Consensus in Conversation

Consensus in Conversation

Welcome to Consensus in Conversation, a new podcast hosted by Conor Gaughan where we talk to innovators and entrepreneurs who have built great businesses and careers that do well while doing good. A rich life is so much more than a unicorn start-up going public. The true unicorns are those living fulfilling lives doing what they love AND making it to their kid’s games. This podcast is an opportunity to talk to inspiring leaders, job creators, innovators, and problem solvers – people across the country who are making the world a better place and more sustainable place, while successfully making good money. Join the conversation. Enjoy a new episode every Thursday! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


July 11, 2024 47 mins

Alfred Johnson returns to the pod to give us the update on tax credit transferability and clean energy markets, just over a year after launching Crux Climate. As co-founder and CEO of Crux, Alfred has the startup’s revolutionary management software poised to capitalize on a multi-billion (if not trillion) dollar opportunity in clean energy tax credits. 

After graduating Stanford in 2008, Alfred worked for the U.S. Treasury ...

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85% of used clothing ends up in landfills, but textile recycling and rewards platform Trashie is out to save our castaway garments from becoming mountains of waste. Launched only a few months ago, Trashie is taking the fashion industry by storm with its instantly recognizable Take Back Bag and viral closet cleanup videos, and the mind behind this magic is Trashie founder and CEO, Kristy Caylor. 

Kristy earned a BS in Indust...

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Dr. BJ Johnson knows that if you want to make the biggest climate impact in the least amount of time, you start by improving upon an existing technology. And he’s doing exactly that as the co-founder and CEO of ClearFlame, a startup modifying diesel engines to run on decarbonized liquid fuels. 

Before co-launching ClearFlame, BJ studied mechanical engineering and energy systems at Stanford University, earning three (3!) deg...

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Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16, and we’re celebrating in our own, special way… today’s episode features Mike Gaughan: missile launch officer, successful businessman, sports coach, and, most importantly, Conor’s dad! 

Hear the stories that Conor grew up on, including Mike’s time from paperboy to the Air Force Academy and beyond, the three phone phone calls you should make every day, and what it takes to be a true leade...

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Internet ads – you probably see hundreds, maybe thousands a day without thinking about them. But it turns out the process for serving those ads involves a highly complex digital supply chain that generates 7.2 million tons of carbon emissions annually. That’s why ad-tech veteran Anne Coghlan is on a mission to decarbonize media and advertising with Scope3. 

A lifelong lover of logic and problem-solving, Anne earned her Mast...

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May 30, 2024 1 min

Just popping into the feed for a quick hello from Consensus in Conversation host, Conor Gaughan, to update you on the coming weeks.

We’ve been hard at work with some great shows planned for this summer, including a few special episodes that may look and sound a little different than our regular programming. We think you’ll really enjoy them. 

So, no episode for today, but we’ll be back in June with some great new convers...

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Just over one year ago, the IRS published its final rules and guidance on the transferability of clean energy tax credits. Not only did transferability solve a major flaw in the Inflation Reduction Act’s plan to support clean energy infrastructure development, but, as many founders correctly foresaw, it was about to create an entirely new financial market. 

This week, we’re re-releasing our conversation with one of those vi...

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HVAC is one of the most important quality of life utilities that we never think about– at least, until it stops working. It’s also energy inefficient and expensive, responsible for almost 20% of global GHG emissions, with decades-old infrastructure way behind the design innovation curve. 

But Dr. Vince Romanin has a solution: reimagine HVAC as we know it by combining personal heating and cooling in one, easy-to-install elec...

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Pavle Jeremic wants to end resource scarcity by literally rearranging atoms. Inspired to build a better, more abundant future after witnessing violent conflict in his parents’ native Yugoslavia, Pavle launched Aether Biomachines in 2017 at just 21 years old. Since then, he’s successfully led the protein engineering startup to the cutting edge of nanotechnology, working to solve our planet’s resource scarcity problem. 


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Food waste is a $25 billion problem for American supermarkets, but Josh Domingues has an app for that. 

Josh is the founder and executive chairman of Flashfood, a simple but elegant application that directly connects consumers with local grocery stores to buy food nearing expiration at a huge discount. This approach is a win-win-win for all parties: grocers get paid for food they would throw out, customers get a massive dis...

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Two founders of 1953 Tequila, Lindsey Davis Stover and Shivam Mallick Shah, join Conor for a special in-person conversation to share how their ultra-premium, additive-free tequila is prioritizing sustainability, elevating women in the spirits industry, and also offering an awesome drinking experience.

Lindsey, Shivam, and the rest of the 1953 founding team met through Congressional campaigns for Virginia’s 10th district, an...

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Manik Suri is implementing smart technology into cooling, ushering in the era of Cold Chain 2.0. Before founding GlacierGrid in 2020, Manik finished top of his class at Harvard, went to Cambridge for a masters in international relations, returned to Harvard for a law degree, co-founded the Governance Lab, with stops at storied institutions like DE Shaw and the White House Economic Council along the way. 

Cooling technology ...

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Stanford rocket scientist and fintech entrepreneur Karthik Balakrishnan is integrating high-tech infrastructure modeling with video game interface design to create a software platform that allows businesses to virtually test their plans for maximum sustainability and bottom-line impact. 

In 2018, Karthik co-founded software startup ACTUAL based on a unique premise: what if you could plug your business idea into a science-ba...

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This week, we’re proud to share a special episode of the CLIMB by VSC podcast with Jay Kapoor, featuring his interview with Sunil Nagaraj. CLIMB is a weekly podcast where Jay and VSC Ventures co-founder Vijay Chattha speak with leading investors, founders, and industry experts about lessons and perspectives on company-building in the world of climate tech and climate adaptation. 

From CLIMB by VSC:

We're honored to host Suni...

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Frank Heidinger believes that lots of small improvements over time can create a huge impact, and he’s using that concept to electrify the recreational boating industry, responsible for 1% of global carbon emissions. 

Frank is the founder and CEO of HALEVAI, a cutting-edge company making high-performance, fully electric recreational boats that will reduce the industry’s environmental footprint, shorten supply chains, and bri...

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Jay Kapoor believes there is massive opportunity in climate automation and that identifying hidden economies is key to building a more sustainable future. Jay is co-founder and general partner at VSC Ventures, a storytelling-focused VC firm investing in early stage climate tech and automation startups. 

In part two of our conversation with Jay, we dive into the nitty gritty: Jay shares how hidden economies inform his invest...

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Jay Kapoor is combining venture capital and storytelling to help visionary founders achieve maximum impact. Jay noticed that while it was easier than ever to start a business, that made it harder than ever for individual companies to get noticed. How could founders get the world to see their unique vision for a better future? The answer was simple, but not easy – tell a compelling story. So, he and co-founder Vijay Chattha cre...

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The data gap in women’s healthcare is a big problem. Four out of every five women in America with female-specific medical conditions will go undiagnosed and 70% of medical residency training programs exclude fertility from their core curriculums.  

Tech wizard and veteran entrepreneur Juan Carlos (JC) Riveiro, and business and marketing expert Liya Sharif co-founded Cercle in 2021 to address this very gap. The tech sta...

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Caron Proschan, founder and CEO of Simply, believes that simple ideas can change the world, and she’s out to prove it with… chewing gum.

One fateful day Caron reached for a piece of gum and realized it was made of plastic. When she looked for natural options, there were none. So she took her Harvard Business degree and launched Simply, a food startup focused on healthy natural gum and snacks. From cooking up gum in her kitchen a...

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50% of the global food supply relies on nitrogen fertilizer, which emits tons of greenhouse gasses. But startup Nitricity is making electrified climate-smart fertilizer by literally capturing lightning in reactors. Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Pinkowski joins the podcast to share the startup’s remarkable origin story from a make-shift lab in a Stanford backyard, to a full-fledged company revolutionizing agriculture and the future of ...

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