Joel Balbien, CFA, Ph.D.

Joel is an accomplished & visionary consultant, and former venture capital partner and S&P 500 executive with a proven success in managing the commercialization of CleanTech, Semiconductor, and Life Sciences technologies in both large capitalization and high tech startup companies. His commercialization experience spans four decades including serving as an operations research analyst at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, financial and strategic planning positions of increasing responsibility at Unocal Corporation (NYSE:CVX), and Pacific Enterprises, (now Sempra Energy NYSE:SRE).

Joel co-founded the Cybersecurity startup Olympus Sky and, in 2000, a Los Angeles based venture capital fund (Smart Technology Ventures) that raised over $200 million in 3 funds. From 2005 to 2007 he served as a turnaround CEO at Kreido Laboratories/Biofuel and, in beginning in 2010, Joel was CFO at the wireless semiconductor startup company Tensorcom, Inc., where he helped raise nearly $50M in equity, coauthored a telecommunications patent, and helped push the frontier of ultra-low power and gigabit speed wireless communications.

He became CFO at Hyperlight Energy in 2013 and assisted the company in obtaining significant funding from Sempra Energy, the CEC, and DOE. Joel is currently serving as a Board Advisor to Olympus Sky and has served on the board of directors of several successful startups including Sonics, Clean Energy Systems, and was a Board and CEO Advisor for Continuous Computing Corporation and Clinical Microsensors.

Two of Joel’s offshore Fortune 1000 clients are members of the 2009 Global 100 Most Sustainable companies in the world. Joel has also served as an advisor to Larta Institute since 2007, where he has developed & managed commercialization assistance and professional services programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy and mentored numerous NIH, USDA, NSF, and TATRC SBIR grantees including several cutting edge health care and CleanTech companies.

Dr. Balbien was a Distinguished Lecturer at the Marshall School of Business at USC, and more recently became an Adjunct Professor of Economics within the School of Management at California Lutheran University where he has taught microeconomics and public policy. Joel received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, Chartered Financial Analyst credential from the CFA Institute, and BA from the University of California, San Diego.

Joel specializes in many areas, such as: building sophisticated option based valuation models for early stage high technology companies as well as small molecule, biopharmaceutical, and biomedical device companies where capturing the complexity of the regulatory process is critical to valuation. He also advises Clean Technology, Fabless Semiconductor, and Life Sciences companies on technology Licensing, sustainability Initiatives, financial and business planning, investor presentations, team building, R&D management, business partnerships, M&A, raising capital, market & technology Research, competitive intelligence; and litigation support.