This Week in MCJ (2/13/21)

MCJ Live is alive, new fund LPs, and GTM is no longer :(

Hi all,

Well, the first MCJ Live show went off without a hitch! Clay, Ryan and Nan did great, and since it was live, we could pull people like Shashank Samala from EquiOpps, Jeremy Freeman from Carbon Plan, Clea Kolster from Lowercarbon, and Marty Odlin from Running Tide up from the audience spur of the moment to add their perspectives. It was a lot of fun! We are still on the fence about whether to record these or not. On the one hand, it would be good to make them available to everyone who couldn’t attend. But on the other, live only makes them special to attend and the ephemeral nature makes people more comfortable to speak freely. Would be curious to get your input on the best path here.

Our next show is this Wednesday at 6pm PT/9pm ET, on climate SPACs! Great speaker list, including Shayle Kann from EIP (VC with some portfolio cos with recent SPAC activity), Dan Coyne from Cannacord (banker who has worked on several), David Brewster from EnerNOC (recently raised $200m sustainability SPAC), Audrey Lee from Clean Energy for Biden (worked on Proterra SPAC), and entrepreneur Sarah Sclarsic (worked on XL Fleet SPAC). If you are on Clubhouse already, you can find the event here. And if not, MCJ members can get an invite in the #mcj-live channel of MCJ Slack.

MCJ Collective has a couple of new investments to announce this week, so stay tuned :) We also had some great new LPs join us this week, including Mike Schroepfer (Facebook CTO), David Brewster (EnerNOC co-founder), and Peggy Mangot (Partner at PayPal Ventures), to name a few. We are so excited, as we know their expertise will be super valuable to our growing portfolio of climate startups. That is one huge benefit of rolling funds, traditional funds sure can’t say the same about their institutional LP base :)

And last, but not least, we were super bummed to see this news that GTM will be no longer….

A few people have reached out to us to see if we have any interest or ideas for trying to find a way to keep it going. We DEFINITELY have interest (we love GTM!), we just don’t have the bandwidth, capital, or the right expertise. I am putting this out into the ether though, because GTM is a world class news source I have deeply benefited from reading, and there will be a huge void when it goes. I don’t know how we can help here, but we are on standby to do what we can, as we want these journos (and their writing) to find a new home quickly! If anyone has any ideas for how the MCJ community can rally here, let us know.

Jason

Share My Climate Journey


🎧 Episodes

Here’s this week’s episode, in case you missed it.

Episode 143: Ron Gonen, Co-Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is an investment firm and innovation center building the circular economy. It focuses on a profitable, sustainable future through its four asset classes: venture capital, project finance, growth equity, and private equity.

Ron walks me through what inspired him to pursue sustainability and how past experiences led him to start an investment firm and innovation center. We dive into Closed Loop Partners, how it operates, where they invest, and how they measure impact. Ron also explains the importance of a thriving circular economy and the vital role it plays in achieving a sustainable future. This is a great episode for listeners who want to learn more about the circular economy, innovation investing, and sustainable solutions, and is a fascinating example of how a firm can have several asset classes of capital under one roof, all pointed at the same focus area.


📼Startup Series

As the MCJ team works through refreshing our longer-term content strategy, we will be releasing the audio from some of the prior Startup Series episodes on some Thursdays (though this week is a new one!).

Startup Series Episode 27: Beacon Power Services with Co-Founder & CEO, Bim Adisa

Beacon Power Services is empowering Africa's grid through software solutions and automated analytics. In Lagos, Nigeria alone, the population has more than tripled in the last six years. Yet, utilities and electricity providers haven't adjusted to the increased demand, which means the reliance on diesel generators is at an all-time high. Dependency on these generators causes increased pollution, public health risks, and economic challenges. To address this problem, BPS focuses on last-mile solutions. They provide indigenous automated solutions by Africans for Africans. Bim is our first guest serving the African continent, and his story is essential as the climate crisis is a global issue. It was great to have Bim on the show and learn more about what the team is building at BPS!


💸Climate Tech Funding


🎓Alumni News

  • Arcadia and Goldman Sachs to Offer Clean Energy to Homes as an Employee Benefit. The Collaboration Offers Opportunity to Goldman Sachs Employees to Decarbonize and Align Choices to Individual Values. Arcadia is led by MCJ Pod Alum Kiran Bhatraju who serves as Founder and CEO. If you’re interested in learning more about Kiran and Arcadia, check out his conversation with Jason here: Episode 16!

  • MCJ Pod alum, Lowercarbon, debuted their new website and made public their investment portfolio this week. They are backing companies and important research focused on slashing CO2 emissions, sucking carbon out of the sky, and buying us time to unf*ck the planet (see their website tagline below, pretty awesome!). If you’re interested in hearing from Clay Dumas from the Lowercarbon team, check out Jason and Clay’s conversation on Episode 77.

  • This week, Stripe Climate kicked off a new round of negative emissions purchases, and announced that the initiative is now global. You can listen to Nan Ransohoff & Ryan Orbuch on MCJ Episode 120. And we don’t record the MCJ Live shows (at least not yet!), but we really enjoyed having both the Stripe Climate team and Lowercarbon on our first MCJ Live episode on Clubhouse.


📚Startup Resources

  • SparkLabs has established a new clean energy accelerator in Singapore in partnership with EcoLabs, which is the clean energy think tank at NTU (Singapore's leading engineering school).  To kick things off, they have launched a clean energy startup challenge, (www.FuelTheFuture.co), for entrepreneurs across the globe (for-profit & non-profits). Applications opened today, Feb. 1st, and the winner will be announced on March 8th. For more info click here!


👋 Welcome New MCJers!

Below are new members who joined the community and introduced themselves in the past week. You can learn more about them on #introductions, where you can welcome them to the community.

  • Michelle Tabart: A design researcher at Lighthouse, Michelle works in fleet electrification and sustainable urbanization. She is excited to join MCJ.

  • Seiji Engelkemier: Seiji studies energy storage at the MIT Energy Initiative as a mechanical engineering student. He is looking forward to meeting more members.

  • Diane Cozian: Diane, a former M&A investment banker, is looking to shift into VC climate tech funding and sustainability. She can’t wait to connect with more MCjers.

  • Gyri Reiersen: Getting a Master’s degree in robotics and AI, Gyri is passionate about social entrepreneurship, climate action, and equality in tech. She is excited to be part of the community.

  • Alex Nathanson: Alex is a sustainable energy designer, technologist, and education. He runs a solar power focused design and education business. He would love to talk to members at the intersection of design and climate.

  • Daniel Padilla: Daniel is a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and is looking to dedicate his career solely to sustainability and CO2 removal/abatement. He is looking for opportunities in that space and to connect with folks passionate about decarbonization.

  • Jenny Cooper: The director of sustainability at a grades 6-12 school in Seattle and a Jackson Leadership fellow at Henry M Jackson Foundation, Jenny is looking forward to connecting with fellow members.

  • Aneri Pradhan: Aneri is a Senior Partnerships Manager at Elemental Excelerator. She spent a decade working in energy access and is excited about joining the MCJ community.

  • Jeremy Redburn: Jeremy co-founded Salsify, helping brands become more sustainable. He is glad to be part of a climate-focused community.

  • Peter Van Dijck: He is a lead engineer and designer at a yet to announced startup. He is would love to help other members interested in scaling teams and operations.

  • Alex Brown: He is currently taking time off to explore the bioengineering and biotech startup world with a focus on climate. Alex is excited to learn from the MCJ community about how to tackle climate change.

  • Sean Saunders: Sean is interested in sustainability and climatetech. He is looking forward to being part of MCJ and continuing on his climate journey.

  • David Kenney: David is the executive director of VertueLab. He is also focused on making the cleantech work more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

  • Christian Busch: Christian is starting his climate journey this year by investing in a few climate funds and startups. He is looking to learn more about climate investing and excited to be part of the slack community.

  • Robinson Greig: Previously, a product manager and UX designer for early-stage startups, Robinson is interested in opportunities to make agriculture more sustainable. He is looking forward to connecting with MCJ members.

  • Caitlin Ferris: An investment banker at Barclays in the Sustainable & Impact group, Caitlin is interested in connecting with MCJ members and discussing the future climate solutions we have and we were can go next.

  • Haley Boyd: Haley is building a platform where brands can measure, reduce, and publish their emissions. She is excited to be part of MCJ.

  • Max Justicz: Max works in building robotic systems to efficiently install utility-scale solar farms. He is looking forward to connecting with other members.

  • Banks Hunter: The CEO of Charge Robotics, Banks and Max (above) work together to build solar farms. he is looking forward to talking with members about the role of tech and automation in the climate fight.

  • Stephen Collins: Stephen is a Senior Advisor for climate and sustainability risk management at Southern California Edison. He is excited to meet more MCJers who have similar interests.

  • Connor Barry: Connor is based in finance and strategy. He is looking to focusing more on sustainability and interested in connecting with members who are also in EU/African time zones.

  • Beatriz Franco: Beatriz is the CEO of an AgTech company and interested in meeting more of the MCJ community.

  • Jake Wonbwell-Povey: He is an early-stage VC investor with Vala Capital and an adviser to Attis Ventures. He is excited to be part of MCJ and meet more members.


💼Climate Jobs

Here are some jobs shared by members of the MCJ community that we think might be of interest to you. Many of these opportunities and the MCJers who shared them can be found in #climatejobs in the MCJ Slack. Check out this google doc for the jobs from this week!


📰🎧Recommended Reading/Listening

Below are recently published articles and content that we find interesting and/or that were shared by fellow MCJers.


🎟Climate Events

Below are some highlighted events. For more events check out the #events channel in the MCJ slack!

Upcoming

  • MCJ Live episode on Clubhouse (Wednesday, February 17th at 6pm PT)

    Our 2nd show is this week, with Shayle Kann, Audrey Lee, Sarah Sclarsic, David Brewster, and Dan Coyne. The topic is climate SPACs, and all of them have recent direct experience with them from different perspectives. If you are on Clubhouse already, you can find the event here. And if you are not on Clubhouse yet (and have an iPhone), you can find an invite in the MCJ slack room in the #mcj-live channel.

  • MCJ SoCal Meetup Icebreaker (Wednesday, February 17th at 7pm PT)

    Meet with members of the MCJ SoCal community in 1-on-1 breakouts! (And don't worry about exchanging contact information with your matches — you’ll receive an email after the event with links to get in touch.)

  • Women in Climate Monthly Meetup (Thursday, February 25th at 10am MT)

    This is meant to be a safe space for women to discuss, collaborate, celebrate, share knowledge about their climate journey and support each other. We follow a Lean Coffee format and always get through a variety of topics. Email hannah.davis@techstars.com for a calendar invite.

  • MCJ Ideas Jam (Wednesday, March 3rd @ 8pm ET)

    Watch 3 MCJers pitch their climate startup ideas. Guest judges provide feedback, and audience members are encouraged to ask questions and comment as well! Use this as an opportunity to learn more about incredible ideas in the space, meet more people in the community, and potentially spark your own ideas in the process. Please use the RSVP form to register for the event and submit your pitches. See you soon!


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