This Week in MCJ (8/8/20)
Another leg of the stool.
The big news this week is that I kicked off the process to raise a climate-focused fund.
I’m not “becoming a VC”, MCJ will *definitely* remain my core focus. I’m really proud of the portfolio I’ve been building as a climate-focused angel investor, and by using AngelList’s new rolling fund structure, it will enable us to write more checks, write bigger checks, and funnel more money into climate-focused startups along the way, and is a great complement to our new Climate Tech Startup Series!
I’ll keep you all posted, as more details become available. It is very early and still lots of details to flesh out, but I am determined to do this in a way that not only doesn’t detract from what we are building with the MCJ community, but enhances it! If you are an accredited investor and may want to participate, feel free to let us know.
More info soon.
Here’s this week’s episode, in case you missed it.
350.org is an international climate change campaign that was founded by a group of university friends, along with author, Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public. May has been active in the climate movement since her days at Middlebury College, and that includes co-founding and leading the "Step It Up 2007” campaign, which brought together communities from 1,400 places for a national day of climate action. It also includes getting handcuffed and arrested in front of the White House while protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline. Through it all, May has maintained her commitment to fighting for what's right.
We have a great discussion in this episode about May's roots in activism and in fighting to combat global warming, where that came from and why, and how her thinking on these topics has evolved over the past decade.
📼Climate Tech Startup Series (CTSS)
MCJ has launched a new series for members, where we feature founders of early-stage companies, sharing their startup’s business and mission. Members can check out our second episode below and find an updated list here.
David Energy is a NYC-based startup that has developed a distributed energy management platform, enabling commercial buildings and industrial manufacturing plants to monitor energy consumption, reduce waste and optimize for efficiency and cost. It does this by using real-time data and controls to buy energy from wholesale markets (i.e. renewable and conventional power plants) more intelligently and cheaply on behalf of its retails customers. Co-Founder & CEO, James McGinniss, walks me through his company's business, mission and how it is addressing climate change.
I enjoyed learning more about David Energy, and I hope you do, as well!
🏗 What You’re Building:
Projects and ventures being pursued by fellow MCJers.
📑“Project Chamath” Retrospective
The MCJers who tirelessly and impressively worked on developing a climate proposal, prompted by a request from Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya, took time to debrief and reflect on the process. In their retrospective, they collectively outline what operating mechanisms and tools worked well and what aspects presented challenges. The community-driven effort that went into producing the proposal is one of many examples of the MCJ community at its best; and we hope that it will serve as an inspiring playbook for future ambitious endeavors pursued by members!
📝Earthrise School Profile: Abid Saifee
MCJer Lyndall Schreiner, Founder of Earthrise.school, a source for climate-focused professional coaching and career stories, recently published an interview of MCJer Abid Saifee. As detailed in the interview, Abid shares how a desire for impact led him from a career at top technology companies to working for a startup whose mission is to expand commercial solar.
🌍🙋🏽♀️MCJ Regional Community Leaders Wanted
We’ve been thrilled to see the outpouring of interest from those wanting to serve as regional community leaders. We’ve assembled a growing roster of folks representing a variety of places and timezones across the globe, in which we hope to foster local communities. While the hope is that these groups can be self-organized, we’re excited about the collaborative opportunities across the broader community. Regional communities whose Slack channels we’d like to highlight include #africa, #australia, #europe, and the #dcmetroarea.
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.
Portfolio Manager, Operations Coach, Investor in Residence at Elemental Excelerator in Honolulu, HI and San Francisco / Bay Area, CA (careers page)
Computer Vision Engineer at Noria Water Technologies in Los Angeles, CA (LinkedIn posting)
Highlights of news this week related to climate change.
With Hurricane Isaias barreling north along the Eastern seaboard, The Washington Post is reporting on how warming seas, resulting from climate change, is providing fertile waters for oceanic storms.
Kula Bio, whose CEO and Co-Founder Bill Brady was a guest on the pod, raised $5.7M in equity in a $10.2M funding round. The startup develops nitrogen-fixing microbes to produce organic fertilizer.
The “Great American Outdoors Act,” a historic bill committing $9.5B to the National Park Service, was signed into law this week by President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reports. A boon to conservation efforts, the bill will also help preserve the economies of midwestern states that depend on the National Parks.
For the first time in a decade, BP is cutting its shareholder dividend and outlined plans to pivot away from oil and gas and into low-carbon energy. This comes on the heels of BP reporting one of its worst quarters ever, in which it saw a $17.7B loss due to the fall in fossil fuel demand during the pandemic (source).
Below are recently published articles and content that we find interesting and/or that were shared by fellow MCJers.
Suffering from a legacy of environmental health hazards that have disproportionately affected their communities, people of color, Time reports, are increasingly a central voice among activist groups, pushing for change and reform.
NYC Mayor and former presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, penned this Op-Ed in which he proposes employing laid-off oil and gas workers into jobs related to addressing the climate crisis.
MCJ Environmental Justice Panel
MCJers Amy Wang & Gareth Gransaull, interested in exploring the critically important topic of environmental justice, organized a panel of experts to discuss the subject. You can view the recording here and reach out to Amy & Gareth about opportunities to learn more and take part in organizations addressing this ongoing social issue.
Meet-a-MCJer via Icebreaker (Friday, August 14th at noon EST)
Back by popular demand, we’re hosting our third 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 ~8min and there’s fun questions to help break the 🧊! RSVP by dropping us a note.
Also, let us know if you’re interested in (co)MC-ing!
MCJ Europe First Regional Meeting (Thursday, August 13th at 2pm CEST)
MCJer Alexis Jorge Caporale, who recently volunteered to be a community leader for the Europe region, is hosting the group’s first meeting. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP here. For those interested in checking it out, there’s a #europe channel in the MCJ Slack.
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