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HBS Alumni Angels syndicates selected deals across the full global membership of its 14 chapters. This enables selected deals from one chapter to reach a global network of accredited investor alumni. This is a unique benefit of being a member in a local HBS Alumni Angel chapter. Investment decisions are made and executed individually following a global webinar. Once investments are made, investors often assist companies in other areas as formal or informal advisers. For details on how the process works, please scroll down.


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Thursday, January 26, 2023 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm London, 6pm Continental Europe

Presenter: Brad Larschan, CEO & Co-Founder of Avadain Graphene
Complimentary for HBS Angels Members


About this event:
On behalf of the Boston chapter, we would like to share the following investment opportunity:


High quality graphene is the lightest, strongest, thinnest, best thermal and electrical-conducting material ever discovered. Avadain, Inc. has a green, globally patented, breakthrough technology to manufacture large, thin and nearly defect free (LTDF) graphene flakes – exactly what the $100 billion graphene market is waiting for. We have no known competitors. We are currently working with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute to scale up our process to mass production funded by a non-dilutive Federal grant. We will license our technology to advanced materials manufacturers. We expect to be cash flow positive in 2024 and to achieve an exit in 2026-2028.

The Graphene Council, the leading source for graphene commercial application production and research intelligence, says demand for graphene is burgeoning and will reach 300,000-600,000 mt by 2027, of which 10%-15% is for LTDF graphene. What industry lacks is a reliable source of LTDF graphene in industrial volumes at affordable cost. This is the market opportunity Avadain targets. Sectors that can immediately benefit from Avadain’s graphene include supercapacitors, EV batteries, renewable energy storage, solar cells, water filtration/purification, electronics and many aspects of defense.

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Adding a tiny bit of graphene to thousands of products can substantially improve performance. For example, adding 0.50% of Avadain’s graphene flakes (less than $10) to a supercapacitor’s electrodes enabled faster charging/discharging, 100% depth of discharge and increased power density. It also enabled constant specific capacitance as the discharge current increased.  In stark contrast, reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and carbon black had declining specific capacitance. This is great news for the transportation (EVs, HVs, electric buses and electric trains), consumer electronics and energy industries, which are increasingly relying on supercapacitors to improve performance.

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Avadain uses an environmentally friendly process that overcomes the technical challenges which have thus far thwarted others from manufacturing industrial quantities of high-quality graphene. We have no known competitors.

The US’ #1 IP law firm, Fish & Richardson, filed four patent applications to date, the first of which is granted in 12 countries (including the US) and is pending in a dozen more. The other three patent applications are pending. We plan to file additional patents to ring fence our highly differentiated technology.  Avadain owns all of the patents and applications.

Panasonic has been backing our technology since 2017. It has a representative on our Board and is active in decision making. In March 2022, the Department of Commerce made a $3.77 million project grant to upscale our technology and demonstrate the fantastic properties of our flakes in two high profile coronavirus applications. 

Our technology was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics.  It is proven in a batch process and validated with peer reviewed research.  We have strong development partners in SwRI and RAPID. These well-respected organizations are collaborating on the upscaling of our technology to mass production. SwRI has deep expertise in electrochemistry and graphene. RAPID has deep expertise in process design, cost optimization and accelerating process development from pilot to mass production.
We will license our technology to advanced materials companies, graphene applications companies and end-users with a mission critical need for high quality graphene. Our capital- light licensing model allows rapid, flexible scaling to meet The Graphene Council’s projected demand for LTDF graphene.


Our management team is solid and seasoned, and we’ve worked together on various projects for over 20 years. 


We have raised $7 million ($3.13 million dilutive) and ($3.87 million non-dilutive) funding. Avadain concluded a successful equity crowdfunding campaign in July 2022, raising $1.36 million at $4 per share.

We are currently seeking $3.6 million to reach cash flow positive in 2024. With this new funding, we will produce samples, demonstrate our flakes in supercapacitors and EV batteries, begin licensing industrial-scale continuous production of high-quality graphene flakes and enter into the first license agreement.

With significant recurring licensing revenue from a large and rapidly growing market, we believe Avadain will be a very attractive acquisition candidate by 2026-2028.




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Brad Larschan co-founded Avadain and has been involved with the development and patenting of Avadain’s technology since 2016. He has served on Avadain’s Board of Directors since its inception and arranged early investment in Avadain’s technology by Panasonic. Mr. Larschan has extensive experience in the development and commercialization of breakthrough technologies, including co-founding and leading Bastille LLC, which commercializes disruptive technologies created by universities and research institutions worldwide. Mr. Larschan has extensive expertise in patenting to support commercialization and enforcement of IP-based technologies.  He is a member of the IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists, which identifies individuals leading the development and implementation of strategies that maximize the value of IP portfolios. Mr. Larschan has held leadership roles in a number of start-up and early-stage companies since 1993. Before that, he was an international lawyer in Washington, DC.  Mr. Larschan has a BS (magna cum laude) in journalism and politics from Boston University; MALD (high honors) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (concentration: international law, international security studies, diplomatic history & international energy policy); JD (cum laude) from Boston College Law School.



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Thursday, December 1, 2022 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm London, 6pm Continental Europe

Presenter: Troy Helming, CEO & Founder of EarthGrid PBC
Complimentary for HBS Angels Members


About this event:
On behalf of the S Florida chapter, we would like to share the following investment opportunity:


Why EarthGrid?

EarthGrid has invented plasma tunnel boring robots that are solar-powered, use no water, have zero emissions and can bore tunnels 100x faster at 1/10th the cost of conventional techniques. They are building a network of large, underground utility tunnels that improve infrastructure and rapidly accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy by enabling underground clean energy power lines, high-speed data, water, and wastewater, H2 pipelines, e-commerce parcel transportation via pneumatic tubes, etc. They have a BOOM model (Build, Own, Operate and Manage) and intend to lease space to investment-grade utilities.


The Opportunity

We've had rolling blackouts in CA & TX, power lines are causing fires, only 40% of Americans have decent broadband, and our outdated power grid causes 80% of proposed wind & solar farms to be abandoned, a severe problem for renewable energy.


America’s infrastructure grade = “D” (ASCE), only 40% of households have decent Broadband, our electric transmission grid is failing regularly while being unable to accommodate the rapid growth of solar & wind power (+80% of solar & wind farms are canceled before construction), and building new infrastructure takes 10-15 years and has the highest cost in the world by far. Going underground for infrastructure would solve all these problems, but that costs 7-20x more than overhead utility lines.


The Solution

A plasma tunnel boring robot that bores tunnels 100 times faster at 1/10th the cost. And an innovative business model where we bore tunnels that we own & operate, taking risk and Capex away from project owners & developers.



Working prototypes, field MVP plasma trenching system nearly ready for field testing & customer projects.

Approved by 20 states as a utility in the form of a CPCN (Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity) representing +60% of the US population (including CA, TX, NY, FL, MA, AZ, OR, WA, IL, many more). This means we have guaranteed access to bore our tunnels under public rights of way (roads).

3 patents with 62 claims published globally (except China), +100 trade secrets, 9 trademarks, 19 more patent claims pending.

Signed contracts, revenue since late 2021, numerous signed LOIs.

Winner of Pepperdine University’s Most Fundable Companies competition (+4,000 applicants).


Market Opportunity

$2 Trillion TAM. Antiquated transmission lines are the biggest impediment to the growth of renewable energy. Only 40% of Americans have access to decent Broadband, Water, transportation & other infrastructure is crumbling, but land costs are so high that going underground is the only real solution.


Business Model

We offer 2 tunnel products: BOOM & BADASS

BOOM - Build, Own, Operate & Maintain. We own the tunnels & finance them with long-term leases & tolling agreements from investment grade customers like utility companies). Builds asset value quickly, but cashflow is zero until after the tunnel is complete.

BADASS - Boring And Drilling As a Simple Service. The customer owns the tunnel, pays us at milestones to build it for them.



Raising $15 million in Seed funding to close by January 2023. This will enable procurement of additional equipment by adding equity to the balance sheet to qualify for larger equipment financing loans, to complete the 12-torch Tunnel Boring Robot assembly by summer 2023.

Our Pre-Seed round was $2M but we raised $7M at a $30M valuation.

Our 2021 audited financials included a 3rd party valuation showing EarthGrid was worth $49 Million in December 2021 (due mainly to our approved state utility CPCNs in 7 states). We now have 20 state CPCNs (worth $3-5M per state).


Basic Info

Industry: ClimateTech, Infrastructure, Clean Energy, Robotics

Founded September 2016

Raising Equity Round: $15M Seed ($60M valuation) via SAFE or Convertible Note


Monozukuri Ventures, Asymmetry Ventures, Kyto Technology Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Lateral Capital, Interlock Capital, SeedFolio VC, Upward Labs

Band of Angels, Keiretsu (Norcal, SoCal, Pacific NW & Rockies, Midwest, Canada, Singapore, India), HBS Bay Area chapter, SAC Angels, Boston Harbor Angels, Bekeley Angels, Wharton Angels, She’s Independent, Shasta Angels




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Troy Helming is a Unicorn Founder (with 6 company exits) and a modern-day industrialist. He’s an inventor (60+ patent claims), an elite athlete, an author (1 book + 100s of articles), and a clean energy executive. He’s founded companies that have generated more than $35 Billion of economic impact, and he serves on numerous boards. He's a longtime wellness practitioner & yogi.

Troy was the founder & CEO of two impactful clean energy companies: TradeWind Energy, which he founded in 1998 & sold in 2004 (>$10 Billion of wind projects were built by the company he founded since then, and was the #1 Wind Developer in the USA in 2017) and then Pristine Sun: >350 solar projects built so far totaling $1 Billion in market value (including projects sold to other companies such as Renesola (NYSE: SOL) & Enerparc) and many high profile projects including the largest floating solar project award in North America & the largest community solar projects in both Vermont and Wisconsin.  He’s the author of the 2005 book The Clean Power Revolution, co-inventor of FloatoRack (an innovative floating solar system with multiple patents pending) and inventor of the Red Gopher (a world-changing robotic tunneling technology).  



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A company must meet a threshold of member investment in one of our HBS Alumni Angel Chapters listed here. The leadership of the host chapter nominates the company for global syndication and provides a local member contact to act as syndication lead and a company contact.


Ideally, for global syndication a company should meet the following requirements:

  • Local host chapter members committed to invest at least $50,000* and local chapter forwards deal to global for syndication; 

  • Company assures at least $50,000-100,000 investible capacity;

  • Company provides at least 2 weeks for due diligence following the webinar, prior to requiring an investment decision;

  • Minimum individual investment amount is set at $25,000 or less;

  • Company agrees to a one-time admin fee of $1500.

The Global Syndication Committee selects the most suitable company candidates from the 15 participating HBSAA chapters and is aiming to host monthly webinars. 

*NY and other larger chapters may have a $100,000 min.

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