CleanTechies Podcast

CleanTechies Podcast

Welcome to the CleanTechies Podcast where we interview ClimateTech Founders and VCs to share their advice and journeys with other Founders and VCs with the goal of helping others succeed. ----- Support the show more directly via our Substack where we also publish writing on the episodes we record. ----- To get involved in the CleanTech revolution, suggest topics/guests, or discuss in more detail any of these topics, join our Slack Channel | ----- Interested in Advertising: ----- Silas is a ClimateTech and ESG headhunter. He grew up in a very anti-climate-change part of the country in rural Wisconsin. When he got out on his own he realized the incredible benefits of climate technologies in addition to the realities of Climate Change. He then launched CleanTechies in 2021 to help raise awareness of the various benefits of climate technology. Somil is a product manager at the Schmidt Futures Foundation. Born on Earth Day, he somehow got it into his head that he wanted to be a “ClimateTech VC” when he was 14. Since then, he has spent time running his own impact newsletter, investing at an early-stage VC firm, and founded an AgTech company called Agcess. He joined the CleanTechies podcast in 2023 as co-host to double down on its mission of spreading ClimateTech awareness in the world.


February 22, 2024 51 mins

In this episode, I chat with Ben Eidelson, Co-founder & GP of Stepchange, an early stage venture fund that invests in product-led companies that will make a “step change”, pun intended, I’m guessing?, impact on climate. 

When editing the episode, Alex, our executive producer, told us he could already tell one of our best episodes yet. I very much agree. This turned out to be the VC meets product meets content special I was hopin...

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Today we speak with Virginia Klausmeier, President & CEO of Sylvatex, a company aiming to commercialize technology that was originally developed by her father. The technology is a waterless method to produce Cathode Active Materials (the chemicals that go into the production of various types of batteries).

We cover a lot of things. The primary topics being Onshoring Battery Production, Getting to Bankability, and How ...

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In this episode, Somil and Silas chat with Leise Sanderson, founder and CEO of Pathways. Pathways is an AI platform that simplifies environmental impact analysis for the materials and manufacturing supply chain.

I’m a built environment junkie, so this was…really fun. Materials are the main cost driver of construction which means they will be especially dif...

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Silas speaks with Ryan Jeffery, Sr. Managing Director of the Sustainability Accelerators at Gener8tor, a collection of Accelerators that serve the rest of the country outside of SF, NYC, and Boston, where the majority of VC dollars go.

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Ryan started as a founder. Later, he became a VC and eventually ended up in Gener8tor running the sustainabili...

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In this episode, Silas and Somil chat with Robin Lane, CEO and founder of Transect, a product that aids and expedites site selection for infrastructure projects.

For Silas and I, this was an exciting mix of infrastructure meeting technology. Robin has been doing this for a while, so she had a lot to tell us about her experiences with developers, rolling Transect out to market, how she grew as a founder alongside her compa...

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In this ep, we chat with Peter Sun, founding team at Climactic, an early stage fund investing in ClimateTech, specifically focused on efficiency in software which has a lot to do with, you guessed it, AI.

We dive into the nuances of how AI is impacting climate tech, where the opportunities for software are in decarbonization, and Peter’s journey joining the founding team. As someone who personally is wary of putting AI in every conv...

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Today, we are joined by Adam Goff, the SVP of Strategy at 8 Rivers, a technology portfolio developer. Think of it like a venture studio but specifically for technology (often chemistry) instead of companies.

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He talks us through how that looks and how they commercialize the products, and we also spend a lot of time discussing the role and importance of pol...

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There are a plethora of national and local grants available to help companies solving the climate problem, but landing one is a herculean effort. Writing them takes months and can result in absolutely nothing. Half of the battle is picking the right grant to apply for. Well, Helena Merk and her team at Streamline Climate are solving that.

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Their ...

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Climate Tech founders needs lots of different financing options and styles of support – ClimateDoor is an example of a niche’d styles of venture support that I hope we see more of in ClimateTech VC.

ClimateDoor is a style of venture builder called “Growth-as-a-Service”, functioning similarly to a late stage accelerator.

We dive into the nuances of their model, the Canadian VC ecosystem, what its like founding a co...

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Our guest today is Tobias Egle, an investor at M Ventures, the Corporate Venture arm of Merck.

Tobias joins us today to speak about deep tech investing, specifically around materials innovation and the decarbonization of electronics manufacturing. A topic that has been in the news a lot recently is PFAS, and given his work, he was able to speak about the issues with PFAS as well as how to get rid of it.

He also ...

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The chemical industry is ~$4.7t globally. The reason is that nearly everything we use is produced using secondary products that are created from catalyzing raw materials in some way.

This is currently done using combustion (heat) powered reactors, and our guest today is commercializing a new way to do that. A way that is 30x more efficient than cutting-edge combustion reactors.

Co-founder & CEO of Syzygy Plasm...

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In this episode, we chat with Russell Sprole, founder and managing partner of Virta Ventures. Virta Ventures invests at the early stages focusing on “equity-light” companies.

We dive into the nuances of marketplace models, the potential of AI in climate tech, his journey with Full Harvest, and more. 

This is a great episode for software enthusiasts interested in its place in the climate tech ecosystem. 

As always, thanks so much for l...

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Today, Ken Munson, CEO of Rhythmos, shares his story of becoming an entrepreneur, including the wins and losses. He also discusses what Rhythmos is doing in grid-edge technology. He explains what GridEdge Tech is, the importance of experienced entrepreneurs staying in the arena, and the intricacies of selling to utilities. Munson also delves into the future of grid technology and sustainable energy solutions.

Enjoy the Ep...

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On this episode, we interview Jay Kapoor, General Partner at VSC Ventures. VSC Ventures is a Seed-stage VC fund focusing on climate adaptation and industrial automation. Their central thesis is that although starting a company is becoming easier, its becoming harder and harder to get noticed. Their solution? Storytelling. Confused? Listen to this episode – you won’t be disappointed.

Jay needs no introduction – he has a podcast himse...

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In this enlightening episode, Silas and Somil are speaking all about Water and Wastewater Infrastructure with Adam Tank, the CCO and Co-Founder of Transcend Infrastructure.

Adam shares his journey into the water industry and the creation of Transcend, a software platform that automates the design process for water infrastructure projects. He discusses the challenges and opportunities in the industry, including the need fo...

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In this enlightening episode, Silas and Somil delve into an engaging conversation with a visionary in the realm of carbon markets, Sudhu Arumugam, the CEO and Co-Founder of CYNK.

CYNK is an early-stage company based out of Nairobi and Singapore, and they are building a block-chained tied marketplace specifically for the African voluntary carbon markets. 

Many debate the need for another carbon marketplace, but one thing is ...

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🌎 Today Somil & Silas had the opportunity to do something slightly different today since we did an episode with Ryan Grant Little, the Creator and Host of Another Climate Tech Podcast. He has conversations that are more topical with his guests who are, in many cases, people he already knows. Ryan has a really fascinating background as a Founder, Investor, and Consultant. He found his way to climate via some of the impact work ...

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🌎 On this episode, Somil interviews Chris Richardson, Executive Director of Uptake Alliance and Partner at ADL Ventures where he leads their energy and transportation practices. Uptake Alliance is the newest rockstar member of the NYS entrepreneurial ecosystem that connects organizations with startups solving specific problems they face to tackle “piloting to death.”

We talk about the relationship between pilots and commercializati...

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🌎 Today, Silas had the opportunity to interview Dan Katz, the Co-Founder, and CEO of Orbital Sidekick, where they are building, and launching Hyperspectral Satellites to help catch methane leaks in pipelines, and, hopefully, one day, identify geographies that have critical minerals underneath the surface.

He started in the aerospace industry, building satellites for other organizations. In the wake of the frothy space exp...

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🌎 Today, we are talking to Jamil Wyne of Climate Tech Bootcamp & Riffle Ventures.

In this episode, you will find:

  • Why direct access to customers and revenue generation are crucial for success in the climate tech space
  • How Jamil shaped Climate Tech Bootcamp with individuals with deep subject matter expertise and a builder's mindset
  • A walkthrough of his leading report “The Climate Tech Opportunity” published by the Oxford C...
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