I am happy to speak or judge on a variety of topics in climate innovation. I work to bring perspectives from the intersection of scale-focused investing and impactful academia.
Particularly, I can discuss these topics:
- Emerging climate startups
- Particular sub-sectors include green chemistry, carbon markets, plastic-alternatives, water contamination, and localized manufacturing. I can participate on panels from both early stage investor and academic perspectives.
- What climate action does blockchain enable? What exists, what’s emerging, what’s possible? #ReFi
- I’ve seen the space emerge from ~12 companies last year to ~500 startups in March of 2022. Web3’s coordination ability, community ownership, and tokenized contracts allow for innovation that can powerfully tackle climate problems.
- Greenwashing & individual action complications
- I spent two years examining how consumer-action focused movements can avoid inadvertently harming climate
- The transformation of our world — frontiers of materials science
- how the existing materials in our world will transform to reach carbon neutrality and improve performance.
- I can share examples of the startups we’ve analyzed — or mind-bending material science facts like the similarities between chocolate and steel, the transition to composites & new materials, and notes on the chemistry of porcelain, wood, and metals.
- Exciting career paths in climate startups. How can young people — technical and non-technical — become involved in climate innovation?
Frontier & long-term topics:
- Discussing theories of existential risk and emerging economic paradigms for the next stage of capitalism
- I can share my studies into the variety of approaches — one portends it’s a meta problem solving crisis. One alternative paradigm claims that economics should mimic patterns in nature. A variety of others claim that humanity is self-terminating and must address common issues.
- Discussing planetary boundaries & the ecological view humanity might need to implement to thrive at the scale we’ve reached
- key point: there are many areas to address beyond carbon emissions. We should innovate and all focus on these. Chemistry/material science is huge.
- I could discuss these through the lens of the emerging regenerative economics movement (in blockchain and in policy) that shows how our economy might adjust to follow patterns we find in nature
- Working for AI companies in London and China
- What we learned running a research report into NZ’s energy grid
- I led a Harvard researcher while he studied this through 2020. We nearly white-labelled the best US energy efficiency start-up, but decided not to based on how the last 15 years of attempts have failed. However, there is a lot of opportunity for a model facilitating retrofits.
- Opportunities in climate tech for students
- Whatever your interests, they need talent. I’ll share a variety of job boards and processes to get up to speed
- Materials science: the similarities between chocolate and steel, the transition to composites & new materials, the chemistry of porcelain, wood, and metals
I’m a New Zealander who has
- worked across various stages of VC with three climate funds (Aera VC, Helena, and SOUNDWaves)
- I rose from working as a junior scout to support as an analyst, consulting on climate impact, and eventually building investment processes and sitting on the investment committee of a new climate fund.
- interned at China’s fourth-largest AI company and in operations/strategy across six New Zealand, North American, and European startups.
- interfaced with extraordinary climate academics and scientists
- after studying with Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, I can share what I’ve learned around those topics (incl. on water science), emerging research (i.e., goods news related to air quality & profitability), and fascinating fields (i.e., material science, ocean alkalinity, and manufacturing)
- helped projects across a variety of other climate areas
- including hiring a New Zealand Green Party minister, crafting a fund’s greenwashing assessment, and leading a Harvard students' research into decarbonizing residential homes.
- examined theories of existential risk and new (bipartisan) economic systems
- I led seven Duke researchers to study regenerative economics, spoke on the topics, and shifted my climate VC focus to blockchain startups working on climate.
- built relationships across the climate tech ecosystem
- from meeting ~400 extraordinary climate founders to supporting a variety of accelerators and investors.