Venture For ClimateTech Announces the Second Cohort of Entrepreneurs Addressing Climate Change

Early-Stage Support Fast Tracks Ability for Companies to Raise Capital, Commercialize Products, and Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Twelve companies have been selected for the second cohort of Venture For ClimateTech. Launched in December 2020, Venture For ClimateTech is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and offers each company accepted into in the program up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding throughout a seven-month virtual accelerator. The three-phase program provides support and mentorship for customer discovery, investor pitching, business validation, team development, and charting a pathway to scale.

Venture For ClimateTech is a global non-profit venture studio + accelerator that identifies the most promising climate tech innovators from around the world and provides hands-on support and early funding to help companies reach their first customers, pilot runs, and further investment. In its first year, Cohort 1 raised $4 million in grant funding and $6 million in startup capital, secured two technology licenses with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and one paid pilot, and (on average) tripled company team sizes, from 1-3 people per team pre-program to 6-9 people post-program.

This year, the program received 220 applications from 35 countries for Cohort 2—the most diverse applicant pool yet—with 54 percent of applicant founders identified as diverse (defined as African American, Asian, Latinx, Middle Eastern, Native American, female, non-binary, immigrants, refugees, or persons living with disabilities), compared to 40 percent of applicants for Cohort 1.

Cohort 2 entrepreneurs were selected based on a series of criteria by a panel of technical experts, investors, board members, and program staff. The panel evaluated each company’s potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, its impact on underserved communities, market size, scalability, competitiveness, team strengths, and growth potential.

The companies selected for Cohort 2 of Venture For ClimateTech are:

  • Community Energy Labs—Develops a commercial building control operating system and software as service platform that monitors, learns, and adjusts building energy use to maximize building energy efficiency (Portland, Ore.).

  • Emerald Energy—Trains the next generation of climate tech workers using its online educational platform catered to companies, unions, and job training providers for the existing and future energy workers (New York, N.Y.)

  • Gencores—Develops ultra-light composite metamaterials to drastically reduce the weight and energy efficiency of vehicles (Somerville, Mass.). 

  • GreenPortfolio—Delivers a transparent assessment about the climate impact of a person’s finances and investments, flagging where money supports fossil fuels while highlighting investments in climate positive products (New York, N.Y.)

  • Holocene Climate Corporation—Designs and builds direct air capture plants to permanently remove and sequester Carbon Dioxide from the air (Palo Alto, Calif.).

  • InfraClear—Develops the infrastructure industry's first standardized database of how thousands of projects were structured and how they performed to extract never-been-seen insights on the terms and risks of the projects through proprietary machine learning and natural language processing algorithms (Washington, D.C.)

  • Khepra—Refines biomass into low cost basic chemicals with its electrified ultrasonic reactor, resulting in petrochemical alternatives for fuels, fuel additives, personal care, agriculture, and sustainable plastics (San Francisco, Calif.)

  • Mākhers Studio—Designs and builds modular, affordable, energy-efficient housing with recycled shipping containers as the base structure of its modular housing (Atlanta, Ga.).

  • Prisere LLC—Provides risk mapping, training, and modeling tools to translate climate and disaster costs to insurance companies and build resilience for residential and commercial buildings (Cranston, R.I.).

  • Kazadi—Provides refrigeration solutions to replace conventional commercial refrigerators with its novel technology using environmental heat as a primary power source for cooling (Batavia, Ill.).

  • RockFix—Stores carbon dioxide gas permanently into mining waste minerals through mineralization (Palo Alto, Calif.).
  • SXD (Shelly Xu Design)—Uses a software application to turn design sketches and leftover or wasted fabrics from textiles into artful and versatile clothing pieces with zero waste (New York, N.Y.).

“Our goal is two-fold: to be intentional with our community outreach to ensure we attract diverse, high-quality applicants, and second, to identify the most innovative ideas for addressing climate needs,” said Jacqueline Ros Amable, Managing Director of Venture For ClimateTech. “It’s clear there’s demand for the early support our program offers, and Cohort 2 is a promising mix of climate solutions and founders that have a high likelihood of significant impact.”

Katie MacDonald, NYSERDA’s Director of Technology to Market, said, “We are excited to build on the past success of the Venture for ClimateTech program by welcoming this next cohort of climate innovators into our ecosystem in New York. Accelerating transformative technologies to market is critical to meet our climate and clean energy goals, and we look forward to working with NextCorps and SecondMuse to support these entrepreneurs.”

Cohort 2 Statistics:

  • Climate Technology: Covers multiple greenhouse gas emissions-reducing trends, including: Carbon Conversion, Circular Economy, Cooling/Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Cooling (HVAC), Fintech, Hydrogen, Materials, Transportation, Water, and Wind
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Represents diverse future leadership with 10 out of 12 teams identifying as diverse and nine identifying as having a female or non-binary founder. Five teams have founders who identify as racially diverse, and six have founders who identify with other diversity categories (immigrants, refugees, and people living with disabilities). 

About Venture For ClimateTech

Venture For ClimateTech is a non-profit global venture studio + accelerator program. It sources the most promising climate tech innovators from around the world and offers them hands-on support until they are ready for first customers, pilot runs, and investment. Venture For ClimateTech is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and administered by NextCorps and SecondMuse.

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