This is ZERO #8

Biden's climate plans. The October "Climate Change Investment Brief." Highlights from the "State of Climate Tech." Three climate CEO interviews. Reduce email by 80%.

Soon-to-be President Biden + Climate.

We the people in the US have spoken. And 5 million more of us elected Joe Biden as the next US President.

Cheers to science, facts, decency, compassion, global collaboration, real leadership, and the recognition that tackling climate change is a gigantic wealth creation opportunity. Oh yeah, and simultaneously a gift to our children’s children and a way to address social inequity (#NotJustAnEnvironmentalProblem).

Here’s a full list of what Biden plans to do.

As examples:

  • “Achieving a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050, including enforcement mechanisms

  • Using the Federal government procurement system – which spends $500 billion every year – to drive towards 100% clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles

  • Protecting biodiversity, slowing extinction rates, and helping leverage natural climate solutions by conserving 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030

  • Allocating $400B over 10 years for the largest-ever federal investment in clean energy research and innovation, focusing on ARPA-E areas of interest — such as grid-scale storage at one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries; small modular nuclear reactors at half the construction cost of today’s reactors; refrigeration and air conditioning using refrigerants with no global warming potential; zero net energy buildings at zero net cost; using renewables to produce carbon-free hydrogen at the same cost as that from shale gas; decarbonizing industrial heat needed to make steel, concrete, and chemicals and reimagining carbon-neutral construction materials; decarbonizing the food and agriculture sector; leveraging agriculture to remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the ground; and capturing carbon dioxide from power plant exhausts followed by sequestering it deep underground or using it make alternative products”

The State of Climate Tech.

PwC published a data-rich report on climate tech a few weeks back.

It includes the following:

  • Top climate tech investors by name (pages 38-40) — Accelerators, VC, corporate VC, and private equity)

  • Key statistics — For example, $60B was invested between 2013-2019 and 1,200 climate tech startups were identified

  • The most popular sectors — For example, mobility and transportation received 63% of all climate tech funding

  • Barriers to overcome (pages 42-47) — Technical, financial, policy, and people (of course, solving these problems represents new business opportunities, too)

It’s worth a read. Consider it a prescription from the doctor. Something hopeful to balance out the insomnia-inducing news about the exponential spread of COVID, the botched handover of power in our democracy, and historic climate-related natural disasters.

Our Climate Change Investment Brief for October is now live.

Each month, we summarize 25+ climate financings (seed, VC, SPAC, project), climate investor profiles, and climate finance headlines worth skimming. All in bullet format, because time is short.

Our October issue is here.

Here are our 5 top takeaways.

  1. Investors show that they are not all scared of hardware. Some actually like it.
    Sundensity ($2.5M for new solar panel coatings), LinearLabs ($6M for high efficiency micromobility motors), Pure Watercraft ($23M for all-electric outboard boat motors), and Proterra ($200M for EV busses).

  2. The built environment sees old and new models get some love. ecomedes ($1.5M
    for easier sustainable building materials selection), Redaptive ($157M for energy efficiency as a service), and Brightfarms ($100M for vertical farming indoors).

  3. Companies with consumer appeal and simple storytelling raise big dollars.
    Allbirds ($100M for sustainable shoes), DYPER ($20M for an eco-friendly diaper delivery service), and LiveKindly ($135M for plant-based foods).

  4. Trillions more are expected for renewable energy through 2050. Bloomberg NEF projects $11T to be invested in wind, solar, and batteries, with renewables accounting for 56% of global electricity in 2050. This is projected to help GHG emissions peak in 2027 and then fall 0.7% annually until 2050.

  5. SPACs continue to create big news. With $12B+ in merger value via SPACs this
    year in climate sectors (largely EV and AV), three new headlines emerged this
    month: Danimer Scientific (bioplastics) was acquired by SPAC Live Oak Acquisition Corp ($890M combined value), Advent Technologies (fuel cell technology) is to be acquired by SPAC AMCI Acquisition Corp. ($358M combined value), and Romeo Systems (battery maker for EVs) is to be acquired by SPAC RMG Acquisition Corp ($1.3B combined value).

Our Climate CEO Interviews.

Through Entrepreneurs for Impact, I lead an interview series with climate CEOs called THE TORCH (because we need more light in these times where it can feel a little dark).

Below are three of those recent innovators. Good humans. Exciting companies.

  1. #120 — Gregg Dixon, CEO of Voltus (demand response)

  2. #121 — Charlie Dimmler, CEO of Checkerspot (biomanufactured materials)

  3. #122 — Chinmay Malaviya and Charlie Depman, Cofounders of Ridepanda (“One-Stop E-Ride Shop”)

3 Readings on Business Leadership.

These 2 books + 1 speech are frequently recommended in my chats with climate CEOs. Perhaps they’d make great reads over the upcoming holiday.

  1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion — Robert Cialdini

  2. The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success — Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, Kaley Klemp

  3. Citizenship in a Republic (aka, The Man in the Arena) — Theodore Roosevelt

Hate Meetings?

To reduce internal emails by up to 80%, consider the “daily huddle” from the good folks at Scaling Up (shout out to Jim Jubelirer).

With one minute per person, organized in relevant teams (management, frontline employees, etc.), a meeting leader goes through these questions below each morning.

  1. What are you feeling like today?

  2. What are the daily metrics?

  3. What is one win?

  4. Where are you stuck?

Some pointers:

  • Choose one word or a short sentence for responses.

  • Start at an odd time (e.g., 8:43am) to help keep people on time.

  • Stand up for the meetings to remind everyone that they are supposed to be brief.

New to ZERO? Subscribe below.

Who is 1 friend who might enjoy ZERO?

Share ZERO

That’s all, folks.

Hope everyone enjoys the holidays. Wear those masks. Keep that distance. Consider outdoor gatherings with more clothing and warmer campfires. This s**t is not over yet.

But it is certainly exciting to see two potential vaccines with 90-95% effectiveness, even if most of us can’t receive them until later next year. (Insert long sigh of hope.)

Keep on fightin’ the good fight y’all.



P.S. If you’re curious, here’s where the name ZERO comes from.

P.S.S. At Entrepreneurs for Impact, we recently kicked off the Founding Member cohort for our Executive Mastermind for climate CEOs and impact investors. Collectively catalyzing over $900M of value in low carbon sectors, it’s a heck of a group. If you want to learn more, check us out here.

Dr. Chris Wedding
Entrepreneurs for Impact, Founder
Executive Masterminds for entrepreneurs and investors tackling climate change
Invite-only peer groups. Executive coaching. Investor data. Leadership development.
(919) 274-7988