I am pleased to officially announce what I have been blabbering on twitter incessantly about for the last month: MCJ Collective, an early stage climate tech fund, using AngelList’s new rolling fund structure.
We will invest $100-250k checks in 3 - 5 of the best climate tech startups we see every quarter (and we see A LOT!). We will be generalists within climate and will typically co-invest alongside strong syndicates (we will not typically be leading these rounds). Our bias is towards strong teams, clear and compelling stories around impact and profit, and participation from domain experts we know and trust.
When I started focusing full-time on climate change in December 2018, I didn’t have a great understanding of the issue, the best ways to address it, or how my skills could help. I just jumped in, and started learning and talking to lots of people. Those discussions led to a monthly email newsletter, when the people I was talking to wanted to be kept informed on my progress. When I heard from those who similarly were new to climate and eager to learn, the podcast was born. The podcast led to a slack community, when my inbox was filling up with awesome listeners who were longing for a peer group. Every step was organic and happened naturally vs. some calculated master plan.
Well, this fund came about very much the same way. I started writing small angel checks in climate tech startups a year or so ago, as another tool to learn and get closer to the action. I’ve invested in a bunch of them, including Pachama, Scoot Science, Leap, Project Wren, Opus 12, Carbon Engineering, C16 Biosciences, Chewie Labs, Living Carbon, Charm Industrial, SINAI, Wright Electric, and Last Energy, to name a few.
As MCJ (the My Climate Journey podcast, CTSS series, newsletter, and community) has continued to grow, so has the quantity of the dealflow, the caliber of the companies we’ve been seeing, our ability to get access, and our ability to be helpful post-investment. It has started feeling more and more like we are cutting into bone not having a larger piggy bank from which to invest from, especially since innovation has such an important role to play in addressing the climate crisis. Originally, I was concerned when I first started heading down this path that startups weren’t an important part of the solution. While they are only one part (and *many* parts matter), I have become convinced that startups do have an important role to play, which is a big relief to me because it is where my heart is!
When the rolling fund structure came along, it was a great fit for several reasons:
1) There is a new fund every quarter, so you can iterate on it like a product as you get learnings along the way.
2) It is a 506(c), meaning general solicitation is OK! This wasn’t that important to me in terms of actually raising the money. But considering I’ve been learning in public and very transparent about all aspects of my climate journey so far, it would have felt disingenuous and stifling to not be able to talk publicly about this part of the journey.
3) Unlike a traditional fund, it does not feel like I am “switching careers” and “becoming a VC.” With the rolling structure, it feels much more like a natural extension of the things I have already been doing.
So, as of 10/1, our first quarterly MCJ Collective fund goes live. And 10/1 also happens to be the day we are making our first investment from the fund, which we’re excited to talk about soon :).
We are thrilled about this next phase of the journey. It has been a crazy couple of years, and we have no doubt the next couple will be even crazier. If you have a startup you think might be a fit for us, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are an accredited investor and interested to learn more about investing in our fund as an LP, feel free to get in touch here.
Let’s do this!