4 minutes with… Gerald Kutney, Ph.D. Managing Director, Sixth Element Sustainable Management

June 9, 2015 |

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKTAAAAJDkyNTU0NjFlLTRhNzktNGU3ZS1hNTRkLTNiNmQ1MWM2MmFhOATell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Sixth Element is a consulting firm specializing in commercializing innovation, and evaluating the business preparedness and commercial potential of technology developers and their projects. We provide executive management services for inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, and public sector agencies in new technology and early-stage ventures.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

Our focus is start-ups and early-stage companies in the bioenergy/biofuel sector that do not have senior management depth or experience. Besides business mentoring and executive coaching, services include analysis of first project selection, strategic, operational, business development, and administration leadership, business and financial planning, financing strategies, techno-commercial evaluations, feasibility studies, and contract negotiations. Entrepreneurs are always in search of money but do not always understand that investors and financial agencies judge start-up ventures more by the skills and credentials of senior management than the technology being commercialized. More important, without senior management guidance and leadership, time and cash will be wasted, the risks are greater, and the chances for success are less. We provide executive services on a part-time basis at a fraction of the cost of a full-time senior manager.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?  

Many of the “emerging” technologies in the bioenergy/biofuel sector have been at the cusp of commercial success for years. It is long overdue, and it is time that they begin to prove themselves.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

1. Value on carbon emissions.

2. “Patient” investment money is needed for emerging technologies; scale-up is forced by investors to happen too quickly.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

Combat climate change

Where are you from? 

Born in Montreal, QC.

Grew up in Toronto, ON.

Now live in Ottawa, ON.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

Organic chemistry – University of Toronto

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

Frank Dottori – founder of Tembec

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?

Writing: “Carbon Politics and the Failure of the Kyoto Protocol”

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Category: Million Minds

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