This Week in MCJ (2/20/21)
Bitcoin & climate, friends or foes?
We had a another big week, this week.
For starters, we announced our investment in Rheaply! And we have several more great investments we will be announcing very soon.
Our 2nd MCJ Live show also happened this week on Clubhouse, with a great discussion on SPACs. One learning was that 5 guests on stage at once made it a bit hard to go deep with any one of them, but the caliber of the guests was outstanding, I learned a lot from the discussion, and we’ve gotten a bunch of positive feedback from others that benefited from it, as well.
Next up is this Wednesday @ 6pm PT, and the topic is Bitcoin & Climate. We have some great guests lined up, like Max Webster (Version One Ventures), Steve Lee (Square Crypto), Nic Carter (Castle Island Ventures), and Colleen Metelitsa (Con Edison). I’ve also heard some rumblings that Jonathan Foley (of Ep. 68 fame) may make an appearance, amongst others :)
Often times, what is missing from the conversations on these complicated topics is room for nuance. If you read the responses in this thread, you’ll see that people on both sides have strong opinions, but are also hungry to engage and learn more, and few claim to have all the answers….
I think MCJ Live could be a really interesting place to explore some of this nuance, both on this issue, and on other thorny issues around addressing the problem of climate change. Not in a debate format, but more one of contrasting viewpoints coming together to educate and inform each other. Anyways, tune in Wednesday, and we’ll give it a shot! Wish us luck <gulp>.
Another thing on our minds this week is this newsletter. As the number of sections grows, we are finding there is less room to go deep in any of them. One thing we are thinking about is breaking out MCJ-specific news into its own newsletter, and adding another newsletter (at least one!) so we can go much deeper into things like climate tech funding announcements, climate jobs, and the latest climate news. There is so much happening on all of these fronts, and we want to make sure to do each of them justice. No decisions yet, so if you have any input/feedback for us on this, we’d love to hear it.
We also think, especially given the looming departure of GTM from the landscape, that there may be an opportunity for a dedicated subscription media publication, filled with rich journalism and analysis, focused 100% on the emerging climate tech landscape. May not be our lane to tackle, but it is an interesting thread I am hoping someone (or several people!) end up pursuing. When I tweeted about it, a bunch of people pointed me at MCJ’er Sophie Purdom’s great newsletter, so maybe it will be them :)
And finally, proud to announce a few of the notable new additions to the MCJ Collective LP ranks this week, including Marc Mezvinsky (Partner at TPG), Bijan Sabet (General Partner at Spark Capital, and my last company Runkeeper’s lead investor!), and Aaron Jacobson (Partner at NEA). All of which are either active or looking to get more active in climate tech investing with their funds, so we are excited to get them more closely aligned with our growing portfolio of climate tech startups. Welcome to the squad!
Have a great week, everyone.
Here’s this week’s episode, in case you missed it.
Lime is a micromobility transportation company with a fleet of shared e-bikes, e-scooters, and now e-mopeds providing fun, efficient, and sustainable ways to move around cities.
Andrew and I have a great discussion about his career path from policy to transportation, and what inspired him to work in urban mobility. He walks me through how his role has evolved and how sustainability became one of Lime's core functions. We also have a broader conversation about how to make micromobility more sustainable, Andrew's thoughts on the future of transportation, and the role legislation plays in the energy transformation. Andrew was an awesome guest, especially for those interested in micromobility and/or transitioning their companies to more sustainable practices.
The Startup Series highlights new startups tackling climate change.
Universal Hydrogen is an end-to-end fuel logistics company making hydrogen-powered commercial flight a near-term reality. The aerospace and aviation industry is decarbonizing too slowly to meet the Paris Agreement objectives. Paul and his team are tackling two of the biggest challenges in hydrogen flight: creating a distribution infrastructure and kick-starting demand for hydrogen. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in decarbonization aviation.
💸Climate Tech Funding
The VC arms of Chevron and BP are funding Eavor, a startup looking to commercialize a form of geothermal energy that it says can provide large-scale power in many regions worldwide. This week, Eavor announced a $40 million funding round. Other backers are investment firms Temasek, BDC Capital, Vickers Venture Partners, and Eversource.
Dandelion Energy, a geothermal home heating and cool company got a $30 million investment from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. MCJ alum, Dan Yates, serves as Dandelion’s executive chair, and MCJ alum, Kathy Hannun, is the Co-Founder and President. You can check out their episodes here: Ep. 35 with Kathy Hannun and Ep. 7 with Dan Yates.
👋 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.
Alex Ince-Cushman: Alex is the CEO of Branch Energy and has a background in nuclear fusion research. He is excited to grow Branch Energy and connect with MCJers.
Kevin Conroy: Kevin transitioned into sustainability 4 years ago and currently is a founder of Finite Management. He’s interested in talking to those interested in sustainable finance.
Brett Bivens: The head of research at Prima Materia, a European investment company, Brett is looking forward to exploring the community.
Minahil Amin: Minahil is a portfolio manager of grants and partnerships at Leadership Now. He is excited to learn from and collaborate with MCJ members.
Abid Sikder: Abid is an undergrad at Princeton, studying Computer Science with an interest in electrical engineering and sustainability. He is early in his climate journey but is looking for opportunities to work in climate this summer.
Jordan Wolfe: Jordan is a new LP in the MCJ Collective fund and a couple of seed and Series A VC funds focused on energy and the environment. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and moving the climate mission forward.
Ben Soltoff: An Environmental Innovation Manager at Yale Center of Business and the Environment and the Environmental Innovation Fellow at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, Ben works in climatetech and business models.
Areeb Malik: Leaving Facebook to focus on climate, Areeb founded a company focused on fixing recycling. He is looking to connect with people on similar paths as him and meet more of the MCJ community.
Rahul Misra: Rahul has worked in SaaS starts up focusing on business development. He is excited to learn more and connect with members.
Tim Dougherty: Tim has been working on the Daily Overview, a media project using satellite data to showcase human impact on the planet. He is excited to be part of MCJ.
Cindy Janower: Cindy is starting her climate journey. She is an independent strategy consultant and looking for opportunities to transition to climate. Cindy is looking forward to continuing her climate journey and getting to know more folks in the community.
Guy Hudson: Guy is the CEO and co-founder of Soil Carbon Co. He is excited to be part of MCJ.
Pranav Khanna: Pranav works in circular fashion and EPR frameworks. He is looking to connect with members working in plastic waste management, fashion, and textiles.
Justin Pniower: Justin is a product leader with a background in building data-intensive and ML-powered products. He is looking for his next opportunity with a climate focus.
Max Hickey: Max recently joined Li-Cycle, a lithium-ion battery company focusing on the circular supply chain. he is excited to be connected with the MCJ community.
Tyson Lanigan-Atkins: Tyson is finishing his Ph.D. with a focus on fundamental properties of materials with relevance to solar cells and batteries. He is excited to learn more about policy and finance in the clean energy world.
Kip Pastor: Kip is a filmmaker and founder of Pique, a company producing micro-documentaries in the climatetech space. He is looking forward to meeting more MCJers.
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!
Below are recently published articles and content that we find interesting and/or that were shared by fellow MCJers.
Tech Crunch this week reported on a company founded by two of our community’s own. MCJers Chris Tolles and Kevin Meissner have recently announced Yard Stick, a company building a hand-held soil probe to measure carbon soil levels onsite. The startup was founded out of the Soil Health Institute, and awarded a $3.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program.
MIT Technology Review outlines how Harvard scientists plan to launch a balloon this summer to test the equipment needed for the first geoengineering experiments in the stratosphere. Check out the article A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step.
CNBC announces Ford is investing $1 billion in an electric vehicle production facility in Cologne, Germany, with the European arm of the automotive giant committing to go “all-in” on electric vehicles in the years ahead.
Interested in what’s going on with the power grids in Texas? Founder of David Energy, James McGinniss, explains it in this Medium article AOE Part II: DERs and Local Resilience.
The Financial Times announces two of the biggest banks on Wall Street are calling a new “supercycle” in oil, with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs both predicting prices will soar when the pandemic abates.
WBUR highlights a Maine-based startup that aims to sequester carbon through kelp farms. The fight against climate change has long focused on scaling back humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide. But a movement is growing to think bigger and find ways to actually pull existing CO2 out of the air and lock it up somewhere safe.
According to Bloomberg, too many companies are banking on carbon capture to reach net-zero commitments. There's only so much land available to plant new trees, and most other methods are expensive and difficult.
Below are some highlighted events. For more events check out the #events channel in the MCJ slack!
MCJ Live on Clubhouse (Wednesday, February 24th at 6 pm PT)
A discussion about everything Bitcoin & climate, with Max Webster (Version One Ventures), Steve Lee (Square crypto), Nic Carter (Castle Island Ventures), and Colleen Metelitsa (Con Edison). If you are on Clubhouse already, you can find the event here. If you are not on Clubhouse yet, you can find an invite in the #mcj-live channel on slack.
Women in Climate Monthly Meetup (Thursday, February 25th at 10 am 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a calendar invite.
MCJ Town Hall (Friday, February 26th @ 4 pm ET)
Town halls are an open forum to ask questions, share feedback, and get more visibility into what we’re working on at MCJ. If you would like a calendar invite, please drop us a note or DM Sarah Adams on Slack.
MCJ Ideas Jam (Wednesday, March 3rd @ 8 pm 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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