Let's Talk About Climate Tech 🌎
Contrary Capital’s Startup Fair, Summer Meetups + Member Spotlights!
Ann Arbor, NYC, SF + more!
📣 Summer meetups are coming up soon! Shoutout to everyone already signed up🔥
We’re bringing the V1 community together again this summer with in-person meet ups! This community driven event is up to you to decide what fun things you want to do - going out for food, drinks, or spending a day at the park! V1 leaders will be organizing events in each city, so make sure to come join us this summer 🌟
Fill out the interest form for more details here!
Meet breakout startups at Contrary Capital’s Startup Fair 2022
Contrary Capital is hosting Startup Fair 2022 on September 15th! Ready to find your next role at a high-growth company? Here’s your chance to explore the startup ecosystem with the support and connections of a venture fund identifying and investing in the world’s top talent.
Applications close on August 12th, so make sure to apply soon ⚡
This summer we’re highlighting some of the projects V1 members are working on! Whether it’s something you’re building for a company or for fun, we want to feature the inspiration that drives V1 🚀
Up next is Elliot Klein, Platform Team lead @ V1! He’s a rising senior majoring in computer science and interning at Ramp this summer. Last year, Elliot interned for Glint Solar, an Oslo-based startup working to identify and analyze relevant project sites to accelerate the adoption of solar ☀️
Glint’s mission is to accelerate the solar revolution by de-risking new solar projects and increasing the number of such projects in development. Their product uses a combination of satellite data and machine learning to provide customers with pre-feasibility analyses for solar projects so that they can find the optimal site for their next projects.
During his time at Glint, Elliot had the opportunity to work across their entire software stack, from React on the frontend to Flask on the backend and PostGIS for geospatial data analysis. He primarily worked on their main product – specialized mapping software and proprietary data used to quickly find, filter, and analyze the best sites for new solar projects ⚡
Though Glint’s high-quality data and machine learning models are at the core of its product offering, Elliot was still able to contribute to the product development (despite an initial lack of domain knowledge) through full-stack web development. Even for startups in spaces that typically require deep expertise, there are always opportunities to contribute to core product development.
Electric Vehicle companies are pioneering development in-between cars and technology, making impressive software features such as self-driving capabilities with clean energy sources such as lithium-ion batteries, it’s no wonder that Tesla, Lucid and Rivian are stirring up the automotive industry. In addition to public interest, you may have even recently heard about the federal government’s plans to invest $370 billion in clean energy and high-growth technology (Inflation Reduction Act), driving up the stake in the industry.
Now given how broad climate change solutions are you might be wondering what exactly is climate tech? In short, climate tech is technology addressing and mitigating the impacts of climate change, specifically greenhouse gasses. This might be confused with clean tech, technology improving production efficiencies while shrinking negative environmental effects.
The common misconception from working outside of your major’s typical industry is that roles available to us are merely secondary, therefore marginally impactful. Yet software has become the primary guidance in tackling climate change through complex simulations and its role within hardware such as transmitting / processing data gathered via physical means (NOAA). It is important to note that software is only one part of climate solutions. The transition to a carbon-neutral world will touch every industry in the economy, so no matter your background, you will be able to contribute to it either in climate tech or outside of it.
Evidently, climate change is a multifarious problem with a variety of climate tech tools and solutions. Let us go through a few of these categories.
Let’s start with discussing carbon credits. Simply put, they are promises to offset a certain amount of carbon produced by a company. Companies purchase credits on reputed marketplaces, expecting emissions to be reduced with climate action projects. However, it is hard to verify these promises. Pachama fixes this with their ML model trained on satellite images, LIDAR imaging, field plots, etc. to assess how a reforestation project is progressing through quantitatively measuring its performance and detecting harmful activities like logging.
While Pachama monitors decarbonising efforts using its computer vision tech stack, Power Ledger allows trading credits. Additionally, often decried as the bane of environmentalists, crypto is being tested as a way to provide economic incentives for conservation efforts. For example, GainForest adopts a unique NFT-based reward system for helping preserve forests in collaboration with the Paraguayan government.
Reducing carbon emissions indirectly is another hot category. BrainBox is one such startup. Its proprietary AI model ensures more efficient temperature control in buildings by connecting to their HIVAC systems, predicting future temperatures at different regions, and adjusting power usage accordingly. Terrafuse used their AI model to predict the likelihood of wildfires at any particular location to help insure properties and operations.
These breakthroughs in climate solutions have led to VC funding reaching $56B in 2021 and an exit activity around $114B in 2021 as well.
Source: Cleantech Group, PitchBook and SVB Analysis.
The Industrial Revolution sought to transform the entrepreneurial world with inventions and technologies that could support manufacturing at a large-scale — the internal combustion engine, electromagnetic generators, and the telephone are just to name a few. At its very core, climate tech similarly endeavors to innovate technologies that support large-scale solutions in novel and unique approaches. But it must advance current technological progress and offer solutions to existing climate challenges. Here’s where there’s opportunity in research in both the public and private sectors.
We also need to create the right incentives to help tip the markets in the right direction. Good examples are the carbon tax that reveals the hidden costs of emissions and tax deductions for businesses that are working on currently expensive carbon-free alternatives to give them a competitive advantage.
And of course we need more innovators, companies and people working at these companies to deploy the solutions at scale.
What we’re reading 📬
“If not now, then when? If not you, then who?”
What the Inflation Reduction Act Means for Climate Tech