Capital Management LLC, a hedge fund. He is a member of the board of directors of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a non-profit organization providing educational resources. Mr. Sohail holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We believe Mr. Sohail is qualified to serve as a director due to his significant leadership experience and his extensive experience as a technology investor and operator.

Adam Wilczek serves as our Chief Financial Officer . Since July 2019, Mr. Wilczek has served as Chief Financial Officer at Presidio Partners Management LLC, a venture capital firm investing in Information Technology, Life Sciences and Energy Technology companies, and as Controller from May 2015 to June 2019. Prior to joining Presidio Partners Management LLC, Mr. Wilczek served as Vice President of the Fund Administration Group at Conifer Financial Services LLC, an independent asset services firm, from 2014 to 2015. From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Wilczek served as Fund Manager at Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private equity investment firm. Mr. Wilczek holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dr. Andrew Palmer CMG will serve as an independent director and the chairman of our board of directors upon the closing of this offering. Dr. Palmer has 41 years of automotive experience. He is the founder of Palmer Automotive Ltd., an automotive company, and, since June 2020, has served as its Chief Executive Officer. From October 2014 to May 2020, Dr. Palmer served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., a luxury car manufacturing company. From 1991 to 2014, Dr. Palmer held a variety of positions at Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., including Program Director for Light Commercial Vehicles, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President before being appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2013. While at Nissan, Dr. Palmer also served as Chairman of Infiniti, a luxury vehicle division of Nissan and head of the Zero Emissions business unit which created the Nissan LEAF EV. He is also Chairman of Optare plc, an English bus manufacturing company, a Director of Ashok Leyland Ltd, an Indian multinational automotive company, a Director of Hilo EV Ltd., an electric vehicle scooter company, a Director of SBD Automotive, Ltd., an automotive company, and Vice Chairman of InoBat Auto, a battery production and research and development company. Dr. Palmer holds a Master of Science in Engineering from Warwick University, United Kingdom and a PhD in Engineering from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and completed the Accelerated Development Program in Management from the London Business School. We believe Dr. Palmer is qualified to serve as a director due to his significant experience in and knowledge of the automotive industry.

Baris Guzel will serve as an independent director upon the closing of this offering., Mr. Guzel has served as Principal at BMW i Ventures, LLC, a hybrid venture capital firm, and in various other capacities since March 2017. From September 2016 to February 2017, Mr. Guzel worked at Presidio Partners, a venture capital firm investing in Information Technology, Life Sciences and Energy Technology companies as a Venture Capital Associate. Prior to joining Presidio Partners Management LLC, Mr. Guzel worked in the Technology Investment Banking group at Deutsche Bank AG from July 2015 to August 2016 and at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2014. Mr. Guzel currently serves as a board advisor to AutoFi, Inc., a financial technology company, Tekion Corp., an automotive software solution provider, and Xometry, Inc., an on-demand manufacturing provider. Mr. Guzel holds a M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Master of Engineering Management from Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. We believe Mr. Guzel is qualified to serve as a director due to his significant investment experience in the mobility and energy technology sectors.

Stacey Lawson will serve as an independent director upon the closing of this offering. Since October 2012, Ms. Lawson has served as Vice Chairman of Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc., which provides clean energy financing, and from October 2012 to December 2016, she was Chief Executive Officer and President of Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc. She currently serves as a member of the board of directors of CDS Visual, Inc., The Shift Network, Inc., Institute of Noetic Sciences and Tripura Foundation, Inc. She is also the Co-Founder, lecturer, and Industry Fellow of the Pantas and Ting Sutardja Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2004 to 2010 she served as Chairman of the Board at Chelsey Henry Co., a designer of consumer travel and lifestyle products and from 2004 to 2006 as a member of the board of directors of Dragonfly Media, LLC, a family of socially conscious media properties, as well as Social Fusion Group Inc., a sustainability and social venture incubator advising for-profit and non-profit social enterprises. Between 1998 and 2004, Ms. Lawson served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at PTC Inc. and as the Vice President and General Manager at Siebel Systems, Inc. In 1995, Ms. Lawson co-founded InPart Design, Inc. and served as the company’s President until 1998 when it was acquired by PTC Inc. She began her career as a Chemical Engineer at International Business Machines Corporation in 1992. Ms. Lawson holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. We believe Ms. Lawson is qualified to serve as a director due to her extensive experience as a global leader and advisor and her experience in clean energy and energy efficiency.

Michael Niggli will serve as an independent director upon the closing of this offering. Mr. Niggli currently serves as Chairman at ESS, Inc., a leading long-duration energy storage solutions provider, and has served as a Board Member of ESS, Inc. since June 2015. For nearly 30 years of his career, Mr. Niggli served in a variety of roles at Sempra Energy, a leading North American energy infrastructure company, including President and Chief Operating Officer of San Diego Gas & Electric Company and President of Sempra Energy Generation. He also served as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Nevada Power Co.; and Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sierra Pacific Resources. Mr. Niggli currently serves on the board of directors of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, American Transmission Company, LLC, and ESVAL S.A. and ESSBIO S.A., both of which are Chilean water companies. Mr. Niggli holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach and a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University. We believe Mr. Niggli is qualified to serve as a director due to his leadership experience and extensive experience in the energy industry.

Advisory Board

Tom Baruch will serve as an advisor to our board of directors upon the closing of this offering. Mr. Baruch is one of the pioneers of clean technology investing. Most recently, since 2014, he has invested primarily from his family business, Baruch Future Ventures, LLC (“BFV”), in early-stage companies focused on resource scarce and climate sensitive markets ― such as energy, food/agriculture, water and air quality. The target of Mr. Baruch’s focus at BFV is on transformative seed investments in these climate sensitive markets which can achieve “unicorn” (market capitalization of greater than $1 billion) status in 10 years or less. His investment targets are “free” renewables (e.g., solar energy), the digitized power grid (e.g. SOURCE Global, PBC purified water), and the alternative protein industry (Calysta, Inc. and Geltor, Inc.). Mr. Baruch is a Senior Advisor to Breakthrough Energy Ventures, LLC (“BEV”), a $2 billion venture capital fund founded by Bill Gates that is dedicated to investing in climate-impactful companies. Mr. Baruch is an active counselor to a conglomeration of BEV investment partners and start-up company chief executive officers and founders. Mr. Baruch was a pioneer in the field of venture capital investing in the commercialization of synthetic biology beginning with Maxygen, Inc. (founded by Nobel Laureate, Frances Arnold), Codexis, Inc. (CDXS:NASDAQ), where he served as Chairman for 15 years, Taxon Biosciences, Inc. (sold to DuPont de Nemours, Inc.), TeselaGen Biotechnology, Inc., Geltor, Inc., Checkerspot, Inc., Growcentia, Inc., Native Microbials, Inc., and SmartPhage, Inc. dba Ellis Day Skin Science.

In 2011, Mr. Baruch founded Formation 8 Partners LLC, a venture capital fund with $950 million under management where he currently serves as Emeritus Partner. In 1990, Mr. Baruch formed Chemicals and Materials Enterprise Associates Capital (“CMEA”) with New Enterprise Associates, Inc., 3M Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and other LPs. At CMEA, he was responsible for managing a total of $1.2 billion of capital across seven funds and personally led investments resulting in 18 initial public offerings, including Aclara Biosciences, Inc., Codexis, Inc., Jiangsu CNano Technology Co., Ltd. (Shanghai: 688116.SS), Flextronics International Ltd., Intermolecular, Inc., and Symyx Technologies, Inc., and eight merger and acquisitions transactions, including Silicon Spice, Inc. (acquired by Broadcom Inc.). Ten of Mr. Baruch’s successful portfolio exits through initial public offering, sale, and mergers and acquisitions at CMEA were at market capitalizations of greater than $1 billion.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Baruch worked at Exxon Mobil Corporation for 12 years and later founded Microwave Technology, Inc. where he served as Chief Executive Officer for six years. Currently, he serves on the board of privately held companies and public service entities. Mr. Baruch was a founding member of President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where he advised the U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council of Competitiveness and a member of the Steering Committee of its Energy, Security, Innovation and Sustainability Initiative and the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative.

Vazil Hudak will serve as an advisor to our board of directors upon the closing of this offering. Mr. Hudak is currently serving as a member of the J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Senior Advisory Council for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and as a Financial Advisor and Member of the National Committee of the Czech National Development Fund at the Ceskomoravská zárucní a rozvojová banka, a.s. (Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank). He is also the Vice Chair at GLOBSEC, a global think-tank, and a Board Member at The Jefferson Institute, an independent research and education institute. Mr. Hudak previously served as Vice President at the European Investment Bank from 2016 to 2019, and he also served as the state secretary in the Ministry of Finance of Slovakia (2012-14) and as the Minister of Economy of Slovakia (2015-16). From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Hudak served as Executive Director and Industry Head for the Public Sector at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in their London office. He previously was a Vice President at Citibank, N.A. from 2006 to 2010 and began his career as Vice President at the Institute for EastWest Studies, Inc. in 1991. Mr. Hudak received a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, as well as a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.