Donnel Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a climate tech startup based in Brooklyn. BlocPowers tech platform analyzes, finances, and installs clean energy and building decarbonization upgrades in buildings in underserved communities. BlocPower creates jobs for qualified local low-income workers, energy savings for building owners, reduces carbon emissions and asthma rates, and provides financial returns to investors. In 2021, the company announced a historic partnership with Ithaca, New York to decarbonize 100% of the city’s buildings—the first such project in the United States.
BlocPower is backed by Kapor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the American Family Institute for social and environmental impact, and Salesforce. Baird is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Business School, where he was a recipient of the Board of Overseers Fellowship and a recipient of investment from the Lang Fund for Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He spent four years as a political and community organizer, and more than two years managing a national initiative to leverage American Reinvestment and Recovery Act energy efficiency investments in underserved communities. He sits on various boards including the New York Federal Reserve Bank Advisory Board. Baird lives in New Jersey with his wife, and children.