What I’m doing next

Marc Tarpenning
Oct 3, 2019 · 3 min read

As Greta Thunberg has so eloquently stated, the next fifty years will be one of the most challenging times in our history. We must provision food, water, goods and services for roughly an additional two billion people, while improving the wellbeing of the nearly 8 billion people already here. We will need to remake virtually our entire economy to be sustainable, dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and provide sufficient stewardship of the other plants and animals on our planet to ensure their long term survival. Oh, and the climate change we have already set into motion will force adaptation on a global scale.

It’s a tall order, and this transition will play out at every level. From local shops to multinational giants, from city councils to the United Nations.

When Martin Eberhard and I started Tesla Motors, we sought to help accelerate a more sustainable future. I am a strong supporter of non-profit organizations and in the power of advocacy on government policy, but I believe the private sector will need to lead us through this transition.

Consider all the goods and services you experience every day that support your lifestyle. Nearly every one of them comes from the private sector, with an environmental footprint caused either directly or indirectly by those products. At Tesla, we created compelling products with dramatically lower environmental costs, and a company that could scale to have large influence. Tesla’s success acts as a forcing function on other companies to change their products, expanding our original impact. We need a lot more of that.

The transition to sustainability is remaking entire industries and provides massive opportunities to build the next generation of billion-dollar companies. Some of the very oldest and largest industries are the ones most ripe for change.

That is why I am excited to become part of the Spero Ventures team. Since its inception, little more than a year ago, Spero has invested in companies that build the kind of future we all want to live in.

My investment focus will be companies whose technology and products help drive the transition to a sustainable future — a future not of compromise, but of abundance. Many of our existing systems, from agriculture to transportation, are optimized for technology, conditions and tastes that become less relevant by the day.

I truly believe the most successful companies of the future will be those that produce better products with the least environmental and resource impact. Those companies will provide outsized returns for shareholders and society.

If you are a founder that shares our vision, we are actively looking to invest in early stage technology companies in any of our key themes; well being (people and planet), human connection, and work and purpose. We like companies that have some demonstrated product/market fit and a differentiated technology. Contact us at info@spero.vc

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