Why Aquagga?

A "quagga" is an extinct relative of the African zebra. We are a "Zebra Company" with an explicit mission of positive social impact. Hence, we are "Aquagga" (Aqua in the name is a bonus).

Where Unicorn companies seek competition, Zebra companies seek cooperation. Where Unicorns hoard resources, Zebras share. We align with the Zebra ethos of creating a "more ethical and inclusive culture to counter existing startup and rat-race culture." We see a world of win-win opportunities, of sustainable prosperity, benefiting our shared communities and environment. 

Aquagga Inc. incorporated in 2019 as a for-profit public benefit corporation with a social and environmental impact provision. We have intentionally positioned ourselves at the intersection of public health and environmental justice, taking an exemplary leadership position in the Alaskan and Washingtonian startup communities, lifting others as we rise.
Aquagga's alignment with Un's SDGs

Changing the World Beyond PFAS Destruction.

6.3 - Clean Water and Sanitation
Aquagga helps eliminate the release of hazardous chemicals, safely treating wastewater.
12.4: Responsible Consumption and Protection
Aquagga helps achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals, reducing their release to air, soil, and water.

Meet The Aquagga Team

Our herd is 14 team-members strong and growing

Nigel Sharp

Co-Founder & CEO

Serial entrepreneur, technologist, and Techstars Alum, Nigel Sharp has held successive Entrepreneur in Residence roles at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Alaska successfully spinning out CU Boulder IP previously attracting SBIR and Venture Capital through multiple rounds of funding.

Brian Pinkard, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & CTO

Dr. Brian Pinkard has previously spearheaded efforts at the University of Washington to develop mobile hydrothermal systems for the destruction of bulk chemical weapon stockpiles. Brian is a widely published expert in the field of hydrothermal processing.

Chris Woodruff

Co-Founder & COO

Chris Woodruff has a wide breadth of engineering experience spanning the aerospace, consumer electronics, and construction industries. His volunteer work with Engineers Without Borders piqued his interest in projects geared toward making a social and environmental impact.

Mike Czerski

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Mike is a mechanical engineer with a well-rounded technical background in aerospace and startup environments. He has worked on projects ranging from airplane hydraulics, to football helmet design, to consumer product design, and to the design of an experimental combustion reactor for studying particle formation in flames.

Cody Thomsen

Mechanical Engineer

Cody is a recent graduate from the University of Washington Mechanical Engineering program, currently working to complete his Master's while supporting Aquagga's technical development efforts

Hilary Joyner

Senior Marketing Director

Hilary is a seasoned marketing professional, boasting over a decade of expertise in content creation, project management, and strategic development. Her passion lies in leveraging her marketing acumen to propel Aquagga's mission of fostering positive social impact. With a proven track record of success, Hilary is dedicated to steering innovative and impactful marketing strategies that align seamlessly with Aquagga's overarching vision.

Calvin Rhodes

Mechanical Design Engineer

Calvin Rhodes is a multidisciplinary Mechanical Engineer working on Engineering Development and Project Management at Aquagga. Calvin's experience ranges from developing computer vision and autonomous navigation technology to designing and fabricating parts for a wide range of engineering and technical projects including aerospace and automotive industries.

Ariella Halevi

Engineering Project Manager

Ariella Halevi comes from a background of consumer product design and has a long history with local environmental restoration. She completed her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a minor in Art. In 2021, she left engineering to complete an environmentally-focused AmeriCorps service term before returning to a career focused on environmental engineering.

Somnath Mukherjee

Senior Controls Engineer

Somnath (Som) holds a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle. He has over a decade of experience working in thermal and gas power plants in India, holding various roles and possessing engineering expertise in multiple control systems and operational technologies.

Gus Millevolte

Research Engineer

Gus has spent the last decade studying neural control systems and self-learning algorithms for control optimization. He received his undergraduate in Neurobiology & Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin - Madison, and his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Washintgon - Seattle. He is passionate about translating scientific research through engineering to solve problems for people.

Quinn Huelsbeck

Operations Manager

Quinn is a dedicated Lean/Continuous Improvement Leader who excels at using proven methods and cutting-edge technology to successfully cut costs, streamline operations, and increase productivity.

Angie Karsama

Marketing Manager

Angie Karsama is a B2B marketing professional who brings a wealth of knowledge in technical marketing, business development, content strategy, and social media. She enjoys crafting compelling narratives that resonate with target audiences.

Conrad Austin

Test Engineer

Annie Heble

Post Doctoral Research Fellow


Join our growing team of tomorrow-builders.

At Aquagga, we work together to make the world a cleaner place.