Why Energy Efficiency Matters
Transportation requires energy — massive amounts of it. Village Capital’s new Energy US 2016 program, supported by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, will bring together the nation’s best startups solving energy efficiency challenges across the goods value chain.
Your latest salad may have been from the farmer’s market down the street, but the average meal in the United States travels over 1,500 miles from farms to tables across the country, in trucks, trains, and airplanes.
We live in a world where food, water and consumer products have never been easier to obtain — sometimes with the click of a button. As we think about the complex systems that deliver us the food we eat, the water we drink, and the clothes we wear, we shouldn’t forget the massive transportation infrastructure behind it, and the energy it consumes.
It may be obvious, but it is worth repeating: transportation requires energy. Massive amounts of it. In 2016, roughly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States emanate from fuel combustion in transportation systems. Not only does transportation represent the second-largest cost for the average American household and the largest cost for households that earn $50,000 and less; it’s also an exorbitant cost embedded in the price of food, water, and other goods — like energy itself. And the demand for these transportation-dependent resources is expected to rise by 40 percent by 2030, presenting a unique challenge to make and maintain low-carbon lifestyles.
Because of this, the energy from transportation represents a major hurdle to reducing climate change, increasing the purchasing power of families, and improving livelihoods worldwide.
We believe that entrepreneurship can begin to address this challenge. We have launched the Village Capital Energy: US 2016 program, supported by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. We are recruiting early-stage ventures solving energy inefficiencies across our goods value chain, with a specific focus on the transportation of energy, water, food, and other goods. Our program will offer value to early-stage ventures in the following ways:
1. Learning — Our award-winning curriculum focuses on scaling your business and raising investment capital efficiently. 96% of past participants would recommend the program to other entrepreneurs.
2. Network — Participating ventures will work alongside a network of elite, like-minded peers, engage with leading investors and stakeholders, and receive coaching and mentor support from industry experts, including a curated Advisory Board of committed investors and sector experts.
3. Funding — The top two peer-selected companies will receive an offer of at least $75,000 pre-committed investment. In addition to those selected for funding, past participants not in the top two have gone on to raise over $142M in funding.
We’re looking for ventures that are working to mitigate carbon emissions and other air pollutants through cleaner energy, giving special emphasis to energy used in transportation. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Directly Decreasing Energy Use
- Off-grid energy technologies that reduce the need to haul fuel
- Solutions in the energy sharing economy that reduce carbon emissions
- Solutions that facilitate local food production and reduce the need for long-haul food transport
Improving Energy Efficiency
- Energy efficiency improvements in farming equipment
- Light-weight solutions that reduce the fuel consumption for transporting heavy fuel, water, and food
- Solutions that enable a less energy-intensive cold chain
- Advanced software and hardware freight technologies
- Energy efficiency improvements in the trucking industry
- Energy storage solutions that improve the efficiency of transportation
- Reductions in energy waste in our supply chains
We understand that in many instances of energy efficiency improvements, there may be rebound effects that lead to a greater amount of energy use. We therefore welcome innovations in mitigating such rebound effects.
We’re looking forward to connecting with early-stage ventures solving energy efficiency challenges across the transportation and logistics value chain, whether the venture is decreasing fossil fuel energy use or completely eliminating the need for it.