Maine Venture Fund Board Chair Dr. Brien Walton Invited to Speak at White House on Technology Commercialization

9 Maine Venture Fund Board Chair Dr. Brien Walton Invited to Speak at White House on Technology Commercialization

An expert on business development and accelerators, Dr. Walton brings fresh eyes to clean energy technologies.

PORTLAND, Maine, May 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ –Maine Venture Fund (MVF), a state-sponsored venture capital fund whose board of directors is appointed by the state’s governor, announced today that Dr. Brien Walton, MVF’s Board chair and an award-winning investment strategist, was recently invited to speak at the White House during a roundtable discussion focusing on tackling the climate crisis through actionable methods of spurring the development of clean energy and climate technologies.

The roundtable discussion was held in honor of Earth Day and brought together senior members of the Biden-Harris Administration with leaders from the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. National Science Foundation, universities, venture capital firms, and law firms.

“I am so honored to have been invited to the White House for this important event to stimulate innovation in the clean energy space. My expertise is in business development, so I bring fresh eyes to the problem of climate change technology and an emphasis on sustainable business planning,” Walton said.

Walton was also awarded second place in the inaugural EnergyTech University Prize Faculty Track competition, for which he created an innovative strategic plan for a hybrid, clean energy and conservation incubator and accelerator. This award will allow Dr. Walton to match existing clean energy plans and patents from DOE-affiliated research facilities across the country with emerging businesses or technology clusters to commercialize this valuable research.

“Dr. Walton has a passion for helping small businesses, and as chair of the MVF Board for the past three years, I have seen how his professional work aligns with MVF’s mission and values. MVF is committed to helping entrepreneurs in the climate and clean energy sectors, especially entrepreneurs from underserved and economically distressed areas,” said Joe Powers, Maine Venture Fund’s managing director. “We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Walton and state and federal agencies to both incubate out-of-state research in Maine and accelerate Maine-based companies through this program.”

At the White House event, directors from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and senior White House staff focused on exploring the challenges of technology commercialization. Solutions like Walton’s hybrid incubator that are tangible, scalable, and accessible were noted as a national priority that will receive more support in 2024. It was also pointed out that the potential collaboration of the academic, industry, and entrepreneurial ecosystems is a priority for some government agencies. The model is expected to increase inclusion and diversity amongst entrepreneurs and support entrepreneurs in underserved, distressed, and rural communities.

Walton is the CEO of Acadia Capital Management L3C, a nationally certified Community Development Entity (CDE) that advises government agencies, municipal leaders, and social impact funds on leveraging public and private resources that maximize economic growth and permanent job creation in Opportunity Zones and economically distressed communities. He is also the Director of Entrepreneurship Programs and the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University, where he has led initiatives analyzing the challenges of Maine’s entrepreneurs and developed a collaborative innovation ecosystem between academia, entrepreneurs, and diverse industry leaders.

Brien Walton is one of the nation’s leading experts on business incubators and the development of small business, and Husson is lucky to have an educator of his caliber bringing such innovative ideas and experiences to our students,” said Marie Hansen, dean of the College of Business and the New England School of Communications.

Maine Governor Janet Mills appointed Walton to the MVF board of directors in 2020. He and the other ten board members are responsible for determining how the fund invests in businesses with the potential for significant growth statewide, regionally, and nationally.

As part of Walton’s work with the MVF, he engages with the state legislature about banking and financial initiatives. He facilitates collaboration with regional economic development agencies, social impact foundations, state-sponsored venture capital funds throughout New England, and national private equity firms with a social impact focus.

About Maine Venture Fund

Maine Venture Fund invests in dynamic businesses with the potential for significant growth and impact in Maine. Funded by the state as a revolving “evergreen” fund, MVF has invested over $48 million in small businesses since the fund’s inception in 1996 and has attracted nearly $400 million in outside investment into Maine, creating high-quality jobs across the state. MVF is a leader across the nation’s state-sponsored funds, with 30% of investment into female-led companies in the last five years (vs. roughly 3% industry-wide), 71% of portfolio companies in CDFI-identified investment areas, and 36% of investment into Maine heritage industries (farming, fishing, forestry) during the last five years.

For more information, visit For more on Dr. Brien Walton’s background, visit his profile here.

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rt Maine Venture Fund Board Chair Dr. Brien Walton Invited to Speak at White House on Technology Commercialization

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