the girl from the future.

Cofounder and Chief Science Officer of LightSail Energy.

We’re making inexpensive, efficient energy storage systems — the missing link in the plan to make the world’s electrical grid green.


January 16th 1987: Hammock not quite meant for two
October 30th 1987: Birth
Until 1992: Halcyon years of childhood

Life was simpler

Until 1999: The intermittent misery of compulsory schooling

September 1999: Kafka-esque Jr. High Education Commences
October 1999: Insanity overload
October 30th 1999: Dropped out
Until Summer 2000: Programming and 3D modeling; C++ lessons at Nova Scotia Community College, Horseback Riding Lessons

Riding 'Lucy' at Windgate Farms

Riding ‘Lucy’ at Windgate Farms

September 2000 – May 2005: Dalhousie University, graduated with first class combined honors in Physics/Computer Science, with a university medal.
August 2005: Started PhD. program at Princeton’s Plasma Physics Lab

Diptych – The JET Tokamak Fusion Reactor / Filled with Plasma

Summer 2007: Realization dawns on me that fusion, if anything, is the power source of the far future, and it is the near future I worry about.
August 25th 2007: San Francisco Bay.
September 1st 2007: Berkeley.

The Internet here used to be my only network connection. I used Skype for my phone. they didn’t turn it off at night, and it was warm enough during the summer that I would work outside until near dawn. Sometimes after!

September 2nd 2007: Realize I’d make a terrible employee.
September 3rd 2007: Realize that I’ll starve if I don’t take matters into my own hands and start my own thing;.
September 4th 2007: Realize that I might have a halfway decent chance at making a difference.

Until May 2008: Struggle to launch any of dozens of startup ideas, while working side jobs and supporting cofounders/friends.
June 2008: Start working feverishly on compressed air technology.
June – September 2008: Couchsurfing.

August 2008: LightSail Energy Founded

July 2009: Funded!

Vinod Khosla

November 2009: Our Firehouse Facility is operational.

September 2010: First spray — it works!

May 2011: Present our progress to Bill Gates

After Presenting to Bill Gates!

June 2011: Learn to surf!

July 2011: All technical goals for prototype reached — science phase complete.

August 2011: First visit to Burning Man. Mind blown.

Burning Man, 2011. I am not a virgin anymore.

December 2011: Named the Energy Standout in the Forbes 30 Under 30 for my work with LightSail

Danielle Fong, Energy Standout, Forbes 30 Under 30 (photo by Harry Benson)

Danielle Fong, Energy Standout, Forbes 30 Under 30 (photo by Harry Benson)

January 2012: Elected as mentor at the Thiel Fellowship

Thiel Fellowship Class of 2011

Until the present: Saving the world… (or dying trying!)


Mail: me at <my name>.com
or Dani.Fong at <google’s mail service>
LinkedIn: daniellefong
Twitter: daniellefong
Hacker News: DaniFong