Wal is an industrial technology veteran with unique industry insight gained through deep operational experience as a venture capitalist, corporate executive, top international consultant and a university professor. Since co-founding Chrysalix in 2001, Wal has sourced, invested in and advised numerous startups building innovative solutions for the new world economy – often while working hand-in-hand with large multinational companies on their sustainable innovation strategies. Wal is a specialist in maximizing returns from bringing innovative solutions to the world’s largest industries that are in transition including: oil and gas, power and utilities, mining and metals, chemicals and materials, and automation and manufacturing.
Prior to founding Chrysalix, Wal spent six years as the Vice President of Strategic Planning at Westcoast Energy (at the time one of the largest Canadian energy companies) with a strong focus on innovation and venturing. He also advised energy, chemicals and financial services blue chip companies on innovation and change management while working for more than seven years with McKinsey & Company.
Before officially joining the corporate world, Wal worked for almost a decade as an Associate Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam doing research in economics, econometrics and the environment, and consulting with businesses, governments and major international institutions including the World Bank and European Union. He has an extensive teaching background in venture capital and entrepreneurial finance, and change management through associate professorships at the University of British Columbia (2000-2008) and Simon Fraser University (1995 – 2002).
With a long standing passion for sustainable innovation, Wal has founded or co-founded several new ventures and clean energy organizations including New Ventures BC and SET Ventures in Amsterdam as part of the Chrysalix Global Network, which he assisted GRC from China in joining as well. He is a long standing member of the Cleantech Group’s Advisory Board, leader of the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, 2014 Canadian “Clean16” honoree, co-founder of the BC 2030 Tech-Hub initiative, member of the regional sustainability council and a member of the Vancouver “Renewable City Action Team” and frequent political advisor.
Wal holds a PhD in Economics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has completed executive training in Change Management from MIT. He is a passionate advocate for innovation and sustainability, author of several books and scientific articles, and can regularly be seen contributing to articles in the international media as well as speaking at industry conferences around the world – from being a key business speaker during the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games to debating Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at GLOBE2014, to giving innovation speeches at high profile events including Oil and Money and Energy for Tomorrow.