David Berney Needleman is the founder of Leap Photovoltaics. He earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2016, where he developed expertise in characterization, device modeling, and technoeconomic modeling of semiconductor materials and devices, particularly silicon solar cells. He also worked with major solar cell and equipment manufacturers on product roadmaps as well as identifying root causes and mitigating defects preventing them from bringing new products to market. After graduate school, he joined solar technology start-up, Energy Everywhere, in Berkeley, CA. There, he built up and managed their characterization laboratory, introduced designed experiments and statistical process control, built optoelectronic and technoeconomic models for PV devices, developed device process flows and replicated performance for various processes described in academic literature. He also coordinated research through a CRADA with NREL and managed relationships with U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, and SF State University. In 2020, he founded Leap Photovoltaics, which is developing novel low-cost, high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cell technology with a revolutionary manufacturing process that makes solar cells directly from refined silicon without wafers.