This Week in MCJ (2/27/21)
Offsets: Friend or Foe of Rapid Decarbonization?
Wow, these weeks are flying by.
A few notable things in MCJ-land this week:
1) We announced our investment in Nitricity.
2) We rolled out our first Climate Careers episode, with Anshuman from Terra.do!
3) The Bitcoin and Climate discussion on MCJ Live (our new Clubhouse show) went great. We are realizing that this show is a great format to put controversial climate topics front and center, line up great guests with diverse viewpoints, and sort through them publicly with the goal of furthering everyone’s collective understanding of the nuances and building bridges vs the types of combative debates that occur on twitter.
Our next show is this Wednesday at 6pm PT, and the topic is OFFSETS! Confirmed guests include people from Carbon Plan, Carbon Direct, and 3-4 of your favorite startups working in this important area. And a little preview of the MCJ Live calendar moving forward is that the week following will be nuclear, and the one after that will be ESG :)
4) We had a great Town Hall discussion, this week! Maybe 20 of us total, so not a huge group, but an engaged and passionate one! The topic we spent most of our time on was how to better foster connectivity within the MCJ community. There were some great ideas thrown around, including better integrating the member directory, thinking about book clubs or other smaller group assembly (group podcast screenings, for example), office hours by members for members, and more. Our gears are definitely cranking, and we are planning to do some experimentation in these areas, for sure.
Have a great week, everyone!
Here’s this week’s episode, in case you missed it.
Planet FWD is using the power of food the help tackle climate change. They created Moonshot, a brand of climate-friendly snacks made from regenerative ingredients. They also develop software that provides other food brands with regenerative resources to make climate-friendly products.
I was excited for this episode, as we were proud to make a recent investment in Planet FWD out of our new climate tech fund, MCJ Collective. Julia is also a powerhouse, and has a terrific and inspiring story to share.
In this episode, Julia takes me through her journey to founding the company, what led her to put climate front and center, why she came to believe Planet FWD was the highest leverage thing she could do to help, and of course, what they are doing as a company, where they are going, and what they will achieve if they are wildly successful! We also have a fascinating discussion about the importance of regenerative agriculture, and Julia’s theory of change for how the company will help drive better practices on the farms.
This is a great listen for those interested in climate tech entrepreneurship, regenerative agriculture, and anyone who just wants to be inspired by an amazing human!
This week we debuted a new series! Climate Careers is a bi-weekly show that provides insights and perspectives on working in climate-tech. New episodes every other Thursday. Check out our first guest below!
Terra.do is an online school working to solve climate change. Millions of people will need to transition into climate work in the years to come, and Terra.do is the platform to help make that happen. Anshuman walks me through his own climate journey and what led him to switch from tech entrepreneurship to working on climate. We then cover the Terra.do origin story, their progress to date, and their long vision. And finally, we chat about what types of skills people will need to reorient their careers around working on climate, how Terra.do can help, and what else people might find useful as they navigate this difficult but important transition.
Patch, the carbon offset API developer, has raised $4.5 million in financing to build out its business selling customers a way to calculate their carbon footprint and identify and finance offset projects that capture the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions associated with that footprint. Co-founder and CEO of Patch, Brennan Spellacy, is an MCJ pod Alum. Check out his conversation with Jason on Episode 19 of the Startup Series!
Are you an experienced entrepreneur looking for your next big thing? X Genesis: Water & Climate, launching March 15th, is a 4-week virtual program dedicated to helping great entrepreneurs find and pursue massive opportunities at the intersection of impact and ROI. Learn more here or contact Cali@xgenesis.io.
Calling all climate founders in California! Clean energy entrepreneurs can receive up to $300k of testing to de-risk their innovations at world-class facilities. Here's how to apply here with @CalTestBed.
Elemental Excelerator is excited to announce the launch of Elemental Connect! It’s a new AI-enabled engine for investments into startups tackling climate change, that connects our pipeline and investor community, and can serve as a soft landing for investors new to the climate tech sector. Learn how to sign up 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.
Michael Campos: Michael is an Associate at Prime Impact Fund. He is particularly excited to meet startup founders coming to climate from other careers!
Logan Dirkx: Logan recently quit his job as LinkedIn AI PM/systems engineer/payments person. He is excited to learn more and then join or start a climate tech company!
Alex Roetter: Alex is an investor @ Moxxie Ventures, and has a (growing) focus backing companies working on climate change. He was previously president of Kittyhawk (eVTOL, aka flying cars), and head of engineering @ Twitter.
James Wolf: James is a climate impact investor and VP of ARC Clean Energy developing carbon free power to replace coal at scale starting in Canada.
Erika Francks: Erika joins MCJ with experience in off-grid energy and management consulting. She’s now in the Design Impact Master’s program at Stanford.
Daniel Simon: A Chicago based inventor and investor, Daniel has knowledge of solar. He is hoping to learn from MCJ community about investing in climate start-ups.
Christian Hernandez Gallardo: Christian is a founding Partner of 2150. Having helped scale products and teams at Google and Facebook before becoming a VC, Christian is now 100% focused on sustainability via technology.
Josh Santos: Josh co-founded Noya, a carbon capture company. He is looking forward to being part of MCJ and interested in talking about Direct Air Capture with other members.
Bijan Sabet: Bijan is a co-founder of Spark Capital and he is now focusing solely on climate investing. He is excited to be part of the community.
David Lyons: A Boston-based lawyer working in climate, environmental, and energy regulation law, David is excited to be part of such a dynamic community.
Glenn Osaka: Glenn spent over 35 years in Silicon Valley working on B2B technologies. He is now focusing on climate and a Fellow at the Distinguisked Careers Institute at Stanford. Glenn is excited to learn from fellow members.
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.
The New York Times unpacks What’s Really Behind Corporate Promises on Climate Change? Many big businesses have not set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other companies commitments are weak.
Texas’ power grid disaster should be a warning sign. Preventing the next energy nightmare and curbing America's carbon emissions will require spending billions to remake the nation’s grids. Bloomberg outlines how Biden’s Climate Plan Hangs on Fragile Power Grid.
Interested in which companies have made net-zero commitments? MCJ member, Kai Gray, has got you covered. Check out this notion page for a comprehensive list!
Each week will highlight a few events. For even more events, members can check out the #events channel in the MCJ slack!
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!
MCJ Live on Clubhouse (Wednesday, March 3rd @ 9pm ET)
Offsets: friend or foe to getting to net zero emissions? A long form discussion on offsets, what role they play, issues they present, and the path forwards. Expect a group of esteemed guests with diverse opinions on this important topic. 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.
Meet-a-MCJer via Icebreaker (Friday, March 5th @ noon ET)
We’re hosting an Icebreaker for members of the MCJ community. Come join us for several rounds of casual 1:1 conversations with a fellow MCJ Member whom you have not met. Each round of conversation is 10 minutes and there are fun questions to help break the 🧊! RSVP here: MCJ Icebreaker
The Climate Tech Action Network (CTAN) Climate Tech Conference (Friday, March 24th @ 12:30pm - 9pm ET)
CTAN is hosting an afternoon of virtual panel discussions on topics such as solar, manufacturing, food & ag, and more! Registration is free and the first 40 people to register will receive an Uber Eats gift card for use during the conference.
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