Julianne Zimmerman

Experienced Technology Innovator and Investor

Julianne currently serves as a board member, advisor, and consultant to a variety of technology-based companies in investment, energy, defense, mobile, ecommerce, and other sectors. She brings more than 25 years experience guiding technology innovation and commercialization, primarily in small and emerging companies. Most recently as Co-Founder of seed-stage investment firm Vodia Ventures, Julianne authored a novel investment thesis and made investments in startups in energy, water, food, and health. Prior roles include Vice President of Communications at General Compression, a utility-scale energy storage company; Co-founder and Director of Business Development of GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, a biofuel company; and Vice President of Engineering at Ovation Products, a water purification company. Prior to entering cleantech, Julianne had a 14-year tenure as a senior staff member at Payload Systems Inc., a tiny boutique engineering services firm in the manned spaceflight sector. There she and her colleagues set multiple domestic and international “firsts” and established an unprecedented record developing and flying groundbreaking experiment apparatus on the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station, and International Space Station — routinely completing projects the aerospace giants deemed impossible in 3 years, and even more importantly, without a single unrecoverable failure on orbit.

Julianne earned two undergraduate degrees from MIT (XVI and XXI-L), an MS from the University of Maryland, and an executive certificate in sustainability management from the Presidio Graduate School; she previously volunteered as a certified Emergency Medical Technician in Maryland (PGFD 1) and Massachusetts (Boston Marathon Finish Line medical services); she served as a research diver at the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory. She was twice a finalist in the NASA astronaut selection process. Julianne invests heavily in cultivating community, including as a mentor with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, community member at Impact Hub Boston, and life deacon in her church; she recently concluded a three-year tenure as Co-chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum Innovation Series. As an author and speaker on innovation- and strategy-related themes for domestic and global audiences, she has contributed to GreenMoney, GreenBiz, Sloan Women in Management, Sloan EMBA, GIST Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, High Water Women, We Own It Summit, All-Russia Innovation Convention, Northeastern University, Forum 20/20, Cleantech Open, Mass Challenge, Pipeline Fellows, and the MIT Nuts & Bolts Course, among others; she also frequently serves as a judge for technology and entrepreneurship competitions, and as a trusted coach and connectrix for innovators around the world.