Shell unveils rebranded net zero energy innovation venture Onward with expert-led advisory board
(WO) - Onward, powered by Shell, announced its full rebrand on Feb. 8, as the energy innovation studio fortifies its mission to transform the energy industry and achieve a net zero future. In tandem, a newly assembled inaugural advisory board will bolster the company’s growth, with unique perspectives to advance the energy transition and scale services to the energy sector and to the global climate community.
Previously known as Studio X, Onward is a nexus of change and collaboration, helping energy and climate tech companies leverage digital capabilities to innovate and to achieve net zero goals, creating a community for energy entrepreneurialism and advancing technology to strengthen the resiliency of existing energy resources, for resource resiliency. It operates by connecting thousands of innovators across the globe to tackle difficult energy and climate challenges. The single-source platform offers a climate tech startup accelerator program, tackles moonshot energy projects through its in-house Innovation Lab, provides capital investment to fund new technologies and orchestrates crowdsourced projects and challenges, to facilitate collaborative breakthroughs within the global energy innovation industry.
“The new identity is inherent to the mission itself: to move Onward toward novel energy solutions and Net Zero goals. We eagerly look forward to using our collaborative innovation platform to achieve rapid, previously unattainable energy solutions for our clients,” says Chief Executive Officer of Onward, Jeff Allyn. “With the insight and expertise of our new advisory board, these solutions will only become more accessible, expeditious, and impactful. We warmly welcome each member to the Onward team.”
The five-member advisory board will serve as counsel for the company’s reinvigorated approach to collaborative energy and climate tech innovation. They will work in lockstep with Onward’s executive team to advise across strategy, research and project execution, providing hands-on mentorship to the company’s startup accelerator members and climate challenge project participants. Inaugural members include:
- Anousheh Ansari is CEO of XPRIZE Foundation—a nonprofit crowdsourcing solution to global challenges through incentivized competitions. She is a serial entrepreneur, having founded multiple technology-forward and humanitarian endeavors. Anousheh serves on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Future Council and is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
- Eric Drummond is CEO and founder of Innovation Corridor. His storied career in emerging technology and alternative energy has led him to work extensively with our nation’s premier national labs, the American Energy Innovators Network and the U.S. Department of Energy. He is a seasoned strategic advisor, serving on the board of a plasma fusion energy company, as well as numerous government and NGO organizations.
- Nils Mellquist is an angel investor, analyst and strategic advisor focused on sustainable investing. He has written extensively about clean energy, global energy transfer, renewable energy and the green economy. His investment repertoire includes global and advisory roles with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office, Ingalls & Snyder, Deutsche Asset Management, AllianceBernstein and Citi Smith Barney.
- Noel Kinder is Chief Sustainability Officer of Nike and an established ESG leader, with over 20 years of experience. He supports other companies to become industry leaders in sustainability.
- Tina Sharkey is a lecturer at USC's Iovine and Young Academy, where she serves on the Business of Innovation faculty. She is a serial entrepreneur and operator and a prolific member of high-growth, technology-enabled companies’ boards of directors and advisors.
Founded in 2020, Onward has supplied the energy industry with new solutions, resources and opportunities to approach energy challenges. In the past year alone, Onward created a 3.5x more efficient oil slick identification algorithm, in one-eighth of the time it would have taken an independent customer to develop. In three weeks, the company was able to analyze a complex well dataset that would have taken a lone employee at a traditional energy company 60 years to evaluate. Now guided by an expert-led advisory board, Onward looks forward to furthering these accomplishments with insight and expertise from trailblazing industry voices.