Navitas Capital Attracts Green Building and Investing Leaders

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Newly formed board of advisors helps venture capital firm lead in investing in sustainable building materials and technologies.

Navitas Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in green technology solutions for the built environment, announced today the creation of a nine-member Advisory Board composed of leading experts in materials science, building engineering, green design practices, real estate development and private equity and venture capital. The board will help guide Navitas' investments and strategic growth.

The members of the Advisory Board include:

  • Andy Cohen, Executive Director and Architect, Gensler. Mr. Cohen oversees initiatives related to design, client development and strategic growth for Gensler, which has become the No. 1 ranked U.S. commercial design firm and the leading architecture and interior design firm. Mr. Cohen is also the Regional Managing Principal for the Southwest and has collaborated on major projects such as LAX Airport and MGM MIRAGE CityCenter in Las Vegas, the largest sustainable design and privately-funded project in the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
  • Peter Cushman, Vice President, Development, Bancroft Capital. Mr. Cushman is a leading advocate for green building on policy, construction and technology. He oversees all of Bancroft Capital's development efforts, including the development of The Peloton, a $160 million mixed-use community in Boulder, Co., He helped develop the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole and Four Seasons Resort Silicon Valley, among others, as Project Manager, LDW Resort & Hotel Development. Mr. Cushman is an active member of the Urban Land Institute. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of American Sunrise Communities, Boulder East, Eta Gamma Housing Corporation and Zaca Mesa Winery.
  • Goodwin Gaw, Founder and Managing Principal, Gaw Capital. Under Mr. Gaw's leadership, Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital has become a leading real estate investment company strategically focused on China and the Asia Pacific Region. Mr. Gaw brings over 15 years of real estate and management experience across multiple asset classes in the United States and Asia. He is Vice Chairman of Pioneer Global Group, Founder and President of Downtown Properties, and former Chairman of Global Gateway.
  • Dr. Malcolm Lewis, P.E. President and Founder, CTG Energetics. Under Dr. Lewis' stewardship, CTG Energetics has become the recognized leader in energy efficiency and sustainability for the built environment. Dr. Lewis has been active in the design of leading-edge buildings for over 30 years as a consulting engineer specializing in mechanical, electrical, and energy systems. His projects have won numerous awards for energy efficiency, sustainability, and design. Dr. Lewis served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is a member of the USGBC's LEED Steering Committee, and Chair of the LEED Technical Committee.
  • John Picard, Founder and CEO, John Picard Associates. Mr. Picard is one of the preeminent environmental consultants in North America. He has pioneered the philosophy of natural systems and sustainable design in his work as a green building engineer, corporate strategist, and executive advisor. He is a founding member of the USGBC, a longstanding member of Interface's Dream Team, and an environmental advisor to EarthPark, EcoTown, and a number of corporations around the world.
  • Nellie Reid, Director of Sustainable Design, Gensler. Over the decade Ms. Reid has been at Gensler, she has served as a sustainable design consultant on multiple projects from the San José Airport to the Port of Long Beach Headquarters. She has spent much of the last four years providing a Sustainable Design and LEED oversight role on hospitality projects, including MGM MIRAGE CityCenter, Marriot/Ritz, Kimpton, Mondrian and Warner Brothers. She is a founding member of the USGBC Los Angeles Chapter, where she served as vice chair and now serves as an Emeritus board member. She was named one of the "25 Environmental Champions for 2004" by Interior and Sources Magazine and been recognized on "40 Under 40" lists by both Real Estate Southern California and Building Design + Construction.
  • Danny Rimer, Managing Partner, Index Ventures. Mr. Rimer established the London office for Index Ventures, the preeminent IT venture capital firm in Europe. He is Ranked Number 16 on Forbes' "The Midas List." His investment interests include Internet infrastructure software and services. He currently serves on the board of Astley Clarke, FON, Oanda, Rightscale, Sky (BSY), Spot Runner, Stardoll, Trialpay, Viagogo and Woome.
  • Brandon Tinianov, CTO, Serious Materials. Dr.Tinianov is a recognized expert in building science and in the creation and patenting of novel construction materials to support global sustainability initiatives. Through his influential participation in the Green Building Initiative (GBI) and Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV), Dr. Tinianov has been recognized as a leading voice in the green construction innovation realm and was recently elected Founding Chairman of the Silicon Valley Branch of the USGBC.
  • Phil Williams, VP of Sustainability and Systems Engineering, Webcor Builders. Webcor is the Number 2 ranked U.S. green contractor. Mr. Williams is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in California, a LEED Accredited professional and an active member of the USGBC, San Francisco Mayor's Green Building Task Force, Center for the Built Environment (CBE), Sustainable Silicon Valley, Business Council on Climate Change (BC-3) and Center for Integrated Facilities Engineering (CIFE).

"Navitas' dedication to the built environment and track record of investing early in the industry's emerging leaders is unique among the venture capital community," said advisor Picard. "The industry needs a firm that understands technology and the unique challenges of the building industry, and I'm excited to be part of Navitas' success."

"We are honored that such a prestigious group of influential leaders has joined us at Navitas Capital," said Jim Pettit, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Navitas Capital. "I am confident that their advice and guidance will be invaluable as we evaluate prospective growth sectors, investment opportunities and expand our venture capital footprint within the green building sector. Assembling an advisory board of this caliber is a key strategic differentiator in the ongoing development of Navitas Capital."

"The $1.8 trillion built environment is going through a profound 'green' transformation," said Travis Putnam, LEED AP, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Navitas Capital. "Buildings consume 40 percent of the energy in the United States and have necessarily become an important part of our nation's new energy policy. Compelling economics and increasing mandates are driving developers, builders and designers to focus on sustainability."

Putnam added: "With the help of our Advisory Board, Navitas is identifying and funding those companies it believes will help lead the sustainable building revolution by dramatically reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact of the built environment."

About Navitas Capital
Navitas Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in green technology solutions for the built environment. Navitas Capital's investment focus is unique among VCs -- dedicated to working with entrepreneurs who are developing innovative building materials and technologies for a sustainable built environment. Navitas invests in the areas of sustainable building materials, building automation, building systems, advanced lighting, water management and distributed renewable energy. Founded in 2008, Navitas has been one of the early and driving forces behind several of today's leading green building technology companies. Navitas Capital is based in Berkeley, California. Please visit for more information.

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Travis Putnam
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