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November 12-15, 2024
Pennsylvania Convention CenterPhiladelphia, PA

Donnel Baird
Founder at BlocPower


Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a climate tech company based in Brooklyn, NY, that analyzes, finances, and installs clean energy and decarbonization upgrades in buildings in underserved communities. BlocPower creates jobs for qualified local low-income workers, energy savings for building owners, reduces carbon emissions and asthma rates, and provides financial returns to investors. In 2021, the company announced a historic partnership with Ithaca, New York to decarbonize 100% of the city’s buildings—the first such project in the United States.

BlocPower is backed by Kapor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the American Family Institute for social and environmental impact, and Salesforce. Baird is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Business School, where he was a recipient of the Board of Overseers Fellowship and a recipient of investment from the Lang Fund for Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He spent four years as a political and community organizer, and more than two years managing a national initiative to leverage American Reinvestment and Recovery Act energy efficiency investments in underserved communities.

He is a member of the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, The Climate Reality Project, and serves on the US SEC Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee. He was named a Columbia Business School Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021 and was TIME Magazine’s inaugural 'Dreamer of the Year' in 2022. Baird lives in New Jersey with his wife, son and daughter.