Calling all energy and resource innovators

Almost two years ago, we published “Software’s Next Meal” to engage in a conversation about startup-driven innovation in energy and resource markets. We described an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, large companies, cities, and other participants using digital technologies and experiences to simultaneously create customer value and enable resource efficiency. Because this innovation is optimizing large existing industries and creating new market categories, we believe there is significant opportunity for early-stage capital.

On that front, we are happy to announce a new partnership with our friends at City Light Capital focused on investing in impact-driven entrepreneurs, working to solve our most pressing environmental challenges. Value propositions in this space are quite diverse and range across energy, transport, food & agriculture, water, and urban value chains.

New York City, home of SuperCollider and City Light Capital. Photo Credit: @isardasorensen, 9/12/17

Ohmconnect, a City Light portfolio company, leverages software and algorithms to turn home energy customers into energy efficiency power plants paid to save energy. Machine learning and new datasets are helping asset owners and cities plan for the risks of extreme weather and flooding. Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies are being issued to facilitate peer-to-peer clean energy trading. The waste industry is under pressure from a billion-dollar upstart leveraging network effects to provide zero waste options to small and large business alike. Marketplaces, apps, computer vision, and other technologies are changing how we farm or move more efficiently from place to place. All while hard technology breakthroughs continue to emerge in areas like batteries, EVs, and carbon recycling.

Within this variety of opportunity, we’re looking for companies with the following characteristics:

  • Proven Teams: Led by serial entrepreneurs and domain experts
  • Equal Weighting of Returns and Impact: Businesses that tightly combine strong financial returns and measurable positive impact
  • Impact Tied to Core Product: Impact and revenue generated through implementation of core product
  • Technology Enabled: Including digital and hard technology
  • Across Resource Markets: Innovations that address key challenges in our energy, transport, agriculture, water, and urban systems
  • Large Opportunities: Transformative solutions that unlock multi-billion dollar markets
  • Early-Stage: U.S.-based companies at the Seed or Series A stage

We are excited to be working with City Light, in part because of their leadership in defining an impact investing model that equally weighs financial returns and measurable positive impact. We believe that our partnership offers entrepreneurs a unique combination of expertise in operations, company building, sustainability, and business development. We also believe that we are at a seminal moment in time, where these problems and opportunities are more important than they have ever been.

If you’re a founder or you know one who might be a fit, please get in touch. If you’re an executive or a serial entrepreneur thinking about starting your next company in this area, get in touch. If you’re an investor in the space that we don’t already know, get in touch. We look forward to the conversation and more importantly, playing a meaningful role in creating impactful, valuable companies!

Sameer, Nick, and Ned