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Boris von Bormann

Founder & Managing Partner

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Former CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy, accomplished business leader and automotive management professional with a 15+ year career in the automotive and cleantech industries, and vast experience on cross-cultural business aspects.

Pioneer in the energy storage sector with proven management, sales, marketing, and business development expertise, and a history of consistent growth, business turnaround and customer satisfaction.


Broad experience in the automotive and cleantech sectors, adept at providing charging infrastructure in conjunction with the launch of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and the concepts and processes around second use batteries from electric vehicles. Expert in the installation of renewable energy and the development and manufacturing of stationary storage systems for the utility, commercial and residential sectors. Raised over $250 million during his tenure with various startup firms. 

  • CEO – Mercedes-Benz Energy | CEO – sonnen, Inc. | ​Director North America Soltecture, Inc.

  • Advisor to the National EV Innovation Center, Beijing, China

  • White House Delegation Member Obama Administration

Dirk Michels

Founder & Managing Partner

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Over the past decade, Dirk has been a leader in the U.S. solar and energy storage industries. He has been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Clean Technology Lawyers in California." Dirk served as "Global Co-Chair Cleantech and Renewable Energy" of an AmLaw top 20 law firm with 48 offices globally.


Dirk has particularly become known in the industry for his work on the standardization of distributed energy off-take and services agreements. Practicing law in the U.S. and Europe, Dirk has advised his clients on venture funding, private equity, M&A and project financing transactions, serving renewable energy clients for more than 20 years.


Frequent speaker on topics relating to private equity and VC financing, M&A, corporate and project finance transactions, international business and renewable energy.  


Past lecturer at the International School of Management, San Diego/Berkeley, California, The Wharton Business School, San Francisco, California and the University of San Francisco, California.

  • Former General Counsel of the Solar Energy Finance Association

  • Chair of the Solar Energy Industry Association Contract Standardization Committee

  • Partner of AmLaw100 law firms for 15+ years

John Rossant

Founder & Managing Partner

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John Rossant is the founder of the NewCities Foundation. From its founding in 2010, NewCities’ mission has focused on shaping a better and more sustainable urban future by generating and scaling ideas and solutions through events, research and urban innovation projects. 


John also founded CoMotion, the Los Angeles, CA-based events and media company focused on the new mobility space. CoMotion is the organizer of the CoMotion LA and CoMotion MIAMI conferences on the future of mobility and publishes CoMotion NEWS and the webinar series CoMotion LIVE. 


John was previously Executive Chairman of PublicisLive in Geneva, Switzerland, the group responsible for the production of some of the world’s most important gatherings of political and business leaders, including the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos and other WEF events around the world. In 2010, President Sarkozy of France asked him to organize the e-G8 Forum on the future of the Internet, which took place in Paris in May of that year.


Previously, John held several senior editorial positions at BusinessWeek, including Europe Editor, as well as Paris, Rome and Middle East correspondent. He has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award and the German Marshall Fund’s Peter Weitz Award for Distinguished Reporting. John holds advanced degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the American University in Cairo. He is a member of the board of the Foundation Tocqueville in Paris, Humanity in Action, and is a member of the Advisory Board of NEOM, the large new city project in northwest Saudi Arabia.


John is the author of Hop, Skip, Go. How the Mobility Revolution Is Transforming Our Lives, recently published by HarperCollins. 


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Roger Atkins


Electric Vehicles Outlook, Ltd.

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Roger has been advising and shaping electric vehicle development around the world for some time. His impressive work on Linkedin for many years has been rewarded with an audience of well over a quarter of a million followers.


Roger has a strong appetite for innovation and the ability and confidence to identify and engage with early-stage entrepreneurs. In addition to his own business activity, he's an advisor to U.S. high-power wireless charging company, Momentum Dynamics Corporation, electric aviation enterprise ZeroAvia, and has been a brand ambassador for Rimac Automobil for several years. He is also a regular host of EV shows around the world.

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Alisyn Malek

Executive Director for the Commission on the Future of Mobility
Founder and CEO of Middle Third

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Alisyn Malek is the Executive Director for the Commission on the Future of Mobility, which aims to reshape transportation policy globally across environmental, safety and economic opportunity considerations to achieve stronger outcomes. Additionally she is the founder and CEO of Middle Third, a boutique mobility consultancy helping clients to unlock the potential of technology and transportation.  


Prior to this role, her unparalleled understanding of how automotive and innovative technologies work together inspired her to co-found May Mobility, building an autonomous vehicle transportation solution that would solve urban transportation challenges ahead of the competition. As COO, she grew the company from laboratory concept to operations in three states and a strong pipeline for growth in less than three years. Alisyn started her career as an engineer working on electric vehicle charging technology at General Motors before moving to their corporate venture arm, leading investments across electrification, connected vehicles, mobility and autonomy.  


She was recognized as an Automotive News All Star in 2019, a top ten female innovator to watch by Smithsonian in 2018 and named a top automotive professional under 35 to watch by LinkedIn in 2015 for her work in cutting-edge product development and corporate venture.

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Arwed Niestroj

COO, KeraCel

Former CEO, Mercedes Benz R&D NA

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Arwed Niestroj is the Chief Operating Officer at KeraCel, a multi-material additive manufacturing company that 3D prints active devices like Li-ion batteries. Arwed is a seasoned industry executive who has built and grown $100M businesses in both Europe and the U.S. He is a member of the Advisory Board to several startup companies in the energy and transportation sectors.

In 2018, he was responsible for the global innovation hubs and digital transformation of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, driving the company’s innovation and transformation efforts. From 2014 to 2017, Arwed was the CEO of Mercedes-Benz R&D North America in California, comprising all R&D activities of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in North America. His work covered technology research, digital technologies, self-driving cars, powertrain engineering, testing, software design, and vehicle design.


Arwed was the founding managing director of the Mercedes-Benz - Bosch joint venture EM-motive GmbH in Germany, developing and manufacturing electric motors for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi and other vehicles. He was responsible for fuel cell vehicle development and fleet operations at Daimler AG, the F-CELL World Drive, and Chief of Staff of Mercedes-Benz Board Member for R&D of the Daimler group.


Arwed holds a master’s degree in physics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

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