This Week in MCJ (3/6/21)

Wikipedia for addressing climate change?

Hi all,

Another busy week in MCJ-land.

For starters, we finally announced our earlier investment in Charm Industrial, which all started when co-founder Peter Reinhardt came on the show!

We also committed to investing in our 16th(!) climate tech startup since we launched the fund October 1. Six of those investments are public here, but there are still a bunch we can’t talk about yet. We are so excited about the caliber of the startups we are seeing, the access we are getting, and our ability to be helpful post-investment, and are planning to ramp up our investing efforts in the quarters to come. If you are an accredited investor and want to learn more about being an LP in the fund, let us know.

On the community front, we have been making headway on better defining our MCJ membership value prop, and roadmap for growing into it more fully over time. It is a work in progress, but centers around 1) learning and 2) making connections, as we have heard loud and clear from you that those are areas you want more of from us. We dream of a content/events calendar that is stuffed to the gills every week, and that members can choose from unconference-style (a buffet of learning and networking opportunities). Given our limited resources and the tremendous horsepower within the community, not to mention the complexity of the climate challenge, it seems the best way to pull that off would be empower more members to be MCJ creators vs just consumers.

We are still early in our exploration, but I wanted to keep you posted on how we are making out and what is on our minds.

Stay tuned! And as always, feel free to get in touch with any thoughts or ideas. Have a great week, everyone!


Share My Climate Journey

🎧 Episodes

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

Episode 146: Sarah Saltzer, Managing Director of the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage

The Stanford Center for Carbon Storage focuses on applied and fundamental research to address critical questions around carbon storage in geological formations. The team also works on techno-economic analysis, public policy research, and regulatory assessments of carbon storage projects are the world.

As Managing Director of the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage, Sarah is involved in guiding research activities, teachings, business development, grant writing, and general operations of the center.

Sarah walks me through her work in carbon capture and storage, why it matters, how widely deployed it is, barriers holding it back, and changes that would unlock faster progress. We also talk about her long career at Chevron, her thoughts on the oil and gas industry’s past, present, and future, and what their role should be in the climate fight.

Great one for anyone who wants to learn more about the important topic of CCS!

🗃Startup Series: From the Archives

Startup Series: From the Archives, is a way for us to share previously member-only content. In an effort to make important content more widely available, the audio for this episode is now available for everyone.

Startup Series: Charm Industrial with Co-Founder, Peter Reinhardt

Charm Industrial is a San Francisco-based startup scaling bio-oil production for three markets: carbon sequestration, hydrogen fuel, and steel production. Using a process known as “fast pyrolysis,” the company is converting cellulose (e.g. wood, sawdust, crop residue) into bio-oil, which can be used to bury carbon underground (negative emissions), to convert into hydrogen, and as a cleaner ingredient in the production of steel. Stripe announced this year that it became Charm Industrial’s first negative emissions customer. Co-founder Peter Reinhardt walks me through a company overview and an in-depth explanation of bio-oil. He also talks about how a tech entrepreneur like him (or anyone else that is motivated by climate change) can find a way to make a dent.

🎓Alumni News

💸Climate Tech Funding

📚Startup Resources

  • This week, the Stripe Climate team announced applications for their Spring 2021 carbon removal purchases are now available. Apply by March 21st. More information about the applications here!

  • The 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2 helps support and invest in young entrepreneurs and emerging business leaders who seek to make the world a better place through projects that accelerate smart climate policies that are good for our economy and our environment. Apply for $20K Grant to Advance US Clean Energy Policy here! Applications are open from February 15th, 2021 through May 16th, 2021.

  • NextView Ventures is launching the next iteration of their virtual accelerator focused on health and sustainability. They’re seeking to invest in early-stage startups that are leveraging digital technologies to improve the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. Applications are open now until the end of the day on Tuesday, March 9. More information on how to apply 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, as well as in the MCJ Member Directory.

  • Russell Sprole: Russell is the CFO of Full Harvest, B2B produce marketplace; experience in solar and energy storage; angel investor in Climatetech solutions. Can’t wait to learn from MCJ!

  • Aaron Newman: A software lead at Autogrid working on DER management. Aaron has the goal of starting a software venture to accelerate decarbonization.

  • Leo Chandler: Leo works on the investments team @Nesta. He is focused on Seed/Series A investments in Climate Tech; Health, EdTech & the Future of Work. He is looking to develop his climate investment strategy.

  • Na’im Merchant: Na'im is interested in innovative ways to shape markets and deploy carbon removal technology. Looking to connect with experts and entrepreneurs to be thought partners on this.

  • Saul Muskin: Saul is an investor at MKB, a clean energy and transportation VC/growth equity firm based in Montreal.

  • Laurie McGinley: Founded Via Lucent to connect ClimateTech founders to investors to scale their startups. In her own words, Great storytelling is a key ingredient in getting funded, growing your idea, and finding the right partners. I can show you how to tell your story so it can be heard by many audiences.

  • Eric Wilburn: Eric is the Carbon Project Manager for Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, passionate about carbon justice and geeks out on carbon markets.

  • Brendan Shaw: Brendan is a Process Engineer at GHD Engineering in Buffalo, NY (Go Bills) who has found a huge interest in partaking in the clean energy industry.

  • Jack Fritzinger: A Denver native launching On Deck’s Climate Tech Fellowship! We bring together deep experts in business and climate tech to start/grow/invest in companies together.

  • Robert Murphy: Robert has led strategy and BD at Aclima for the last four years, and is a board member for Berkeley Earth. His journey has included Chevron, Enbridge, World Bank, and Cleantech Group, and he joined the MCJ community to help decide where to support next; building, funding, or something in between.

  • Alex de Warren: Alex is a real estate investor at Blackstone. Interested in connecting with people working on technologies and innovations focused on real estate decarbonization.

  • Kristian Branæs: Kristian has a background in investing, most recently sustainability-focused VC. He's looking to connect with other investors and start-ups who want advice on fundraising.

  • Joshua Schachter: Joshua founded about a year ago and is a startup angel investor. He gets excited about deep technology and hard problems.

  • Allen Lieberman: Allen’s background focuses on cybersecurity challenges and enterprise SaaS. He is excited to be part of MCJ and meet more people.

  • Kin-Seng Wong: Kin-Seng is a battery cell engineer at an early-stage battery materials startup. He is looking forward to being part of MCJ.

  • Mary Pustejovsky: Mary is a product manager at Salesforce. She is looking forward to meeting others in the community.

  • Doug Bernauer: Doug is the CEO at Radiant Nuclear. He is interested in making connections and hiring talented people to develop portable nuclear tech.

  • Ross Madden: Ross leads the ClimateTech venture investment strategy of a UK family office. He is looking to connect with LPs and GPs in the net-zero space.

  • Shaun Abrahamson: Shaun is the managing partner at Urban.US, a company funding startups that are re-imagining cities. He is eager to learn and help others on their climate journey.

  • Jay Shafer: Jay is an atmospheric scientist and entrepreneur with a background in weather prediction and climate change. He is excited to share knowledge and connect with members tackling similar problems.

  • Zlato Fagundes: Zlato is an Account Executive at Google in large customer ad sales. He is looking to focus on climate and meet more MCJers.

  • Sean Harkins: Sean is an engineer focused on making planetary earth observation data more accessible for the scientific community. He wants to connect with others in the climate modeling and change mitigation sectors.

  • Maroun Najjar: Maroun is a product design leader and exploring a transition into climate tech. He is looking forward to contributing to the community.

  • Tommy Polzin: Tommy focuses on scaling nature-based solutions to tackle the climate crisis. He is interested in connecting with anyone on natural capital and ecological solutions.

  • Owen Woolcock: Owen is studying how assets around us will be repriced by climate change at The Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is excited to learn more from MCJ.

  • Chris Kantrowitz: Chris is the co-founder of Mootral, a company working to reduce methane emissions from cows. He is looking forward to being part of the community.

  • Jim Russell: Jim is a digital marketing and brand strategist who launched OUR&D when he became increasingly worried about climate change. He is eager to connect with other members who are interested in making the transition to climate.

💼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

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

📌Community Board

Below are some news and initiatives from members of the MCJ Community. MCJers mentioned can be DMed in the MCJ Slack.

  • 💪New Gigs Slack Channel: Laura Fitton created a new channel for those looking for freelance, project-based, part-time, or contract work within the climate space. Check out #gigs-freelancing for more information!

  • 📚MCJ Book Club: Nitin Iyer is organizing a new book club and is looking to assemble a group of interested participants. He invites MCJers to join #study-group, where he’s polling members on the first book for the club to read.

  • 👨🏽‍🏫Mentors Wanted: MCJ has been experimenting with “MCJ Office Hours” over the past month and has been really pleased by the opportunity to engage with members 1:1 around advice and support for facilitating climate career transitions. To support the needs of more members, Thai would like to open up the office hours to additional mentors, who feel they could be of help providing advice. If you’re interested in serving as a mentor, please DM Thai Nguyen on the MCJ Slack.

🎟Climate Events

Each week will highlight a few events. For even more events, members can check out the #events channel in the MCJ slack!


  • MCJ Live on Clubhouse (Wednesday, March 10th @ 9 pm ET)

    Nuclear and Climate Change! Join Jason and special guest co-host, Isabelle Boemeke, as they have a discussion on nuclear power, its pros/cons, common misconceptions, barriers holding it back, and where it fits into our clean energy future. Guests include Daniel Kammen Professor of Energy at UC Berkeley, Jessica Lovering Senior Visiting Fellow focusing on energy systems at the University of Michigan, and Rachel Slaybaugh of UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering. 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.

  • Greentown Labs’ Climatetech Intern Fair (Thursday, March 11th @ 5 pm ET)

    Calling all students! Join @GreentownLabs on March 11 for the annual Climatetech Intern Fair focused on connecting interns with their network of groundbreaking Climatetech startups. Register here:

  • Meet-a-MCJer via Icebreaker (Friday, March 12th @ noon ET)

    Due to some tech glitches this week, we are hosting another icebreaker next Friday! 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 @ 12:30 pm - 9 pm 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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