Expanding the MCJ Team
When I started my own climate journey 3+ years ago, I didn’t set out to build a company. Or a podcast. Or a community. Or a fund. I was on a journey to figure out how I could devote the next phase of my career to helping address climate change - that was it!
Since then, it has been such an organic and magical journey that I never could have predicted. The My Climate Journey podcast has enabled me to meet hundreds of fascinating and accomplished people from many disciplines. The MCJ Member Community is filled with ~1600 incredibly impressive, climate-motivated people from a wide range of backgrounds, united by a common cause and spirit. And the MCJ Collective rolling fund is on pace to deploy more than $13m/year, backed by an incredible group of LPs, and investing in some of the most promising climate tech startups out there (more than 40 companies in the fund’s first year of operation!).
More importantly, the constant stream of stories from listeners, members, portfolio founders, and others of how MCJ has helped them make valuable connections, gain helpful knowledge, and accelerate their own climate journeys in transformative ways has been addictive and incredibly gratifying. Feels like in our own little way we are making a big impact, and it also feels like we are just scratching the surface of something much larger.
The time has come for MCJ to take some steps to start moving faster. For a while now, I’ve been seeking additions to our team who can bring real heft to each of the pillars of MCJ -- our content, our community, and our investment fund -- and this is quite a difficult triumvirate! Well, it was worth the wait, as I’m pleased to announce the following additions to the MCJ squad:
David Aronoff, Chairman:
David has been in the venture industry since 1996. He is a Partner Emeritus at Flybridge, where he was a General Partner for many years, and was a General Partner at Greylock for many years before that. He decided that in this next phase of his career he desperately wanted to help repair the damage done to the Earth’s climate and he reached out to me for some guidance in his own journey. David was an early LP in MCJ Collective, then an active advisor, and I am proud and excited that we were somehow able to convince him to join us as Chairman.
Cody Simms, Partner
Cody has been at Techstars for the past 8 years, most recently as Techstars’ SVP of Climate and Sustainability, a practice he built from the ground up. Cody is a Partner in Techstars’ institutional fund, hosts their climate tech podcast, serves on a number of boards, and has worked a ton with the portfolio companies across their many accelerator programs to help them navigate the challenges of early stage company building. He’s also the co-author of the bestselling book for startups, Levers: The Framework for Building Repeatability into Your Business, and co-founder of the 501(c)(4) climate political action group Climate Changemakers, which got its start in the MCJ community. His background, his passion for addressing climate change, and his long relationship with MCJ as a fund LP, active community member, and close friend of the firm make him an incredible and unique fit to be a core member of the squad. And we are very lucky that he agreed with our assessment!
Thai Nguyen, Partner
Many of you know Thai already, because he has been working with us for over a year and a half! Thai joined us a few weeks before the pandemic, initially as a consultant, and then full time last October. He and I have been glued at the hip over the last 18 months, and he is a true jack-of-all trades, helping initially with the podcast, then with the community, then with the fund, and now across all three! He is an incredibly hard worker, and has played an integral role in our success to date. It is my great pleasure and honor to announce that as part of this expansion, Thai is now a full Partner at MCJ and will take on an even bigger role in scaling MCJ into the future. Hard earned and well deserved, Thai!
(From left to right) David, Cody, Thai, & Jason at the inaugural MCJ Team Offsite.
Seeking Head of Community
This is a good spot to plug the Head of Community role we are looking to fill, as it will be a critical hire to help lead the charge on giving the content and community the focus they deserve! Similar to how we were with the roles above, while we are super impatient to fill it, it is most important that we take our time and get it right.
It is also super important to us that as MCJ’s influence expands, it does so such that we maintain the humble, inquisitive spirit that we had coming into this journey, the transparency we’ve tried to maintain all the way through, and the accountability that is provided by building in collaboration with all of you.
We want to say a special thank you to everyone involved with the MCJ and the broader climate community, for helping make this day come about. While it has been an action-packed journey so far, this is only chapter one of what we hope will be a long and productive story.