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The Algae Carbon Solution: A conversation with Brilliant Planet and Union Square Ventures

The Algae Carbon Solution: A conversation with Brilliant Planet and Union Square Ventures

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The Algae Carbon Solution: A conversation with Brilliant Planet and Union Square Ventures
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S2G Managing Director, Larsen Mettler, sits down with Brilliant Planet CEO Adam Taylor and chief scientist and cofounder Raffael Jovine, as well as John Butrick, partner at Union Square Ventures which led the company’s series A, to discuss Brilliant Planet’s algae-based climate solution and the funding needed to support these types of innovations. The conversation covers everything from the technology to the potential for generating quality carbon credits, what it will take to scale these operations and why venture capital is needed to back innovative solutions.

If you are interested in learning more about some of the exciting innovations happening in the space; download the 2022 Report: 8 Trends Critical to a Vibrant Blue Economy (here).


Adam Taylor


Brilliant Planet

Adam is an entrepreneur with a passion for building high-impact enterprises. He is the CEO of Brilliant Planet, a London-based climate technology company that is unlocking the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently capturing & sequestering carbon dioxide at the gigaton scale. Before Brilliant Planet, Adam was the founder & CEO of FirstWave Group. FirstWave is Africa's leading aquaculture firm and the world's second largest producer of tilapia fish. Prior to this Adam worked in finance as a Portfolio Manager at Liongate Capital Management and Oakfield Holdings, an African-focused private investment firm. Adam co-founded Liberi Zambia, a charitable organization that privately funds, builds and operates schools in Zambia. Adam holds a BSc. Economics from the London School of Economics and serves on a number of private & public boards.

Raffael Jovine

Founder & Chief Scientist

Brilliant Planet

Raffael Jovine is the Founder & Chief Scientist of Brilliant Planet. He has worked at Yale, MIT, UCSB & Wood Hole Oceanographic where he studied natural algal blooms. He has been working on algal photosynthesis since the beginning of his academic studies. He joined Booz Allen and as a consultant he discovered that in industry as in nature, scale matters. In 2008 he was granted a patent for a “Method of Carbon Sequestration” which replicates natural algal blooms year-round, on land, using free resources – and – is highly scalable. He started the company that is now Brilliant Planet and has been growing and testing the new low-cost algal cultivation method for CO2 capture and sequestration in South Africa, Oman and Morocco. He is also the author of ‘Light to Life’ that outlines how photosynthesis can save the planet again.

John Butrick


Union Square Ventures (USV)

John Buttrick is a partner at Union Square Ventures, joining the firm in 2010. He began his career as a corporate lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and Paris and was a partner in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group from 1994-2000. Between 2000 and 2010 John was involved in a number of private equity and venture projects. He has been a member of the Board of Environmental Advocates of New York since 2004 and currently serves as Board Chair. John majored in American Studies at Northwestern University and has a JD degree from Villanova University School of Law. John is a native New Yorker.

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