WCS Member of the Month highlights the fantastic stories of female leaders in the industry. This month, we spotlight Maria Saltz, Sr. Manager, Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe
WCS: What excites you most about the work you are doing?
Maria: I have spent my career working in various functions at tech giants of Silicon Valley such as Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), Yahoo, Seagate, and Adobe. I have recently joined Cleantech Open West where I am hoping to combine my experience in marketing, product management and data-driven strategy with my passion for Cleantech and Sustainability to help foster innovation in this space. Being a mom, I am keenly aware of the need to solve the issue of climate change and pollution in the next decade for my children to inherit a livable planet. I am very excited to be part of the enormous wave of new technologies, policies, and solutions that are aiming to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.
WCS: How did you get to where you are in your career?
Maria: My career has been primarily focused on data-driven business strategy. However, I have always felt that the skills that I have are easily transferable to a variety of business areas. Curious about emerging technologies and on a quest to always be learning, I have tended to gravitate to new and fast-growing areas. I went from Supply/Demand Planning to Web Analytics and Optimization when web presence became essential to companies. I took a detour into Product Management, working in the new field of online groups and social networks. That, in turn, led me to Social Media Analytics and later to cross-channel Marketing Analytics. As Sustainability and Cleantech became a new area of interest for me, I have been exploring ways to take my skills in that direction. I am currently a member of Sustainability action team at Adobe and a pro bono Marketing Chair for Cleantech Open West.
WCS: What led you to join WCS?
Maria: I first heard about WCS from a colleague and, after browsing through the website and the list of events for a bit, I was immediately interested in joining! I attended my first WCS Talks last year and was even more impressed with the passion and level of expertise this group of women has in all things Cleantech. In my first year of membership and attending several events, I have made many great connections with other members. Learning about other women's very different journeys into cleantech and sustainability careers is very inspiring. I also love hearing about the variety of ways people are involved in the push for renewable energy and more sustainable economy.
WCS: What advice do you have for other women in WCS?
Maria: I want to emphasize the power of networking - if you are attending an event, make it a point to talk to a few people you have never met before and also re-connect with people you may have met at previous events. Sometimes a brief random conversation with someone can result in a great opportunity or an open door down the line.
Artveoli Wins First Startup Pitch Competition for Women-Led Cleantech and Sustainability Companies in the United States
Artveoli Inc.'s breathable art takes home the prize at 5th Annual Women in Cleantech & Sustainability’s WCS Talks for its ability to filter indoor air
Sunnyvale, CA - November 13, 2018 - California-based non-profit Women in Cleantech and Sustainability (WCS) announced Silicon Valley-based Artveoli as the winner of the first cleantech and sustainability-focused startup pitch competition for women founders in the United States. Artveoli outlined its offering at the fifth annual WCS Talks to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen in indoor environments by harnessing the photosynthetic properties of algae. Housed behind pieces of art, the core technology contains biochips and is based on photosynthesis, which is how plants naturally convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen. The algae within the biochips are powered via energy from an LED panel, mimicking the sun.
“Typical air filtration systems mostly draw air in from outside, which is often times polluted,” said Artveoli co-founder and CEO Alina Adams. “Artveoli changes the actual composition of the air by reducing harmful carbon dioxide inside buildings, and by increasing the oxygen available, thus creating a healthier indoor environment. It was a thrill to present and win the top seat at the WCS pitch competition, as we are working hard to bring our product to full commercialization.”
Silicon Valley-based Artveoli will enjoy a large prize pool, including a guaranteed spot to pitch at SV Forum's 2019 Women in Tech Festival, entry as a guest to Cleantech Forum San Francisco (and preferential consideration for a presentation slot) and advisory services from 12 companies across funding, coaching communications and marketing.
As a part of the larger TED-style conference, a total of six female entrepreneurs from the cleantech and sustainability industry earned a finalist spot to pitch their innovative business idea to a panel of Silicon Valley venture capitalists and an audience of 200+ industry professionals. At the end of the conference, the panel of three judges from Centrica Business Solutions, G2VP, and Urban Innovation Fund awarded additional honors to the other companies:
“While people of both genders are focused on mitigating the most devastating effects of climate change, we still see women entrepreneurs woefully underrepresented in this space. Our aim with the competition is to highlight the great work these women are doing and encourage others to found startups themselves,” said Lisa Ann Pinkerton, founder, and chairwoman of Women in Cleantech & Sustainability. "Congratulations to each of these companies as they continue to reshape the world in a more sustainable light regardless of what investment challenges may lay ahead.”
“There is a lack of C-Suite women in the cleantech and sustainability space,” said Cassie Bowe, Associate Vice President at Energy Impact Partners. “The women leading these startups are tackling some of the big challenges the green economy faces in the coming years.”
“Our panel of investor judges felt that The Artveoli team has created a technology that has the potential to disrupt the HVAC industry while creating a new category within smart buildings. We are delighted to have them as part of our sustainably driven community, and we look forward to watching them grow,” added Pinkerton
About Women in Cleantech and Sustainability
Founded in 2011, Women in Cleantech and Sustainability (WCS) fosters an influential network of professionals to further the roles of women in growing the green economy and making a positive impact on the environment. The nonprofit leads a community of over 2,500 professional women and men working to drive sustainable change. Members range from the students and entry-level professionals to founders, C-suite executives, and investors. The organization hosts monthly events focused on trends in the green industry, professional and personal development, and networking. The 501(c)6 organization is supported primarily by volunteers, member donations and sponsorship support. For more information please visit WomenCleantechSustainability.org.
Want to contribute?
We're always looking for a fresh perspective and good content. Please email us if you're interested.