The Blue Bear team combines experience from the world’s leading energy private equity firms with technology domain expertise and entrepreneurial perspective.
Ernst Theodor Sack
Ernst is a Partner of Blue Bear and helps manage the firm’s investment activities. He has participated on the Boards of Directors of over thirty energy and technology companies, and is currently a director on the boards of Blue Bear portfolio companies Shoreline, Raptor Maps, Datch, EnMass, and Pani.
Ernst is co-founder and Director of Deep Green Solar, a provider of rooftop solar and energy storage solutions to schools and community organizations. He is also an Advisory Board member of Loyola Marymount University’s Master’s Degree program in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation.
Before Blue Bear, Ernst spent nine years at Riverstone, a leading energy specialist private equity firm with over $40 billion in assets under management covering over 120 companies. His work at Riverstone focused on investment in technology-enabled equipment and services businesses across the energy supply chain, as well as in energy storage and biomass start-up and scale-up operations. Since 2012 Ernst has been an active independent investor in technology-enabled businesses disrupting traditional industries. Previously, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Industrials teams at Citigroup covering the oil and gas, renewable energy, and transportation sectors. His transaction experience included supporting a public equity offering for a leading hydrogen fuel cell company and strategic review of several energy production and transportation businesses.
Ernst graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a degree in Science, Technology & International Affairs. He received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and London Business School through a joint degree program.
Vaughn focuses on the renewable energy industry for Blue Bear. He is specifically focused on themes and opportunities where policy and technology catalysts interconnect.
Prior to Blue Bear, Vaughn managed a portfolio of emerging and esoteric hedge fund and venture capital fund strategies at a Southern California based Family Office.
He is the founder and managing director of Autochrome Ventures, an early-stage venture firm investing in frontier technologies applied at industrial and enterprise scale.
He currently holds board positions at Emerge, Transect, Mira, and First Resonance.
Vaughn received his Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College.
Robert MacInnis, Ph.D.
Rob is a Partner and Chief Technology Officer of Blue Bear, overseeing elements of due diligence and portfolio company management, with a particular focus on software development and commercialization. As Founder and CEO of AetherStore and AetherWorks since 2010, Rob has led the design and build-out of multiple software solutions. He holds several patents in the sector, and his present research activity spans fields from drones and augmented-reality through to ‘fog computing’ and IoT.
In tandem with ventures in location-based advertising and online gaming software, Rob completed his post-graduate research at the University of St Andrews and was awarded his Ph.D. in 2010 for a thesis entitled “A Scalable Architecture for the Demand-driven Deployment of Location-neutral Software Services”.
Rob received a B.Sc. Honours (First Class) in Computer Science from the University of St Andrews in 2005. He serves as a member and treasurer of the board of trustees of the University of St Andrews American Foundation.
Carolin Funk, Ph.D.
Carolin is a Partner engaged in Blue Bear deal flow, diligence, and investing activities with a particular focus on blockchain, AI, and IoT solutions in the renewable energy and mobility sectors. Carolin has spent her career supporting renewable energy technology programs across government agencies, large corporations, and early-stage ventures.
Prior to joining Blue Bear, Carolin served as COO of FreeWire Technologies, a mobile energy storage business based in the Bay Area. At FreeWire Carolin led product development, helped scale the team from 11 to 30 people, and supported a Series A fundraise bringing BP Ventures, Stanley Black & Decker, and Blue Bear Capital into the company. Before FreeWire, Carolin spent four years as Manager and then Director of Venture Technology at Siemens in Berkeley, helping screen and develop startups for partnership with Siemens business units. Carolin's focus areas at Siemens included smart grid, autonomous machines, big data, and AI. Carolin began her career in Germany, serving as a Research Associate at the Technical University of Berlin and Project Manager and Project Director at the Germany Energy Agency.
Carolin holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Technical University of Berlin.
General Counsel & COO
General Counsel & COO
Hank is General Counsel & COO of Blue Bear.
Before Blue Bear, Hank was General Counsel & VP - Operations for Neilson Financial Services, an insuretech business operating in the UK and the US. Previously, he spent six years in leveraged finance at Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles, handling acquisition financing, syndicated loan, and venture debt transactions for sponsor and borrower clients.
Hank graduated from Georgetown with a degree in Economics and received his law degree from USC Law School. He is a member of the California bar.
André is a Senior Associate engaged in Blue Bear deal flow, diligence, and investing activities. André has spent his career working in the clean energy sector as an engineer, consultant, and renewable energy project developer.
Previously, André worked in project finance and led financial modelling for utility-scale solar + storage projects in the US and Europe. André also worked at Navigant (now Guidehouse) as an energy consultant developing strategies for for electric utilities, governments, and regulators, and performing market research in clean energy infrastructure, technology, and policy. At UC Berkeley, André was actively engaged in the university's cleantech, venture capital, and startup communities through his involvement with Berkeley Energy Resource’s Collaborative (BERC), SkyDeck, and Berkeley StEP, and worked at several startups spanning autonomous vehicles, battery technologies, and AI.
André holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and MEng in Energy Engineering and Economics from Cornell University, and an MBA from Berkeley Haas.
Senior Venture Associate
Senior Venture Associate
Atusa is a Senior Venture Associate at Blue Bear Capital, engaged in deal flow, diligence and investment activities for emerging technologies within the clean tech and renewable energy sector.
Atusa is the Co-President of Haas Venture Capital Club at UC Berkeley Haas, where she’s currently completing her MBA program. She is the winner of the 2021 Silicon Valley regional Venture Capital Investment Competition, recipient of the Cheit Award and the San Francisco Financial Women Scholarship. Prior to her MBA, Atusa worked within the mining and metallurgy sector for over a decade. She spent a significant time of her technical career at mine sites in remote geographic locations including the Amazon jungle. Atusa remains involved in the mining industry as she is part of the leadership team in Shell Digital Ventures, focusing on sustainable and decarbonization initiatives in mining and asset intensive industries. She received a B.A.Sc in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Studies at University of Toronto.
Martin Rajcan is a Venture Partner closely involved in the investment process at Blue Bear Capital. Martin’s investment experience spans the spectrum from seed-stage businesses to mature buy-outs across industries and geographies. Martin currently serves as CFO at Priori Data, a market intelligence software utilizing big data in the mobile app analytics space. He is also an active angel investor in primarily US-based businesses.
Martin's investment approach is shaped by nearly ten years of experiences at KKR Private Equity in London and Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking team in New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong, in both cases with a heavy focus on the energy sector. He was active at the board level in KKR’s investments in Acteon, Flowstream Commodities, Consorcio SSFD, U.N. Ro-Ro, and others.
Martin graduated as class valedictorian from Middlebury College, VT in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Chinese Language & Literature. Martin is a Trustee of NESsT UK, an organization that enables workforce integration of marginalised groups of transition economies in Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Mr. Siddiqi is one of the Founders and Managing Partner Emeritus of Denham Capital. He has over 39 years of experience in the energy and asset management fields. He is a member of the Denham International Power Fund Investment Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Energy, a Denham portfolio companies. Mr. Siddiqi served as President and CEO of Thermal North America and other Denham portfolio companies Mr. Siddiqi is Chairman of Epochal Technologies, a Big Data Analytics firm. He also serves on the Board of Metox, a company focused on making the promise of room temperature superconductivity a reality.
Prior to joining Denham in 2004, he was President and CEO of Capstone Global Energy, and before that he held executive positions at Cinergy Capital and Trading and other Cinergy companies. Previously, he served as Manager, Market Management Research, for the Electric Power Research Institute, and in various professional capacities with Georgia Power Company, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern Company, after spending some time as a project engineer in Pakistan. He was heavily involved in electricity market deregulation and preparing electric companies to successfully participate in deregulated electricity and energy markets both in the US and Europe.
Mr. Siddiqi is Chairman of the Board of the American Pakistan Foundation and is also a member of the Board of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of BENS, Business Executives for National Security, an organization of private sector leaders that offer their expertise probono to the U.S Government on National Security matters. Mr. Siddiqi is also a volunteer pilot for Grace Flight of America, Pilots for Patients and Veterans Airlift Command and is a recipient of the Asia Society Houston Center’s award for leadership in business and philanthropy.
Mr. Siddiqi received a Bachelor of Science from Pakistan University of Energy & Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of Business at Mississippi State University.
Joel is a co-founder of several technology companies including Foro Energy and Rho AI. He is a Founding Investor and Board Member of Rubicon Global, Zero Mass Water, and Pie Insurance, and an angel investor in over 30 early stage technology companies including Biota Technology. He actively invests from a small institutional fund into pre-seed, seed, and Series A financing rounds. Joel is also on the team of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, supporting the Breakthrough Energy Coalition in providing long-term capital for sustainable energy technologies.
Joel is a Precourt Energy Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. Joel received his B.S.E in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute for Technology.
Tim is a Partner of Blue Bear and oversees the operational performance of portfolio companies. He participates on the boards of Blue Bear portfolio companies Mission Secure and Voyager. An engineer by training, since 1998 Tim has served in various leadership and operational roles at NASA including as Flight Engineer and Commander of the International Space Station. Tim has been responsible for numerous technology development, deployment, and operations programs including for Space Shuttle launch operations, Space Station hardware and communications systems, and spacewalk interface verification and testing.
Prior to NASA, Tim served in the US Army for 25 years as an Army aviator. He deployed to Operations Desert Shield and Storm and then commanded an AH-64 Attack Helicopter Company. Following studies at Georgia Tech and completing the US Navy Test Pilot School, Tim served as the Developmental Test Director for the Army’s Comanche Program until his assignment to NASA.
Tim is a former director for InfuSystem, Inc. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, United States Military Academy; Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; Master of Strategic Studies, US Army War College; and Masters of Business Administration from Columbia Business School and London Business School.
Jacquelynn Craw has extensive legal experience in both corporate and NGO roles in the international oil and gas industry. She currently heads the Norwegian desk for international law firm, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP. Ms. Craw is also the Managing Director of the Offshore Pollution Liability Association (OPOL), an environmental compensation program for exploration and production companies in North Western Europe. Ms. Craw served as General Counsel to Fairfield Energy Limited, an independent UK oil and gas exploration and production company based in Aberdeen and London. Her experience also spans over 25 years working with major oil and gas companies such as Shell UK and Talisman Energy. At Talisman UK she served as a Director, Company Secretary and Vice President of Legal and Corporate Social Responsibility, developing a strong expertise in international energy M&A transactions. A Board Governor of the University of Aberdeen from 2006-14, she is now Chair of the Aberdeen University Pension scheme. She is also Vice Chair and Director of the Scottish Ballet.
Alex T. Krueger
Alex is President and Chief Executive Officer of First Reserve, a leading global private equity firm exclusively focused on energy. Over the past 35 years, First Reserve has raised over $31 billion of aggregate capital and completed over 650 transactions, creating several notable energy companies. Its portfolio companies have operated on six continents, spanning the energy spectrum from upstream oil and gas to midstream and downstream, including resources, equipment and services, and associated infrastructure.
Since joining First Reserve in 1999, Alex has become responsible for the overall management of the firm and sits on the Private Equity Funds’ Investment Committee. He also is responsible for the development and management of the Private Equity investment team. In addition, he maintains responsibilities for investment origination, structuring, execution, monitoring and exit strategy across the global energy industry, with particular expertise in the natural resources upstream sector.
Prior to First Reserve, Alex worked in the Energy group of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in Houston. He holds two B.S. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (one in Chemical Engineering and one in Finance and Statistics from the Wharton School), and he is currently a Member of the University’s Board of Overseers for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.