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"I get about 400 invitations to speak a day, and I decline usually about 399 of them a day. But when I heard that VertueLab Impact Summit was going to be here with all the great things they are doing, I had to jump on the opportunity to say YES. The reason I wanted to do that is because this is the best showcase certainly in the region — and quite possibly in the entire country — that links sustainability and economic prosperity."
Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland


The 2018 VertueLab Impact Summit has now concluded.

Thank you all for participating, sponsoring, partnering and attending.

We look forward to seeing you next year!


The Pacific Northwest's Premier Cleantech Innovation Conference

WedNesday, September 26, 2018
12 pm - 6:30 pm
Castaway Portland 
1900 NW 18th Ave, Portland, OR 97209



Every September, innovators from across the Pacific NW come together at VertueLab Impact Summit (formerly BEST FEST), the Pacific Northwest’s premier cleantech innovation conference.  Now in its 10th year, VIS2018 brings together the doers, thinkers, and innovators working in clean technology across the region. VIS2018 is about learning, inspiring, networking, sharing ideas, and shaping our future. We convene a diverse audience of business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, partners, corporates and scientists— who have the common goal of accelerating solutions to environmental challenges

Fireside Chat Speakers 

Fundraising for a startup is hard. Fundraising for a cleantech startup is even harder. VertueLab knows it takes a diverse set of funders to get a company to the finish line, and one of the most promising, emerging sources is that of impact capital - philanthropists and investors with money on a mission. The VIS2018 Fireside Chat will feature leading minds in impact investing - foundations, family offices, impact venture funds, and field builders - for an exploration of key issues and emerging opportunities for cleantech innovators. Attendees will gain insight into a growing source of capital for cleantech innovators that recognizes and values the financial, social, and environmental returns from clean technology solutions.

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Abhilash Mudaliar

Abhilash Mudaliar is Research Director at the GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network). Research at the GIIN focuses on market activity and trends, investor performance and the practice of impact investing, designed to bridge information gaps in order to enhance the scale of capital flowing toward addressing social and environmental challenges.  Learn more about Mudaliar here.


Sarah Cleveland

Sarah Cleveland is a resource for organizations addressing sustainability in the investment process. She has been an independent investment consultant since 2011, working on research, strategy and education projects.  Learn more about Cleveland here.

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David Griest is a Managing Director at SJF Ventures and based in Seattle. He joined SJF in 2004 and has served as a Board Director or Observer for several of SJF portfolio companies.  Learn more about Griest here.



Elizabeth Carey

Elizabeth Carey manages Oregon Community Foundation's $2.2 billion assets and investments. She oversees all Finance, Fund Services, Investments, Technology, and Operations activities. Learn more about Elizabeth here.


Jo Brickman, Moderator

Jo Brickman is Director of Impact Strategy. She is responsible for the development and execution of strategic direction and programs at VertueLab.  Read more about Jo here.

2018 Program

Wednesday September 26, 2017

12:00 p.m.  -  Registration Opens,  Lunch begins  (Sponsored by Oregon State University)

1:30 p.m.   -   Welcome and Opening Remarks by Emcee Neil Nathanson, Executive Director David Kenney and State Treasurer Tobias Read.

1:45 p.m.  -   Opening Panel  FIRESIDE CHAT with Speakers: 

  • Abhilash Mudaliar, Research Director at the GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network)

  • Sarah Cleveland, Consultant who helps mainstream sustainable investments.

  • David Griest, Managing Director at SJF Ventures.

  • Elizabeth Carey, Manages and oversees Oregon Community Foundation's Finance, Fund Services, Investments, Technology, and Operations activities.

  • Moderated by Jo Brickman, Director of Impact Strategy at VertueLab.

3:15 p.m.   -   Networking Break, Sponsor Video

3:45 p.m.   -   Cleantech Company Showcase featuring:

  • Beta Hatch - Growing insects for food, feed, and fertilizer - farming high-protein insects for chickens and creating balanced and natural fertilizer for plants.

  • The Renewal Workshop - Keeping discarded apparel and textiles out of landfills by transforming them into renewed apparel, upcycled materials, or recycling feedstock.

  • Gadusol Labs - Using synthetic biology methodology to produce natural, nontoxic sunscreen compounds found in marine life.

  • Wheyward Spirit - Utilizing the excess whey from local artisan cheese producers to make a craft vodka - with significantly reduced water and carbon footprints.

  • OpConnect - Lowering costs to EV drivers through an open-standards, cloud-based software platform that manages, monetizes and leverages EV charging stations so they can provide the maximum benefit to the electric grid.

  • Boydel Wastewater Technologies - Developing a novel electrochemical treatment system for industrial and municipal wastewater (supported by Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre in BC, Canada).

  • BC Biocarbon - Using a bio-refining technology to process biomass or biomass-derived materials into high-grade biocoal, biogas, biochar, and other biogenic carbon products (supported by Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre in BC, Canada).

  • Allumia - Funding, designing, installing, and managing complete lighting upgrades to generate savings that are then shared with the customer.

5:20 p.m.  -  Evening Networking Reception

6:30 p.m.  - Conclusion of VertueLab Impact Summit 2018!       

Special thanks to our Title Sponsor:


And all of our Sponsors: