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Rivertop Renewables

Rivertop transforms plant sugars into green chemicals that boost the performance & sustainability of detergents & industrial products.

  • Stage $500K in TTM Revenue
  • Industry Clean Technology
  • Location Missoula, MT, USA
  • Currency USD
  • Founded January 2008
  • Employees 18
  • Website

Company Summary

Chemicals producers face increasing regulations & costs. Rivertop’s progressive chemistry yields safe, cost-effective alternatives. Rivertop’s detergent solution will eliminate the spots & film left on glassware by all automatic dish-washing brands. Rivertop will extend this & related sustainable innovations into global detergent & industrial markets. The patented production technology scales quickly at low cost, speeding product adoption.


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    Mike Knauf

    Knauf is a proven executive & 30-year veteran of the biobased industry. He has defined his career by driving sales, negotiating collaborations & forging major partnerships. At Codexis, Knauf formed & led the bioindustrials unit & its innovations for fuels, chemicals & carbon capture in partnerships with Shell, Alstom, & Alcoa. At Genencor, he played leading roles to acquire & integrate industrial enzyme players. Biochemistry BS; food science MS.

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    Steve Donen
    VP of Process Development & Engineering

    Donen has defined his 30+ year career in chemical processing with executive leadership in manufacturing, engineering & technology development. Donen developed & scaled the process at Segetis, a start-up developing bio-based industrial materials. At industry pioneer NatureWorks (originally a Cargill-Dow JV), Donen led the development & construction of the first-ever global-scale plant making biobased plastic. He rose to Global Tech Mngr at Dow.

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    Don Kiely

    After a 40-year academic career, Dr. Don Kiely spun Rivertop out of the University of Montana (UM). He was the Founding Editor of the Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry and holds twelve U.S. patents in the field. Kiely was Chemistry faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before serving as Director of the UM’s Shafizadeh Center for Wood and Carbohydrate Chemistry through 2008. PhD in Organic Chemistry, the University of Connecticut.

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    John Monks
    VP of Business Development

    John has led business development and sales & marketing for performance chemicals and biotechnology companies for 30 years. While at DSM, Monks directed the commercialization of new technologies that convert second-generation feedstocks into biofuels & intermediates for biobased chemicals, culminating in a large cellulosic ethanol joint venture between DSM and POET. At Genencor, Monks managed global accounts and product development strategies.

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    Jere Kolstad
    President & CFO

    With over 20 years of start-up success, Kolstad led the development of the Company’s vision with Founder Dr. Don Kiely and outside industry experts. Before entering the chemical industry, Kolstad served as VP of Sales & Business Development for internet streaming measurement leader Loudeye, which went public & sold to Nokia. Jere's finance skills & strategy owe in part to a previous career with Deloitte as Audit Manager for Microsoft and SAFECO.


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    David Wickwire at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC
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    Mike Combo at Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C.

Previous Investors

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    Cultivian Ventures, LLC
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    Patient Capital Collaborative
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    Goodworks Ventures, LLC