amit tandon
Amit Tandon
Founder & CEO

Amit is founder/CEO of Ventana. An author of five patents related to conversion of waste plastics to petroleum fuels, Amit has been instrumental in leading his team to design and scaleup the ContiFlow CrackerTM technology by 250X across 4 generations of technology development. A hands-on engineer, he also leads Ventana's organizational strategy and spearheaded his team to win the national award at the India Innovation Initiative from amongst 900 submissions. The company has also been a finalist at Cleantech Open (San Jose) and a selected innovation showcase at Clean Energy Forum (Spain), San Francisco Cleantech Forum, SxSw Eco (Austin) and National Renewable Energy Lab (Denver)

Prior to his work with cleantech and renewable energy, Amit worked from 2000-2005 with startups and Fortune 500 semiconductor companies in Silicon Valley, including with Circuit Semantics and Sun Microsystems where he was part of the methodology team working on the cutting edge Niagara super-processor chip.

He can be reached at

amit tandon
Jonathan Michael
CFO (Consultant)

Jonathan brings to Ventana deep experience navigating significant growth for early stage companies in energy technology sectors, as well as handling expansion into global markets. He has 26 years of experience across a wide variety of business categories including finance, fundraising, operations, mergers and acquisitions and accounting.

Jonathan has served as CFO at several hardware-oriented cleantech companies including Solexel, Sonim Technologies, Solyndra and IXI Mobile, where he helped these companies grow significantly from an early stage prototype to full market commercialization. He was VP of finance, worldwide operations at Fairchild Semiconductor, which was spun out of National Semiconductor in 1997. Prior to Fairchild, he was Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for National Semiconductor.

Jonathan holds an MBA degree from San Jose State and a B.A. in Economics from the Haifa University.

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Dr. Ramakrishnan Iyer,

Dr. Iyer is one of India's leading minds in chemical engineering and has over 30 years of experience with design, development, scaleup and commercialization of complex chemical plant and refinery units. A Ph.D in Chemical engineering from UDCT (Mumbai) - he has spearheaded several multi million dollar projects across various Fortune 500 companies including at Reliance (Chief Technologist at Patalganga), Aditya Birla Group, Paradeep Phosphates, Topack, UHDE and AutoDynamics.

  • Accomplished scaleup specialist - have successfully scaled several projects from research to commercialization (100X+). Expertise with design modeling and simulation using software such as Aspen Plus, Design II, PRO II, HTFS etc.
  • Highly skilled with process design engineering, PFD | P&ID preparation, thermodynamic modeling and design, study of reaction kinetics and development of correlation models, design and scale up of thermal reactors, equipment specifications, hydraulic calculations, detailed design of distillation systems.
  • Deft in project management activities including planning, scope management, engineering design, cost estimation, resource administration, hiring, project tracking and completion of project within specified parameters.
  • Extensive experience with commissioning and operation of petrochemical plants, modeling of refinery plants and advanced process control (APC) in delayed coker, crude unit and FCC.
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Eugene Jones

A serial entrepreneur, Gene brings to Ventana over 30 years of experience with waste management and recycling in senior executive level positions. Over the past 30 years, he has successfully founded, build and sold several businesses including Advanced Derived Fuels and Hazardous Substance and Waste Management Research Inc.

Gene is based in Florida and leads Ventana’s business development initiatives in a consulting role. He assists Ventana with building strategic relationships with waste recycling and municipal firms and brings a vast network of associations in recycling sector from his work in organizing conferences such as the Waste-to-Fuels, Southeast Recycling Conference and Trade Show, Florida BioEnergy Association, Recycle Florida Today, International Society of Technical & Environmental Professionals Inc and the National Conference on Waste Exchange and Resource Reuse.

Gene also serves as CEO of Southern Waste Information Exchange (SWIX), a non-profit which has since 1981 been assisting businesses and municipalities with their waste management issues.

amit tandon
Larry Buckle

Larry is an inventor and senior executive with extensive experience in engineering, development, operation and management of solid waste processing systems. He is the former CTO of Organic Energy Corporation - an advanced solid waste separation and renewable energy company and heads IES - an engineering and environmental service firm for waste management and wastewater treatment.

Larry spearheads Ventana's supply chain efforts in a consulting role and brings to the company deep experience with operation and management of one of the most advanced dirty MRFs (material recycling facilities) in California. An insider to the plastic to oil sector, Larry worked closely from 2000-08 with Smuda's process to convert polyolefinic waste plastics to liquid fuels and is also an inventor for a process to depolymerize PETE plastics back to its original constituents. Aside, he has also been the facilities and environmental engineer for the city of Roseville (CA) for 12 years.

Larry has an A.S. in Physics from Ricks College, a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University, and a Diploma in Emerging Leader Development from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

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Biresh Thakur

Biresh is a competent industrial engineer with over 30 years of techno-managerial executive experience. An accomplished engineer with design and development of new components, Biresh oversees mechanical design, equipment prototyping and quality assurance at Ventana in a consulting role.

Biresh brings to Ventana significant experience with development of new engineering products and expansion into new markets. A black belt in quality management and a certified Kaizen Champion, he's adept with quality requirements and management systems including with 5S, 7 QC Tools , FMEA, Poka Yoke, DWM and TEI.

He has a Bachelors in industrial engineering and an MBA from U-21, Singapore.

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Dr. Edward Beardsworth
Strategic Advisor

Dr. Edward Beardsworth brings to Ventana a deep, nuanced understanding of the cleantech industry and ecosystem gained over a 30+ year period as a physicist, technology scout and a strategic advisor to corporate and investor clients. After earning a PhD in physics, Ed was in the group at Brookhaven National Lab that undertook interdisciplinary analyses of energy systems during the first energy crisis of the 1970s. Subsequently, he held positions at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and established an independent consultancy, Energy Technology Advisors to provide numerous utility clients with detailed knowledge of energy R&D at the national laboratories.

Ed was also the Technical Director for The Hub Lab, managing a series of R&D grants in revolutionary energy science. As Associate Director at Jane Capital Partners, he worked with major energy corporations to develop programs for strategic technology ventures and acquisitions. He has advised Nth Power and the Cleantech Group in their formative stages, and currently supports Garage Ventures and the Cleantech Open. He's based in Palo Alto, California.

K D Fatnani
K D Fatnani
Technical Advisor

Mr. Fatnani has a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Mumbai and brings over 30+ years of experience with design, engineering and project execution of large chemical and petroleum projects. He has been the divisional director at Mott MacDonald, India where he was responsible for business development and execution of numerous complex projects in chemical and refining space.

Dinesh Deshpande
Dinesh Deshpande
Technical Advisor

Mr. Deshpande is a senior management professional with a B. Chem degree from University Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT), Mumbai and a Global Advanced Management Program from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, Mumbai. He has headed strategic, operations and project functions across multiple refineries in India and retired in 2014 as Executive Director, HPCL.

waste plastics
Over 300 billion pounds of waste plastics are dumped to landfills every year
petroleum fuels
Ventana's technology directly converts waste plastics to lighter petroleum fuels, not syncrude
Ventana's team brings over 200 years of experience with chemical, petroleum, mechanical, industrial and electrical sciences

Amit founded Ventana in 2009. He is the author of several patents related to conversion of waste plastics to petroleum fuels and has been instrumental in defining, designing and up-scaling the Hydrocarbon CrackerTM technology from laboratory to a fully continuous process in less than three years. In recognition of his seminal work with development of technology, Mr. Tandon was awarded the India Innovation Initiative national award in 2013 by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Prior to Ventana, Amit co-founded Aveda Ecogreen in 2007, a company engaged with establishing biofuel and plastic-to-oil projects on a build-own-operate basis. Prior to that, Amit worked with methodology development for Sun Microsystem’s super-processor Niagara chip as also with startups in the semiconductor sector in Silicon Valley, California.

Amit is an active speaker at various international conferences on cleantech, waste management and renewable energy and believes the key to solving humanity’s biggest challenges lies at the intersection of science, collaboration and human ingenuity. He has a strong passion for sharing & collaboration and also serves as a cleantech expert with Morpheus Venture Partners. He can be reached at

An exacting chemical engineer with an M.Tech degree from Wayne State (Michigan) Siddharth leads Ventana’s effort related to modeling and studying of reaction kinetics, catalytic testing, fuel analysis, denitrogenation and desulphurization of generated fuel.

Siddharth is a subject expert with development of process parameters for industrial scale-up of catalytic processes and performance testing of heterogeneous catalysts. Prior to Ventana, he worked with National Biofuel Energy Lab, Michigan for performance testing of high temperature heterogeneous catalysts for bio-diesel synthesis.

An adept chemical engineer from IIT (Kanpur, India), Ashish specializes in process engineering of catalytic processes, software modeling, data-analysis, HAZOP studies and development and implementation of solutions related to cost and energy optimization.

At Ventana, Ashish leads efforts related to design engineering of process and equipment, energy efficiency and performance of trials on the pilot plant. He brings a rich process engineering and software modeling (ASPEN/HTRI ) background, having worked priorly with India’s leading petroleum refinery at their state-of-the-art polypropylene catalyst production plant.

Nitin is Ventana’s Go-to-Market strategy consultant based in San Jose, CA. An experienced chemical professional and early-stage business enthusiast - Nitin has worked extensively with government, private, and Fortune 500 companies in US, UK and India and has over 10 patents issued or pending in the chemical space.

Nitin specializes with technology and product commercialization, business strategy, financial analysis, M&A & 6-sigma development for chemical based processes. He has a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT(Mumbai), M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from MIT, Boston.

Mr. Jones is based in Florida and spearheads Ventana’s business development initiatives in the US.

A serial entrepreneur, he brings over 30 years of experience with waste management and recycling in senior positions including as CEO of Southern Waste Information Exchange (SWIX). He has over the past 30 years founded, build and sold several businesses including Hazardous Substance and Waste Management Research Inc, B.W. Holdings, B.L. Associates Inc and Advanced Derived Fuels.

Mr. Jones also brings a vast network of associations in waste recycling from his experience with organizing and managing various conferences for agencies and organizations such as the Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show, the Waste-to-Fuels Conference & Trade Show, the Florida BioEnergy Association Inc, Recycle Florida Today Inc, the Florida Brownfields Association Inc, the Florida Environmental Assessors Association Inc, the Florida Hospital Association Inc, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the International Society of Technical & Environmental Professionals Inc, the National Conference on Waste Exchange and Resource Reuse, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Dutta is a skilled hands-on technocrat, with over 35 years of experience with mechanical and electrical industry spanning energy, oil & polymers. A past-entrepreneur and an exceedingly resourceful person - he oversees aspects related to Hydrocarbon CrackerTM equipment design and fabrication, vendor development, project management and plant commissioning. Prior to Ventana, Mr. Dutta was engaged in leading roles with companies across Oil & Gas and HDPE product manufacturing in India and Qatar. He has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering and holds a Class A Electrical License and Chartered Engineer's License from Institution of Engineers (India).

Mr. Thakur is a competent process and industrial equipment engineer with over 30 years of techno-managerial experience. A wizard with design engineering, equipment fabrication and production management, Mr. Thakur is Ventana’s go-to person for the nuanced and troublesome challenges of process and equipment design. A black belt in quality management and a certified Kaizen Champion, Mr. Thakur brings expertise with quality requirements and management systems including with FMEA, PPAP, APQP, MSA, 5S, 7 QC Tools, Poka Yoke, DWM & TEI. He has a B.Tech in industrial engineering and an MBA from U-21, Singapore.