Announcing the SOSV Climate Tech Summit’s first eight speakers
Who knew that the climate tech ecosystem in 2022 would face such surprising challenges? Just a year ago, investors happily doubled down on climate tech startups, deploying more than $40 billion according to TechCrunch.
Now we face inflation-driven economic turmoil, war in the Ukraine, and the related instability of carbon-based energy markets. If there’s a bright spot, as Climate Tech VC recently noted, it’s the “ample climate capital in the market to stay warm through a cold snap,” thanks to the 72 climate venture and growth funds totaling $37B announced in the last 18 months.
Good news or bad, there’s no doubt that 2022 is a new chapter for climate tech startups. The SOSV Climate Tech Summit team is building an outstanding, two-day virtual program Oct. 25–26 (register — it’s free) enlisting dozens of investors and founders to address how they see the ecosystem in this new world. Is this nuclear’s moment? (Carbon capture’s? Hydrogen’s? Alternative protein’s?) We will hear about those topics and much more. At last year’s summit, attended by more than 2000 people, Bill Gates declared that the climate startup ecosystem will produce “8 to 10 Teslas.” We believe him, and we’re eager to hear which categories and companies are capturing the momentum in this new world.
We’re delighted to announce our first eight speakers.
Joining us for fireside chats with expert moderators are US Department of Energy Director Jigar Shah, who runs the $40B Loan Program Office, MIT Professor Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, as well as two ‘climate unicorn’ CEOs: Climeworks’s Dr. Christoph Gebald, and Notco’s Matias Muchnick.
And joining us on panel discussions are Google X’s Sarah Hunter, who will join a discussion about how public policy shapes the startup ecosystem; World Fund’s Daria Saharova, who will join fellow first time climate fund general partners to discuss their outlook; Energy Impact Partner’s Shayle Kann, who will compare notes with other billion + climate fund investors; and Dandelion Energy’s Kathy Hannun, who will talk over geothermal with other geo-energy pioneers.
Below is more information about our speakers. Please register today!
Jigar Shah, Director of the $40 billion Loan Programs Office at the US Department of Energy, who wants to bring new clean technologies to bankability. Jigar has been an investor focused on decarbonization as co-founder and President at Generate Capital, a startup founder at SunEdison, a company that pioneered “pay as you save” solar financing, think tank CEO at Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change, and long-time energy expert at the popular podcast The Energy Gang.
Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang
Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, Co-founder of Form Energy (long-duration energy storage, raised $368.8M), Desktop Metal (metal 3D printing, IPO) and Sublime Systems (low-carbon cement, seed stage). We first heard about Dr. Chiang from his co-founders at both Form Energy and Sublime Systems who spoke at the Summit last year, and we’re delighted to have such a prolific academic, inventor and entrepreneur join us this year to talk about how scientists can transition from lab to startup.
Dr. Christoph Gebald
Dr. Christoph Gebald, Founder and CEO of Climeworks, the first direct air capture unicorn, which has raised $784.1 million from Partners Group, GIC, John Doerr, Carbon Removal Partners, Swiss Re and more. In 2021, Climeworks opened Orca, the world’s largest direct air capture and storage plant that permanently removes CO₂ from the air. Orca is based in Iceland and powered by 100% clean renewable geothermal energy.
Matías Muchnick, Founder & CEO of NotCo, one of the rare unicorns in the plant-based food space. NotCo is unique in its approach using a proprietary AI system to design and test food formulations from an extensive plant catalog. What started with mayonnaise now includes meat and milk, taking the world by storm. Starting at IndieBio, SOSV’s biology program, NotCo has then raised $370 million from investors including Tiger Global, Future Positive, Bezos Expeditions and more.
Sarah Hunter, Director of Global Public Policy at X (formerly Google X), Alphabet’s moonshot factory, where she helps engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs invent and launch new technologies to solve big problems in the world today. Sarah will provide insights on policy-making and how startups can engage successfully in the process. X has spun off companies in multiple industries, and is doubling down on its climate tech efforts.
Kathy Hannun, President & Co-founder of Dandelion Energy the largest home geothermal company in the United States is one of X’s spin-offs. Its system is able to replace your home’s existing air conditioning and heating equipment. Geothermal energy is a lesser known source compared to solar and wind, but shows great promise to cover an increasing share of our global needs. The company has raised $64.5 million from investors including New Enterprise Associates, GV, Collaborative Fund and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Daria Saharova, Founding Partner of World Fund, a 350 million euros climate tech fund, the largest from Europe. So far, the fund has invested in multiple sectors ranging from food tech companies such as Qoa (sustainable & dairy-free cocoa), Juicy Marbles (plant-based meat), to space manufacturing startup Space Forge.
Shayle Kann, Partner and Decarbonization Lead at Energy Impact Partners, a VC fund with $2.5 billion under management that invested in dozens of companies advancing the net zero carbon economy, including Form Energy and Boston Metal, who both spoke at the summit in 2021. Shayle leads a $350 million fund that invests in early-stage climate startups. He is also the co-host of the Catalyst podcast.