Morgan Lehtinen

As a chemist, clean-tech start-up founder, ecosystem builder and scientific communicator, I focus my energy on finding creative ways to collaboratively combat the planet’s most pressing problems through the power of chem-tech innovation. To achieve this goal, I founded a clean technology start up based on my PhD research in polymer and materials chemistry bringing environmentally conscious processes to industrial oily wastewater separation. Acknowledging the technical, business, and emotional challenges that go along with being a deep-tech founder, I am expanding my career to build systems to support chem-tech start-ups from bench through pilot to commercialization and beyond.

Innovation and high-level change do not happen without having every perspective at the table. My amazing teams and I subsequently built 5+ initiatives focused on connecting individuals across academic, public, and private sectors in the chemical and entrepreneurial ecosystems to address issues such as under-representation of women in entrepreneurship and gaps in professional development and mentorship opportunities for science-based graduate students. I currently sit as the Canadian delegate of the International Younger Chemists’ Network to continue this work across the globe.

In alignment with my passion for collaboration, I am an avid public speaker on topics including my entrepreneurial journey as a woman in STEM, chem-tech commercialization, carving your own path in academia and more. Most notably, I represented Canada and placed 3rd globally in the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition.

I am a proud alumnus of Next 36, Creative Destruction Lab, Mitacs Invention2 Innovation Skills Training Program, KPM-Accelerate and Queen’s Start Up Runway Incubation Program. I am the grateful recipient of the highest honours bestowed on a student for their leadership, character, community service and championing of innovation at Queen’s University with the Leadership, Innovation and Community Engagement Award (1 of 4 out of 7,000 graduate students) and the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award (1 of 4 out of 27,000-person student body).