As haunting as the scenes were, I’ve given up hope that such apocalyptic images will drive meaningful climate action in the United States. It may inspire some to join the climate movement, and I applaud such action. But American society tends to move on fast. Really fast.
The result? Our climate optimism, ambition for change, and angst to avoid the apocalypse gets run over by America’s short-term memory and even shorter attention span.
So how can we compel climate action? ROI.
Return on Investment (ROI) is calculated in different ways, but it is a common decision-making tool for allocating capital. Risks being equal, capital will choose the investment opportunity with the highest return.
If climate technologies want to scale, we must harness our optimism and ambition to build better businesses, deliver superior products, and solve real customer problems, all of which should generate meaningful, if not superior, ROI to many legacy solutions, creating a magnet for capital.
But we must not forget there’s no “one size fits all” ROI. We need a menagerie of capital–different types, stages, structures, and sources–to deliver a return on investment that is commensurate with the stage and relative risk of climate technology.
As climate technologies scale, climate finance clearly needs to scale with it, which makes our first member of ClimateHaven a perfect fit.
Raise Green–the award-winning climate investment platform dedicated to financing green infrastructure, clean energy, and climate tech solutions–is joining the ClimateHaven community.
We are excited to participate in Raise Green’s seed round through the Connecticut Innovations’ ClimateTech Fund and enthusiastic about the catalytic role the company’s platform can play in funding a diverse array of climate solutions.
Raise Green has community building in its DNA, which will make it more than just a member. It will be a key partner in building the ClimateHaven community.
The Yale Innovation Summit was bananas. 2,000+ folks at the Yale School of Management for two days under perfect blue skies.
It was the first time the Summit featured a climate track, and under the leadership of the indomitable Stu DeCew, I’m pleased to say every climate session was packed.
Best part of the Summit for the ClimateHaven team: the Startup Pitch Competition. Nine stellar Yale climate tech startups pitched, with first place going to Carbon Loop, second place to Catala, and third place to BlueGreen Materials.
The ClimateHaven team got a lot stronger last week when we welcomed Casey Pickett as the Managing Director of the ClimateHaven incubator.
There’s a lot of reasons why I’m thrilled Casey joined the team, but here’s the most important one: I know the ClimateHaven members will benefit from Casey’s leadership and experience.
What do these numbers say to me? Cleantech Open’s formula works, making this year’s cohort worth keeping an eye on! We’re looking forward to uncovering some future ClimateHaven members in that mix.
Speaking of future ClimateHaven members, we are looking for promising climate tech startups to join the ClimateHaven community. Our membership application portal is now open, and we’re excited to review applications this summer in anticipation of welcoming our first startups into the incubator this fall.
You can learn more about ClimateHaven membership here. And if you’re interested in visiting our space in downtown New Haven or discussing the benefits of membership, then reach out to Kiko Wong, our startup portfolio manager.
Back to where we started.
There is a LOT of opportunity in climate finance, and I’m a firm believer that climate finance will play an outsized role in getting us to carbon neutrality.
Venture will–and should–only take climate technology companies so far, especially those deploying physical projects, plants, and infrastructure. Standing ready to take the baton, we’ll need:
1. Project finance supporting a variety of clean energy asset classes and taking advantage of the dramatic expansion of tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act,
2. Thoughtful growth equity capturing the upside of market-making technologies, and
3. Responsible loans to climate and clean energy assets that are not quite bankable but still capable of leverage.
We’ll cover the first and third in a future newsletter. But for now, I’m just proud the words menagerie and indomitable made it into the same newsletter. I’m pretty sure the last time I used them both was in high school.
Until next time,