Happy Earth Day from Dipalo Ventures

Dipalo Ventures
5 min readApr 25, 2024

Happy Spring and Earth Day/Week/Month from Dipalo Ventures!

We are attending Climate Week in San Francisco this week; if you are in the area and want to meet, please reach out. As we celebrate Earth Day, our good friend J.A Ginsburg takes us back 54 years to the first Earth Day and explores the idea of rewilding. And, the cicadas are returning to Chicago for their once-in-17-year cycle — it’s quite a different world and will be even more strange when they return.

At Dipalo Ventures, we are gearing up to invest more directly in climate change innovations that leverage hard tech, software, and AI. While we will always maintain a strong presence in Chicago and the Midwest, we are expanding our geography. We would love to hear from founders building world-class climate tech startups.

If you are an accredited investor interested in climate tech and VC allocations, please get in touch. Separately, we have set up a syndicate on Angel List to participate in Fund I follow-ons and other compelling deals where we have allocation. Our first deal is with a smart tankless water heating growth stage company showing tremendous revenue traction. We encourage you to join our syndicate to learn more and stay in touch as new deals come up.

Join us at the Dipalo Ventures X gener8tor Sustainability Climate Tech Happy hour next week on May 2nd (details below), and if you are at mHub (1623 W. Fulton) in Chicago, please stop and say hi at our new offices!

Best regards,
Rafiq & the Dipalo Ventures Team

Climate Tech Happy Hour May 2nd, 5–8 pm CT!

The Dipalo Ventures X gener8tor Sustainability Climate Tech Happy Hour is fast becoming a staple of the Chicago climate tech ecosystem. We look for startups representing a wide range of sectors and are in different funding stages. It’s an informal way to learn and meet others interested in climate tech. Please register for next week’s event at the offices of law firm Cooley on May 2nd from 5–8 pm.

Out and About!

San Francisco Climate Week:

Rafiq Ahmed and Oluseyi (Seyi) Fasoranti are in San Francisco for Climate Week SF. If you are in town and would like to meet up, please get in touch! It is a pleasure to meet old friends in the ecosystem (including some familiar Chicago faces) and new ones on this trip. Amongst startups we enjoyed chatting with are Indian EV maker Planet Electric and Berkley-based alt protein company Umaro Foods.

Climate tech funds are embracing hard tech/deep tech, raising ever larger funds, and there’s a greater appreciation of the full capital stack necessary for climate founders to scale and exit. The solution set for climate mitigation is constantly increasing, and Innovation and startup formation is on the rise.

WebSummit Rio:

We have been long-term supporters of WebSummit conferences! WebSummit Rio last week was an opportunity for Rafiq to check out the compelling climate tech and energy-related innovation as well as meet with partners in the region. Rio was amazing, and we will be back!

Metalware Corporation:

We’d like to highlight our Fund I LPs Ross Niemi and Rick Carey at The Metal Ware Corporation for hosting the Dipalo Ventures at their Two Rivers, WI manufacturing center a couple of weeks ago.

The Metal Ware Corporation is a 104-year-old consumer products company with significant manufacturing capabilities specializing in metal stamping and coating, rotational molding, plastic extrusion molding, and plastic injection molding. They also have an office in Shenzhen, China, and many strategic offshore contract manufacturing partners. Metal Ware is best known for being home to NESCO® (roasters, dehydrators, vacuum sealers, canners, and kitchen appliances), CHARD Products® (outdoor cooking and meat processing), and Magic Products® (fishing bait and bait care). Ross and Rick have been great partners and will play an active role in our upcoming Residency programs. Startups and scale-ups looking for contract manufacturing and manufacturing expertise will find them amazing mentors. Please reach out to Ross directly via email if you’d like to connect!

Team Updates:

Continuing our tradition of rock star MBA Interns, meet Mei He (U of Chicago Booth) and Rawnak Wasi (Northwestern Kellogg). As a bonus, you can hear Mei pitch her startup, Stranergy, at our Climate Tech event next week!

We also want to welcome our summer undergrad interns — Taqiul Ghani and Kylie McMillin, who will work with us over to gain experience in Venture Capital.

Mei He (VC Intern)
UC Booth, Ohio State University,
TerraPower, Stranergy (Founder/CEO)
Rawnak Wasi (VC Intern)
Northwestern University — Kellogg School of Management
Taqiul Ghani
Business, Lake Forest College
Kylie McMillin
Marketing & MBA,
West Virginia Wesleyan College

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