Thomas Cain

Found and CEO
Sustainability Partners

Mr. Thomas Cain is CEO of Sustainability Partners LLC, a sustainable products finance company and Managing Partner of EFW Partners, a multi-strategy investment firm focused on energy, food and water.

Cain has directly invested hundreds of millions in a diverse array of young technology companies focused on sustainability including Kokam Ltd., Dow/Kokam, Townsend Advanced Energy, Sungevity, Quantum, Lime, Enerpulse, Flex Energy, Water Health International, Stem, Electratherm, Codexis, Solezyme, and Project Frog and has been a director in over 30 public and private companies. He is a frequent keynote speaker and co-authored Energy Venture Capital Best Practices.

Cain started his business career by founding Distribution Architects Int’l. (“DAI”) in 1977, which grew into one of the world’s largest supply chain and ERP software companies with offices around the world. Through both organic growth and accretive M&A, he retired as chairman of the acquisition corporation in 2001, with 2,500 employees and annual revenues of $120M. He next founded Starco Energy, an owner/operator of restored petrochemical fuel terminals, which he sold to Quintana Energy in 2006. He also founded Focus Capital Group of America, an extension of Focus Capital Group -Israel, through which 20 distressed turnarounds were accomplished and exited. One such turnaround was Evans Systems, Inc., a Texas-based public petrochemical company.

Cain is a member of WPO, founded the YPO Global Supply Chain Conference, served as chairman of their MIT Presidents Education, and group-led the Harvard Business School Presidents Education for a combined 10+ years.

Cain holds multiple patents for advanced ECM electric motors for networking and AI that are in commercial use today. As a software developer, Cain’s software has won prestigious national competitions as the Internet Computer Expo’s “Best Business Product” and the Retail Information Systems Conference’s “Best Innovation in Logistics.” He is considered the father of the modern day “DLL” architecture. DAI was DEC’s largest commercial OEM and Cain was a senior advisor for the design of DEC’s 64-bit alpha chip.

Cain’s interest in energy began in his collegiate days while serving as a consulting mathematician for Los Alamos Labs working on the analysis of magnetic flux fields in controlled fusion plasmas in an effort to directly produce electricity through neutron capture by lithium blankets. He is an alumnus of ASU with undergraduate and graduate studies in mathematics.