John Plaza

Entrepreneur in Residence

John Plaza has more than 20 years of experience in the renewable energy, clean technology, and aviation sectors, and a proven track record of launching highly successful startups from the ground up, obtaining funding from leading private equity and venture capital firms, successfully growing operations, and structuring mission-critical partnerships and alliances. 

As President & CEO of Imperium Renewables, John founded and led one of world’s largest biodiesel producers, weathering both the global financial crisis of 2007 / 2008 as well as recent political headwinds and low oil prices to deliver record revenues of $187M and an 8%+ EBITDA margin. 

He led design and construction of the $90M Imperium Grays Harbor (IGH) facility. IGH has a 100M gallon / year production capacity and was the sole facility in the U.S. built on a deepwater port with tri-modal logistics access. According to EPA data, Imperium’s activities have reduced global CO2 emissions by more than 4B pounds to date.

John was also successful in raising $135M+ in equity funding from investors such as Nth-Power, Technology Partners, Capricorn Capital, and BlackRock, and structuring a $400M off-take agreement to provide Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines with 100M gallons of biodiesel over the course of 5 years. 

And in August 2015, he spearheaded the sale of Imperium to Renewable Energy Group at the top end of the biodiesel valuation range despite recent market volatility.

Focus: Clean Tech

John Plaza