The Blue Bear team combines experience from the world’s leading energy private equity firms with technology domain expertise and entrepreneurial perspective.

Ernst Theodor Sack

Partner

Ernst is a Partner of Blue Bear and helps manage the firm’s investment activities. Ernst has participated on the Boards of Directors of over twenty conventional and renewable energy companies, and is currently an observer or director on the boards of Blue Bear portfolio companies Shoreline, Omnidian, Element Analytics, Everactive, and Raptor Maps.

Before Blue Bear, Ernst spent nine years at Riverstone, a leading energy specialist private equity firm with over $35 billion in assets under management covering over 120 companies. He is also a Mentor in the Techstars Energy Accelerator. Since 2012 Ernst has been an active independent investor in technology-enabled businesses disrupting traditional industries. Previously, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Citigroup covering the oil and gas, renewable energy, and transportation sectors.

Ernst graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a degree in Science, Technology & International Affairs. He received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and London Business School through a joint degree program.

Contact: ernst@bluebearcap.com

Tim Kopra

Partner

Tim Kopra

Partner

Tim is a Partner of Blue Bear and oversees the operational performance of portfolio companies. He participates on the boards of Blue Bear portfolio companies Mission Secure and Voyager. An engineer by training, since 1998 Tim has served in various leadership and operational roles at NASA including as Flight Engineer and Commander of the International Space Station. Tim has been responsible for numerous technology development, deployment, and operations programs including for Space Shuttle launch operations, Space Station hardware and communications systems, and spacewalk interface verification and testing.

Prior to NASA, Tim served in the US Army for 25 years as an Army aviator. He deployed to Operations Desert Shield and Storm and then commanded an AH-64 Attack Helicopter Company. Following studies at Georgia Tech and completing the US Navy Test Pilot School, Tim served as the Developmental Test Director for the Army’s Comanche Program until his assignment to NASA.

Tim is a former director for InfuSystem, Inc. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, United States Military Academy; Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; Master of Strategic Studies, US Army War College; and Masters of Business Administration from Columbia Business School and London Business School.

Contact: tim@bluebearcap.com

Robert MacInnis, Ph.D.

Partner

Rob is a Partner and Chief Technology Officer of Blue Bear, overseeing elements of due diligence and portfolio company management, with a particular focus on software development and commercialization. As Founder and CEO of AetherStore and AetherWorks since 2010, Rob has led the design and build-out of multiple software solutions. He holds several patents in the sector, and his present research activity spans fields from drones and augmented-reality through to ‘fog computing’ and IoT.

In tandem with ventures in location-based advertising and online gaming software, Rob completed his post-graduate research at the University of St Andrews and was awarded his Ph.D. in 2010 for a thesis entitled “A Scalable Architecture for the Demand-driven Deployment of Location-neutral Software Services”.

Rob received a B.Sc. Honours (First Class) in Computer Science from the University of St Andrews in 2005. He serves as a member and treasurer of the board of trustees of the University of St Andrews American Foundation.

Contact: robert@bluebearcap.com

Thamer Balghonaim

Senior Associate

Thamer Balghonaim

Senior Associate

Thamer serves as an investment analyst for Blue Bear. He recently completed his MBA from IE Business School in Madrid where he specialized in Finance with a focus on valuation. Before his MBA, he worked as an analyst for a $2.5 billion family office where he researched investment opportunities in equities, fixed income, and real estate. He performed due diligence both on potential direct investments and on private equity fund managers for external capital allocations.

Prior to his family office experience, Thamer participated in a rotational program of key operational departments of Gulf International Bank including treasury operations, asset liability management reporting, country and counterparty credit and financial institutions.

Thamer holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Bentley University. He also participated in the Investment Banking Institute financial modeling and valuation training program in New York City.

Vaughn Blake

Strategic Partner

Vaughn Blake

Strategic Partner

Vaughn focuses on the renewable energy industry for Blue Bear. He is specifically focused on themes and opportunities where policy and technology catalysts interconnect.

Prior to Blue Bear, Vaughn managed a portfolio of emerging and esoteric hedge fund and venture capital fund strategies at a Southern California based Family Office.

He is the founder and managing director of Autochrome Ventures, an early-stage venture firm investing in frontier technologies applied at industrial and enterprise scale. Examples of Autochrome’s investment philosophy include Emerge, PhaseFour, Standard Cyborg, and Tropic Biosciences.

A strong proponent of diversity within the ranks of both high-growth technology companies and venture capital, he was one of the first limited partners in Backstage Capital and is a founding member of PledgeLA.

He currently holds board positions at Emerge and Pactum Capital, and sits on the investment committee of Treehouse Macro Partners, a volatility-focused hedge fund.

Vaughn received his Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College

Email: vaughn@bluebearcap.com

Carolin Funk, Ph.D.

Venture Partner

Carolin Funk, Ph.D.

Venture Partner

Carolin is a Venture Partner engaged in Blue Bear deal flow, diligence, and investing activities with a particular focus on blockchain, AI, and IoT solutions in the renewable energy and mobility sectors. Carolin has spent her career supporting renewable energy technology programs across government agencies, large corporations, and early-stage ventures.

Prior to joining Blue Bear, Carolin served as COO of FreeWire Technologies, a mobile energy storage business based in the Bay Area. At FreeWire Carolin led product development, helped scale the team from 11 to 30 people, and supported a Series A fundraise bringing BP Ventures, Stanley Black & Decker, and Blue Bear Capital into the company. Before FreeWire, Carolin spent four years as Manager and then Director of Venture Technology at Siemens in Berkeley, helping screen and develop startups for partnership with Siemens business units. Carolin's focus areas at Siemens included smart grid, autonomous machines, big data, and AI. Carolin began here career in Germany, serving as a Research Associate at the Technical University of Berlin and Project Manager and Project Director at the Germany Energy Agency.

Carolin holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Technical University of Berlin.

Martin Rajcan

Venture Partner

Martin Rajcan

Venture Partner

Martin Rajcan is a Venture Partner closely involved in the investment process at Blue Bear Capital. Martin’s investment experience spans the spectrum from seed-stage businesses to mature buy-outs across industries and geographies. Martin currently serves as CFO at Priori Data, a market intelligence software utilizing big data in the mobile app analytics space. He is also an active angel investor in primarily US-based businesses.

Martin's investment approach is shaped by nearly ten years of experiences at KKR Private Equity in London and Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking team in New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong, in both cases with a heavy focus on the energy sector. He was active at the board level in KKR’s investments in Acteon, Flowstream Commodities, Consorcio SSFD, U.N. Ro-Ro, and others.

Martin graduated as class valedictorian from Middlebury College, VT in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Chinese Language & Literature. Martin is a Trustee of NESsT UK, an organization that enables workforce integration of marginalised groups of transition economies in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Peter Petrov

Advisor

Peter is a Director at First Reserve, a leading global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy with USD $31 billion of aggregate capital raised since inception and approximately 600 investments (including platform acquisitions and add-ons). Peter’s responsibilities at First Reserve include investment origination and structuring, due diligence, execution and monitoring, with a focus on the equipment, manufacturing and services sector, as well as the resources sector. Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors of Morrison Utility Services in the UK.

Prior to joining First Reserve in 2007 Peter spent two years as a Financial Analyst in the Global Energy Group, Investment Banking Division, at Credit Suisse.

Peter holds a B.B.A. (summa cum laude) from Texas Christian University and an M.B.A. from London Business School.

Lord Browne of Madingley

Advisor

Lord Browne joined British Petroleum (BP) in 1966 and became a member of the Board of Directors in 1991. He was appointed Group Chief Executive in 1995 and held that position until May 2007.

He is Chairman of Huawei Technologies (UK) Ltd and Chairman of L1 Energy (UK) LLP. He was a Partner of Riverstone Holdings LLC from 2007 - 2015 and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Apax Partners LLC from 2006 - 2007. He was a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs from 1999 - 2007, a non-executive director of Intel Corporation from 1997 - 2006, a Trustee of The British Museum from 1995 - 2005, a member of the Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler AG from 1998 - 2001 and a non-executive director of SmithKline Beecham from 1996 - 1999.

He is a Fellow and former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2006 -2011), a Fellow of the Royal Society and a foreign member of the US Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was appointed a Trustee of the Tate Gallery in 2007 and Chairman of the Trustees in 2009. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Donmar Theatre in 2015. He was the UK Government’s Lead Non-Executive Board member from June 2010 - January 2015. He is Chairman of the Trustees of the Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Engineering, Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Blavatnik School Government at Oxford University and a member of a variety of other trusts and boards. He chaired the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance (the Browne Review, 2010).

He was voted Most Admired CEO by Management Today from 1999 - 2002. He was knighted in 1998 and made a life peer in 2001.

Lord Browne’s memoir, Beyond Business, was published in 2010. He is also the author of Seven Elements that Changed the World (2013); Glass Closet (2014) and Connect - How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society (2015). Lord John Browne holds degrees from Cambridge and Stanford Universities.

Joel Moxley

Advisor

Joel is a co-founder of several technology companies including Foro Energy and Rho AI. He is a Founding Investor and Board Member of Rubicon Global, Zero Mass Water, and Pie Insurance, and an angel investor in over 30 early stage technology companies including Biota Technology. He actively invests from a small institutional fund into pre-seed, seed, and Series A financing rounds. Joel is also on the team of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, supporting the Breakthrough Energy Coalition in providing long-term capital for sustainable energy technologies.

Joel is a Precourt Energy Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. Joel received his B.S.E in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Jacquelynn Craw

Advisor

Jacquelynn Craw has extensive legal experience in both corporate and NGO roles in the international oil and gas industry.  She currently heads the Norwegian desk for international law firm, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP.  Ms. Craw is also the Managing Director of the Offshore Pollution Liability Association (OPOL), an environmental compensation program for exploration and production companies in North Western Europe. Ms. Craw served as General Counsel to Fairfield Energy Limited, an independent UK oil and gas exploration and production company based in Aberdeen and London.  Her experience also spans over 25 years working with major oil and gas companies such as Shell UK and Talisman Energy. At Talisman UK she served as a Director, Company Secretary and Vice President of Legal and Corporate Social Responsibility, developing a strong expertise in international energy M&A transactions.  A Board Governor of the University of Aberdeen from 2006-14, she is now Chair of the Aberdeen University Pension scheme. She is also Vice Chair and Director of the Scottish Ballet.

Riaz Siddiqi

Advisor

Mr. Siddiqi is one of the Founders and Managing Partner Emeritus of Denham Capital. He has over 39 years of experience in the energy and asset management fields. He is a member of the Denham International Power Fund Investment Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Energy, a Denham portfolio companies. Mr. Siddiqi served as President and CEO of Thermal North America and other Denham portfolio companies Mr. Siddiqi is Chairman of Epochal Technologies, a Big Data Analytics firm. He also serves on the Board of Metox, a company focused on making the promise of room temperature superconductivity a reality.

Prior to joining Denham in 2004, he was President and CEO of Capstone Global Energy, and before that he held executive positions at Cinergy Capital and Trading and other Cinergy companies. Previously, he served as Manager, Market Management Research, for the Electric Power Research Institute, and in various professional capacities with Georgia Power Company, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern Company, after spending some time as a project engineer in Pakistan. He was heavily involved in electricity market deregulation and preparing electric companies to successfully participate in deregulated electricity and energy markets both in the US and Europe.

Mr. Siddiqi is Chairman of the Board of the American Pakistan Foundation and is also a member of the Board of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of BENS, Business Executives for National Security, an organization of private sector leaders that offer their expertise probono to the U.S Government on National Security matters. Mr. Siddiqi is also a volunteer pilot for Grace Flight of America, Pilots for Patients and Veterans Airlift Command and is a recipient of the Asia Society Houston Center’s award for leadership in business and philanthropy.

Mr. Siddiqi received a Bachelor of Science from Pakistan University of Energy & Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of Business at Mississippi State University.