Ann Marie Sastry.Ann Marie Sastry
President and CEO, Sakti3

Somewhere in our future lies a battery that will make combustion engines a thing of the past, once and for all. Ann Marie Sastry, 43-year-old president and CEO of Sakti3, believes that future is here. With a team of engineers at the University of Michigan, Sastry developed a next-gen lithium-ion battery that uses no liquids: “It’s entirely solid-state, which offers substantial improvements in energy density and safety.” General Motors is among many investors placing bets on Sastry’s technology, which is designed to be used in both all-electric and hybrid-electric cars, enabling the latter to get over 100 miles per gallon. “When you look at the totality of the world’s problems, energy always comes to the top of the list,” says Sastry. “And you think: What am I going to do about it? My answer was: I’m going to create the tools and the teams to manufacture a really good battery.” Sastry, who is currently on leave from the University of Michigan, says she loves building her business:  “This is the most fun I’ve had in my career so far.” But it comes with its pressures: “We’re in a hurry. We want to realize this technology in a short amount of time, as the world is becoming exponentially more consumptive of energy. There’s a timer on this problem.”