SVA Backstage Pass: Ali Safavi & Will Thomson, Grenova

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Ali Safavi and Will Thompson from Grenova™ will discuss Grenova’s growth and the benefits of having experienced counselors in their corner.

Ali Safavi and Will Thompson from Grenova™ will discuss Grenova’s growth and the benefits of having experienced counselors in their corner. The panel will include two of their advisors, Andrew White of Williams Mullen and Larry Eiben of Thirdline Capital.

Grenova™ is an innovative company that revolutionizes lab consumables through high-quality waste reduction solutions and has grown by over 800% in the last two years. Its mission is to lower costs in the laboratory industry and reduce biohazard waste in the environment by delivering groundbreaking approaches in dealing with plastic consumables.


  • Ali Safavi – CEO and Founder, Grenova™
  • Will Thompson – CFO, Grenova™
  • Andrew White – Partner, Williams Mullen
  • Larry Eiben – Co-Founder, Thirdline Capital


  • 5:30 PM – Networking and Refreshments
  • 6:15 PM – Program
  • 7:00 PM – Networking

SVA Backstage Pass is designed to help educate, inspire, and connect anyone interested in growing central Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each month, featured entrepreneurs share their stories on what worked, what didn’t, and what they’ll do differently next time.

This event is in partnership with Williams Mullen Emerging Companies Practice.

Attorneys in the Emerging Companies practice at Williams Mullen represent startups throughout the course of their lifecycle. This includes initial formation, financings, capital raises, and follow on investments; mergers, joint ventures, restructurings, and other growth opportunities; and acquisitions by strategic or financial buyers.

Ali Safavi, founder, President, and CEO of Grenova is on a mission to enable laboratories worldwide to become sustainable and waste-free. Ali founded Grenova, which is short for Green Innovation, after eight years working in the life sciences industry and discovering an unsustainable practice within the laboratories. Grenova was founded on innovating green technologies and manufacturing automated devices to wash and reuse plastic consumables for laboratories. Today, Ali’s award-winning company has created the only technology solution in the industry that enables life sciences and healthcare laboratories to reduce their plastic consumables, biohazard waste, and cost by over 90%.

As a result of his work, Grenova has eliminated over 900M pipette tips, equivalent to over 2.6M lbs of plastic that would have otherwise ended up in landfills as biohazard waste. In addition, Grenova has helped the industry save over $80M by washing and sanitizing pipette tips. Grenova headquarters is located in Scott’s Edition in Richmond, VA, with over 50 employees. Ali’s ultimate vision is to implement an automated cleaning technology device in every lab across the globe to safely clean and sanitize all of the used plastic consumables from each lab’s daily operation and return them back to the lab for reuse over and over again without any compromise on quality and performance. For these efforts, Ali was named one of the Top Healthcare Innovators of 2019 by Healthcare Technology magazine, Top Innovator by Silicon Valley Magazine, and Top 10 Best Successful CEOs of 2020 by the Industry Era publication. Grenova was recognized in 2019 as an “Inno On Fire” company by American Inno, rvAwesome Awards finalist by Venture Forum, and the Technology Project of the Year award winner by Richmond Technology Council. Ali has also been a TED Talk speaker.

Will Thompson has over 25 years of finance and operation experience with several middle market and Fortune 500 companies. Over the past 15 years, Will has served as CFO at several fast-growth companies in the technology space. Will has extensive experience in providing clear direction and strategic vision, especially during times of high growth. Will lead the restructuring of a software business and has been a key advisor to many technology companies. Will’s extensive experience includes IT consulting, software, computer integration and IT staffing. Before working in the middle market, Will gained extensive experience as a CPA at Deloitte & Touche.

Andrew White has represented emerging growth and middle-market companies for over 20 years, both in a general counsel capacity and in all manner of transactions, including venture capital and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, restructurings, and entity conversions. Much of Andrew’s work involves technology companies, including software, information technology, financial services, biotech, pharmaceutical, and healthcare services companies. He also represents nonprofit organizations, including private foundations and public charities, as well as benefit corporations.

Larry Eiben is the Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager of Thirdline Capital, an asset management firm specializing in alternative investments. He is an active venture investor, having invested across many industries and capital structures, including preferred equity, SAFEs, convertible notes, term loans, lines of credit, revenue-backed loans, and warrants. Larry is also a Co-Founder of the Trolley Venture Fund and serves on the Board of Directors.

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