This Week in MCJ (6/19/21)
Whether due to fear or opportunity, either way, we work harder!
This week, we announced our investment in AMP Robotics. This was a big one for us, for a few reasons. One, it is just an awesome company, with a great team, in an important category. Two, we first met Matanya when he came on the pod, which is a pretty good data point about the strategic value of the podcast. And three, AMP is a post-B company, which is outside of the scope of the typical seed/A investments we’ve typically been making with the fund. While we aren’t going to make a habit of investing in too many companies later stage companies like this, at least out of our core vehicle, it is a good proof point that we can identify and choose well. It should also help set the table nicely for the opportunity fund that we will likely be launching in the coming months (shhh!).
While the fund is going swimmingly and the pod is in a great groove, what keeps me up at night at the moment is that we don’t have a dedicated internal MCJ team member who is driving the member/community initiatives. All of us are pitching in and making it happen, but it is no one’s core job, and we need to fix that. We will likely be socializing a job description in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, if you know anyone you think would be great (including yourself), let us know! We would love to hear from you.
Also, a quick shout-out to the MCJ NYC crew! It sounded like their meetup had a great turnout, and was a terrific time. These in-person MCJ meetups were just starting to get cranking pre-COVID, and I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to see them making a return! If only we had a core team member focused on getting them going in every city around the world :)
And lastly, with the heat waves, the droughts, the wild fires, etc, it’s easy to get discouraged. What I would say to you (and what I need to remind myself often!) is the importance of not getting discouraged and just staying the course. MCJ is an action-oriented community, and we are all here to pick each other up and keep each other’s eyes on the prize. I am a long-term optimist, for sure, but the way we will get there is relentless pursuit, and to the extent that fear can play a role in motivating us to move faster, so be it! As long as we don’t let it paralyze us or slow us down.
That’s all for this week, let’s keep the climate momentum going!
Jason (& Team MCJ)
This week's episode is an incredible discussion with Donnel Baird, Founder & CEO of BlocPower. BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup that is making American cities greener, smarter, and healthier. BlocPower analyzes, finances, and constructs renewable energy and energy-efficient projects on a building by building, block by block basis. BlocPower focuses on buildings in low-income communities and underserved neighborhoods throughout New York City.
Climate News this week! If you haven’t heard the Southwest and Western part of the US and Mexico are scorching with temperatures rising to 115 in Arizona and 105 in the Bay Area. Water levels in places like Lake Mead are frighteningly low and a ‘Megadrought’ is threatening a devasting wildfire season. Secretary Halaand Wants to Restore Environmental Safeguards for Three National Monuments. The Secretary has advised President Biden to reinstate boundaries at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, and also in a marine area off New England. All were reduced by former President Donald J. Trump. G7 Nations Take Aggressive Climate Action but Hold Back on Coal. President Biden pushed climate action after four years in which Donald Trump rejected cooperation with allies. But leaders failed to set an expiration date for burning coal. Belgium’s failure to meet climate targets is a violation of human rights, a Brussels court has ruled, in the latest legal victory against public authorities that have broken promises to tackle the climate emergency.
MCJers in NYC met up in person this week! We love to see MCJers creating a community and meeting up to talk about climate.
Jobs, fellowships, and career opportunities shared by members of the MCJ community. More opportunities can be found in #climatejobs in the MCJ Slack.
👋 Welcome New MCJers!
You can learn more about new members on #introductions, where you can welcome them to the community. Don’t forget to check out the Member Directory, you can learn more about fellow members and find people to connect with.
Jeremy Keller: Jeremy is developing projects for Industrial Electrification for Rondo Energy. He is excited to learn from the community on decarbonization efforts more widely.
Jack Bartlett: Jack is a ’21 Economics @ Bath, UK. Founder @ acceler8, Bath’s startup accelerator. VC Scout @ Ada Ventures. Passionate about climate action.
Ken Wall: Ken is from Melio.group, working on good tools at purchase for people to make more climate-friendly decisions. Looking to MCJ for feedback.
Janet Matta: Janet is a career development expert who joined Terra.do as the Head of Climate Careers, with the goal of providing great job opportunities to talented seekers, and great talent to climate orgs.
Kunal Modi: After 10 years at Facebook & Airbnb, Kunal left to start a company focused on helping companies become more sustainable. Excited to join MCJ!
Stefan Schweers: Stefan is the developer of “Step”, a desktop air purifier that conducts DACC. Excited to grow with the MCJ community.
Alex Shah: Alex is the CEO of Energy311.com, a billing service that helps microgrids profit by selling clean energy to tenants at local utility rates.
Cedric Tiu: Cedric works at Credit Suisse where we focus on providing project financing and investment capital to support emerging renewable companies. Would like to connect with energy entrepreneurs, project developers, and other investors.
Kate Maguire: Currently the Senior Product Designer for an Irish educational tech product called VSware, Kate’s current focus is pivoting into climate and green tech and helping others through great design.
Cyrina Thomas: Cyrina is currently working in Purchasing at P&G. She founded Precious Plastic Cincy last year which led her to MCJ. She hopes to learn more about climate through this community.
Martha Berry: Martha was the founder and CEO of a global fashion accessory company. She looks forward to learning more about how she can make the world a better place for us all to live.
Katie Michel: Katie is connecting and facilitating collaboration between climate-conscious communities across the globe. Her ultimate goal is to break down barriers for people looking to work on climate solutions.
Vinko Vrsalovic: Vinko recently truly understood the state of climate emergency of our planet and is looking to connect with similarly minded people in order to help beyond mere habit change and knowledge distribution.
News and initiatives from members of our community. MCJers mentioned can be DMed in Slack.
🌳In the DC metro area? Check out the channel #dcmetroarea as MCJers from the district plan a meet up!
🙋🏻♂️Help with Testing Discord. Thai is testing new community tools on Discord to see if it can support the needs of members. If you’re interested in helping with this or hosting a climate group on the MCJ Discord, feel free to DM him on Slack or better yet on Discord: https://discord.gg/H9pVnXHEDk .
Check out the MCJ Calendar! We encourage members to host community events such as expert Q&As, book clubs, topic discussions, location-based meet-ups, and more! If you want to add your event to the calendar, email us the details at email@example.com. For third-party events, please use the #events channel in the MCJ slack!
Women in Climate Monthly Meet up (Wednesday, June 23rd @ 12 pm ET)
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.
New Member Orientation (Thursday, June 24th @ 12pm ET)
MCJ Seattle Meetup (Thursday, June 24th @5:30pm PT)
MCJ Happy Hour hosted on Discord (Friday, June 25th @5pm ET)
Thai is organizing a casual MCJ “happy hour” for members to convene, meet others in the community, and talk about whatever is on their mind. We’ll be testing out Discord and its new “Stages” audio room feature — sign up for the event here!
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