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Ep 35: Kathy Hannun, Co Founder & Ceo At Dandelion

Today’s guest is Kathy Hannun, the co-founder & CEO of Dandelion. Originally conceived at X, Alphabet’s innovation lab, Dandelion is now an independent company offering geothermal heating and cooling systems to homeowners, starting in the Northeastern US.

Previously, Kathy was a product manager and Rapid Evaluator at Alphabet's X. Prior to Dandelion, Kathy led a team that created technology to extract carbon dioxide from seawater to create carbon-neutral fuel.

Kathy has been recognized as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, one of Albany Business Review's 40 under 40, and as a Leader of Tomorrow. Kathy graduated from Stanford with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Computer Science. 

In today’s episode, we cover:

  • Founding story of Dandelion

  • Overview of geothermal and how it works

  • Its market potential and what has been holding it back

  • Why now is the right time for it to flourish and how Dandelion plans to make that happen

  • The process that went into identifying the Dandelion opportunity, and what led to the decision to spin out from X

  • What utilities like about the approach

  • The impact Dandelion/geothermal can have @ scale on decarbonization

  • How special it is that a high impact opportunity like this fits neatly in the venture capital model and timelines

  • Whether the process to select Dandelion could be repeatable to find other ideas

  • The pros/cons of launching at X vs independently and how to decide

  • The magic of finding a solution that makes people’s lives easier while having a meaningful impact 

  • Some key wishes Kathy has for things that would change that would help accelerate the clean energy transition

  • Some surprising advice Kathy has for people concerned about climate change for how you can help

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

  • Kathy Hannun Linkedin:

  • Dandelion website:

  • Geothermal:

  • Google X:

  • Dan Yates:

  • Con Edison partnership:

  • Impossible Foods:

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Enjoy the show!


Key Smash Notes In This Episode

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