Climate Realism

Friends of ClimateHaven

Good news––this is the last newsletter I’ll mention our grand opening.

Even better news––the grand opening was a smashing success! We were so grateful to welcome so many friends, funders, and supporters to ClimateHaven last Thursday, celebrating our community and making use of those giant scissors sitting around the office for the past month.

The enthusiasm expressed by our speakers, from Mayor Elicker to Commissioners Dykes and Daum to Governor Lamont, was genuinely infectious. Adding to the evening, our startups presented meaningful solutions, each demonstrating the critical role their technologies can play in addressing the challenges climate change presents.

One theme emerged from the grand opening, and it has stayed with me over this past week: climate realism.

Electricity Grid
ClimateHaven CEO, Ryan Dings, preparing to cut the ribbon symbolizing ClimateHaven's official grand opening

The clean energy transition to clean energy will be tough and demanding. The economy is too big, too interconnected, and too sensitive to macroeconomic and geopolitical trends for a shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative one to be a quick fix. This complexity is not a reason to give up; instead, it’s a reason to come together.

Through communities like ClimateHaven, we can recognize collaboration is an essential tool to “fix the plane while flying it,” a mode we must operate in. Maybe climate realism is what you get when the most significant climate bill in history, rising interest rates, and stubborn inflation happen simultaneously! Still, I like to think climate realism represents the next phase of our collective appreciation of climate change and our growing understanding that patience, persistence, and partnership will be critical in unlocking the full economic potential of a clean energy transition. And, to be clear, that economic potential is in the trillions of dollars. Did anyone honestly think we would SPAC our way to climate glory?

As I stood amongst all the brilliant folks at ClimateHaven’s grand opening, I felt as confident as ever that we would meet the challenge of climate change and as ready as ever to navigate the twists and turns we’d face along the way.

For all those who were there with us, thank you. Onward we go!

Connecticut Climate Tech Social

Join me, my teammates, and Connecticut Innovations on Wednesday, December 6, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm for a Climate Tech Social at Third Place by Half Full Brewery in Stamford, CT.

There, we’ll highlight the future of electrification in Connecticut, featuring three companies from the ClimateTech Fund portfolio: AmpUp, Noteworthy AI, and Roundtrip EV Solutions.

And, of course, there will be plenty of drinks and climate-focused networking!

In the Year 2024

While we’re on the subject of events, allow me to add another two to your 2024 calendar:

Green Drinks, our quarterly networking series for climate enthusiasts, will return on Thursday, February 8, at 5:00 pm. Look out for updates on how to register in early January.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Yale Innovation Summit, which returns on May 29 to 30, 2024. With over 2,000 attendees at the 2023 Summit, which featured a new, dedicated climate track, I anticipate 2024’s Summit will be even bigger!

ReGen Accelerator Application Deadline Extended

The application deadline for the ReGen Accelerator has been extended to November 30. Interested startups can apply here.

Here’s why I’m really excited about this program: It focuses on developing and building up leaders as much as it does their climate technologies.

Regen Accelerator

Leadership is an often-overlooked component of early-stage accelerator programs, but a founder’s leadership tactics are consequential to the company's and its innovation's long-term success. People and products go hand in hand, and the startups who participate in the ReGen Accelerator will see that firsthand in 2024.

Interested startups can learn more about the ReGen Accelerator here. If you know a startup that could benefit from this program, encourage them to apply!

Welcome Catala

Catala offers catalyst-based solutions for industrial water treatment by developing specialized, cost-effective filtration technologies. Their catalytic ceramic membranes eliminate pollutants and impurities from wastewater generated by factories, manufacturing plants, facilities, and other commercial operations.

Decarbonizing these major industrial sectors would enhance environmental protections, improve public health, and ensure regulatory adherence.

Catala Co-founders, James Licato and Claire Chouinard

Joining us at ClimateHaven are James Licato, their CEO, and Claire Chouinard, their CTO, who earned 2nd place at the 2023 Yale Innovation Summit's Climate Pitch Contest.

Speaking of Startups...

The ClimateHaven community is now 17 members strong! If you’re interested in introductions to any of these incredible climate tech companies, reach out to ClimateHaven’s super connecter, Haley Lieberman!

As we continue to grow, we’ll eventually reach our cap, supporting 25 to 30 startups in our incubator community and another 16 to 20 startups per year in the ReGen Accelerator program at any one time. What does that mean? We’re always on the hunt for great startups!

Startups can learn about our community here, apply for membership, or get their questions answered by connecting with Kiko Wong.

Classify Your Climate Action

Climate action is a delightful thing, and it's in our nature to want to address the problems we face. But, in the enormous universe of climate change–– all the problems created by it and all the work we need to do to address it––climate action can be a giant trap for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Most folks want to work in this space because they believe it's their moral imperative to address climate change, so they passionately commit their time and talents. But that devotion is like the cheese inside the mousetrap.

Your intentions, albeit worthy, may not be suitable to start a climate tech startup. Climate action can take many shapes, from advocacy to policy and investment. A climate tech founder must ensure their particular action plan is uniquely positioned to manifest in the form of climate technology.

Read more in this week's Startup Playbook post.

Final Word

We wouldn’t have made it to the grand opening without an incredible group of partners, funders, and board members. Equally critical are the entrepreneurs with whom we work.

But, I’m reserving my final word and thanks to the ClimateHaven team members who make our community a great place to be every day. To Casey Pickett, Haley Lieberman, Kiko Wong, Eileen Smith, and our newest team member, Sarah Pieslak:

An enormous and heartfelt THANK YOU!

Until next time,


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