Need for Speed

Friends of ClimateHaven

There’s a sense in the startup world that you need to move fast. The need for speed seems to be imperative if you are going from a back-of-the-napkin concept to a billion-dollar company.

But the reality is that things take a long time. Building a company can be a ten-year endeavor–or more! And so many aspects of company building require a day-after-day grind that can stretch on for months, quarters, and even years.

Case in point: capital raising.

Raising capital from outside investors will absolutely, without a doubt, 100%, take longer than you think. A great product, a strong track record (i.e., second- or third-time founder), a robust network, and perfect market timing (hello startups raising in 2021) are all ways to streamline the capital raising process. But (and this a big BUT), for the first-time founder setting out to raise capital in 2024, it’s going to take a long time, which means you need patience, perseverance, and a plan!

A capital raising plan may seem silly (the plan is to raise money, fool!). But to succeed, you need to approach capital raising with surgical precision and a keen understanding of both the conditions in the venture capital market and the challenges you will face along the way.

Ready to make your plan? Read more in this week’s Startup Playbook Post.

Mark Your Calendars March 27

A big thanks to all those who joined us for Green Drinks on February 8. The next Green Drinks is May 2 and registration will open around April 1 (no fooling!).

In the meantime, we’ve got a big event to share: join us and our partners at Connecticut Innovations on Wednesday, March 27 from 3:30pm–7:00pm for the CI Climate Tech Forum: the annual celebration of the Connecticut Innovations’ Climate Tech Fund and the amazing climate tech community we are building in Connecticut!

You’ll learn about the state of the climate tech market from a great panel of venture capitalists–Jenn Burka, Melissa Fensterstock, and Evi Steyer–moderated by Connecticut Green Bank President Bryan Garcia. Then, network with climate tech investors and entrepreneurs and meet Connecticut Innovations’ portfolio companies.

Register here for this marvelous event. We hope to see the ClimateHaven community there!

Building Our Team

There's a lot of joy in building a team. And there's even more joy in building it with brilliant people who share your passion to decarbonize the planet! That’s why I’m full of joy as I welcome Aishwarya Kuruttukulam to the ClimateHaven team.

Aish joins us as Senior Manager of Ecosystem Engagement. In her role, she will support our community through partnerships, programming, investor and mentor relations, and capital deployment.

Aishwarya Kuruttukulam
Aish Kuruttukulam, ClimateHaven's Senior Manager of Ecosystem Engagement

Her experience in venture capital and company building, incredible network, and passion for the planet will be so useful to the ClimateHaven community. I admired her work as a team member of mine at the Connecticut Innovations' ClimateTech Fund and as a partner at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Thank you Aish! I'm grateful you are taking the next step in your career with the ClimateHaven team!

Building Our Board Too

ClimateHaven benefitted so much from starting its journey with an incredibly strong board that helped guide us through the organization’s formation and first year of operation. Lucky for ClimateHaven, our board just got stronger!

Earlier this month, we had the privilege of welcoming two amazing folks to the ClimateHaven Board of Directors: Jessica Bailey and Arthur W. Thomas, III.

Jessica Bailey and Arthur W. Thomas, III
Jessica Bailey and Arthur W. Thomas, III

Jessica is President and CEO of Nuveen Green Capital, a leading provider of sustainable commercial real estate finance. Jessica was a co-founder of Greenworks Lending, one of the largest providers of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing in the country. In 2021, she led Greenworks to a successful acquisition by trillion-dollar asset manager, Nuveen; the platform has since been rebranded to Nuveen Green Capital.

Arthur is the Director of Mission Investments and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. He directs the unique construction of an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem called “NHE3.” This strategic partnership with the State of Connecticut, the City of New Haven, and many local nonprofits, universities, and financial institutions provides services to ensure that existing small and emerging businesses have the infrastructure support needed to launch, sustain, and scale their growth.

ReGen Accelerator It's Almost Time!

As the expression goes, March comes in like a lion and out with an announcement of the ReGen Accelerator’s 2024 Spring Cohort.

Look for the announcement of the cohort in the second half of March. Then, join us in welcoming the participants to the ClimateHaven community in April and May for the 8-week program that will culminate in the last week of May.

ReGen Accelerator Program

The ClimateHaven community will have the opportunity to celebrate with the accelerator participants at a showcase event on the eve of the Yale Innovation Summit and then again in June at a separate event in New York City.  

A big shout-out to our partner Kaplak Ventures. The Kaplak team has been hard at work finalizing the cohort and getting the program ready for the delivery of their Dreams and Details leadership model.

Welcome Mudder AI!

The ClimateHaven startup community continues to grow and this month we are excited to welcome Mudder AI.

Founders Nadia B. Ahmad, Tarek Kandakji, Weixi Wu, Alex Wong, and Rex Ying are a team of data scientists, engineers, and emergency management experts who are laser-focused on optimizing disaster operations through technology.

Mudder AI
(From left to right) Alex Wong, Nadia B. Ahmad, Rex Ying, Tarek Kandakji, and Weixi Wu

Mudder AI is an AI-powered disaster management software platform providing proactive risk analysis and coordinated emergency response capabilities optimized by data integration and prediction models. After a massive hurricane devastated their community, the team at Mudder AI witnessed how hampered the emergency response became due to disjointed data and systems. It became their mission to breakdown information silos so that resources can reach disaster victims in critical need with more speed and precision. We’re really proud to have Mudder AI join the ClimateHaven community.

If you are a climate tech founder at the early stages of building your company, then connect with us to learn more about the community we’re building and how we can help you scale your climate tech solution.

Don't Do It Alone

We have a full slate of programming and workshops for our startup members, and we took the opportunity last week to tackle an incredibly important–and often overlooked topic: founders’ mental health.

We are so grateful that ClimateHaven Executive in Residence Gabriel Parisi-Amon presented “The Hidden Side of Startups: Mental Health and Burnout on the Founder’s Journey.” Gabe candidly shared insights about the hidden side of being a startup founder, and the ways in which our supercharged reach for business milestones can lead to burnout. Gabe’s honesty is a powerful reminder that success is not only about hitting those milestones, but about taking care of ourselves and each other throughout the process.

Gabe’s presentation is also a reminder for each founder to build their own community–whether at ClimateHaven, or someplace else–so they never have to feel as if they are going it alone. We know challenges will emerge, and when they do, you’ll want people to lean on. Thanks Gabe, for having the courage to bring this topic to the forefront.

Final Word

I just had to do a Leap Year newsletter. The next chance I have to write a February 29th newsletter will be 2028. Given the subject line of this newsletter, I could have loaded it with Top Gun references, but that would have been a highway to the danger zone.

Instead, I will use this extra day on the calendar to express my gratitude to all the folks in the ClimateHaven community.

Top Gun

ClimateHaven isn’t where we want it to be yet, which means we have a lot of growing left to do. But, I’m so grateful for the work we’ve done to get ClimateHaven to where it is today as we close in on one year since the appointment of our board and officers (March 9, 2023!).

Pretty darn amazing what you can accomplish in a year!

Until next time,


P.S. Follow ClimateHaven on LinkedIn, X, and Instagram to keep up on our progress between newsletters.

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