McDonough School of Business
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Jason Dodier (EMBA’19) Launches Sustainability Startup To Support Decarbonization

Driven by a passion for sustainability and guided by his entrepreneurial education, Jason Dodier (EMBA’19) co-founded GRAIN Ecosystem in January 2022. GRAIN Ecosystem aims to address global warming and climate change through the acceleration of carbon dioxide removal projects which deliver a much needed supply of impactful carbon offsets.

Over the last year, Dodier and his co-founders have worked to simplify the process of removing carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere in partnership with project developers, investors, and equipment providers using the GRAIN Ecosystem platform.

“GRAIN is trying to unlock and catalyze the carbon dioxide removal ecosystem for companies from small players that want to participate and sequester carbon to larger players in the market,” he said. “We want to raise awareness around the potential to create a circular economy from the lens of carbon dioxide removal, keeping in mind that globally, we will need to reduce 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually by 2050.”

GRAIN Ecosystem offers an end-to-end solution to companies looking to offset their carbon footprint through various projects. By accelerating and simplifying the process for their partners, GRAIN Ecosystem allows more companies to successfully offset carbon emissions and measurably see their impact.

“We are aiming to be the TurboTax for carbon offsets by doing the upfront heavy lifting for companies,” Dodier said.

GRAIN Ecosystem has raised capital from SE Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund created in partnership with Schneider Electric – a European multinational company committed to sustainability. Dodier got his start in renewable energy with Schneider Electric in 2009, and his passion for sustainability grew throughout his career and time abroad.

Jason Dodier with co-workers representing Schneider Electric

Dodier with co-workers representing Schneider Electric

“I was very fortunate to get exposed early to sustainability, renewable energy, and project finance. When I lived in the Middle East working for Schneider Electric, they were one of the first on the scene to set up a planet and social barometer and energy program to hold themselves accountable,” he said.

As Dodier dove into a career within the sustainability and renewable energy industry, he sought to further his education and develop a new skill set in the Executive MBA (EMBA) program at Georgetown McDonough. While initially drawn to the international business aspects of the EMBA program, Dodier soon found interest in the world of entrepreneurship.

“The segment of the program that was focused on entrepreneurship was a game changer,” Dodier said. “It forced me to get in a mindset of thinking differently, and it exposed me to not just creative thinking but to innovative thinking.”

During his time at Georgetown, Dodier became involved with the Georgetown Entrepreneurship community. He took advantage of the opportunities to develop his skills as an entrepreneur, including Rocket Pitch as a student presenter.

Jason Dodier with fellow classmates in Greece

Dodier with fellow classmates in Greece

In addition to the skills he developed, Dodier credits his success as a founder to the relationships he made during the program. Dodier found a mentor in Professor of the Practice Shye Gilad as he looked to launch his own startup following graduation.

“Shye was a huge support, and he was always willing to set time aside to meet with me and share his perspective,” he said. “He really became an ear I could rely on and somebody who I knew was going to give candid feedback and guidance.”

As an entrepreneur himself, Gilad provides support and guidance to young professionals as they explore their ideas and launch their startups, whether it be through classroom discussion, office hours, or mentorship opportunities.

“We challenge our students to think about how they want to contribute to the world and how they can use entrepreneurial thinking to solve complex problems to make the world a better place,” Gilad said. “Jason is someone who fully embraced that idea, and I think it really lit a fire under him.”

Jason Dodier (EMBA'19) with fellow classmates at commencement

Dodier with fellow classmates at commencement

Since graduation, Dodier has followed his passion as he founded GRAIN Ecosystem and continues to pursue renewable energy alternatives. By taking advantage of every opportunity and connecting with the community, Dodier encourages every Hoya to pursue their passion.

“My advice to students would be to get involved. Use this time as an opportunity to connect with professors, alumni, and leaders across industries,” he said. “Get involved, that’s my best advice.”

To learn more about entrepreneurship opportunities at Georgetown McDonough, please visit Georgetown Entrepreneurship. For those interested in a career in sustainability and renewable energy, Georgetown McDonough now offers a Business of Sustainability Certificate.

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