On October 16, 2023, the Kenan-Flagler MBA students from the Energy Club embarked on an informative journey to Houston, where they had the privilege of engaging with leaders from a diverse array of energy companies. The day kicked off at the headquarters of Kinder Morgan, providing the team with an opportunity to interact with experts spanning various departments within the energy giant. Following lunch, the team proceeded to SLB New Energy, where they delved into groundbreaking technologies in the renewable energy space and gained insights into the inner workings of one of the world’s leading energy firms. The day concluded with a happy hour networking event, offering a chance for the students to connect with Kenan-Flagler alumni who have made Houston and the energy market their home.
The subsequent morning the team visited The Ion, Houston’s epicenter for innovation, facilitating connections between entrepreneurs and visionaries to forge the future of energy. Guiding the team that day was Jane Stricker, an esteemed Advisory Board Member of the Kenan-Flagler Energy Center and a prominent figure in Houston’s clean energy transition. The day began with Jane’s insightful overview of Houston’s energy ecosystem and its aspirations for energy transformation within the city. This was followed by an eye-opening tour of The Ion, where students witnessed firsthand how entrepreneurs are pioneering a new path for the energy transition. The day continued with a presentation from Ara Partners, a private equity firm dedicated to innovative carbon reduction enterprises, and discussions with representatives from Intel and Chevron Tech Ventures regarding their clean energy investments. After lunch at The Ion, the group visited Greentown Labs, an incubator started by MIT students to catalyze climate solutions. Here, students engaged with startup entrepreneurs and witnessed the prototyping process for various businesses, including a groundbreaking technique for offshore wind turbine construction.
Upon returning to The Ion from Greentown Labs, the students had the privilege of conversing with a representative from Fervo, a geothermal innovator working on harnessing power from the Earth’s subterranean heat. The meetings concluded with an insightful discussion with the founder of Energy Transition Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on propelling the green revolution. The evening wrapped up with a networking event at a local brewery within The Ion, offering students the chance to connect with some of Houston’s energy transition leaders.
On the final day of career trek, the group visited Cemvita, an early-stage company dedicated to producing renewable jet fuel through genetically modified microbes. They toured the facilities, observing scientists and engineers in lab coats preparing these remarkable microbes for their role in fuel production. The students even had the privilege of witnessing the production of jet fuel, a billion gallons of which United Airlines has committed to purchasing. The day culminated with a conversation with the founder of Cemvita, Moji Karimi, who shared his vision for the future of air travel and provided valuable insights into the startup process.
The Kenan-Flagler Energy Club sincerely thanks all the participants for their priceless insights and mentorship, which will unquestionably be of great importance as our members set forth on their paths within the ever-evolving energy sector.