I started my journey with cleantech about 4 years ago while still in Foster School Of Business in University of Washington. After this MBA, I joint Element 8 that is a not-for-profit membership organization of private investors, with the sole focus on early-stage cleantech companies. It is a member organization of accredited angel investors. The primary focus is on early-stage clean technology companies whose innovations will increase the sustainability and health of our planet. Element8 has already invested $20 million in more than 50 companies all around North America. In 2016, E8 drove a record of more than $6.1M invested in 27 innovative cleantech companies - 11 new and 16 follow-ons. Nearly $5M was directly invested by members, the E8 Fund invested $550K, and over $600K was invested via syndication on angel platforms, reflecting the strength of cleantech opportunities and new ways to invest for impactful returns: https://www.e8angels.com But not we need to move faster with Decarbon8 fund.
My fellowship responsibilities include:
✓ Providing energy policy and solar industry expertise in the evaluation of energy deals.
✓ Collaborating with investors to screen applicants for alignment with investment priorities.
✓ Conducting due diligence on early-stage energy companies poised for prospective investors.
✓ Research high-quality cleantech start-ups and contact entrepreneurs leading promising young companies to encourage them to apply to Element8 for funding
✓ Assist in pre-screening entrepreneurs for the opportunity to present their companies to the group, ensuring that applicant companies fit the criteria for consideration and have submitted a complete application before referral to our Screening Committee
✓ Research specific topics relating to the potential success of those companies and communicate your findings to Deal Leads and others.
✓ Research topics might include market characteristics and size, competitors, intellectual property, value proposition with potential customers, product costs, and pricing, and exit potential.
Decarbon8-US gives everyone a way to provide investment to the cleantech enterprises that are already beginning to transform our economy. We just need to go faster – much faster, and there is no time to lose. We know climate change poses a tremendous risk to our way of life and that of our children, with 50% of Sustainable Development Goals impacted by threats to nature and its communities (IPBES Plenary 2019). We know that 1.5C is going to be hard to hit. Yet we also know that rapid change is possible – and that citizens of the world are activated. Sixty-six percent in Washington State, for example, say they want to do more to address climate change (Yale), which we see in the actions of policymakers, employees, and recent commitments from Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, Blackrock, and others. So, what can we do? Everything. In lock-step with policy, advocacy, and research, everyone needs to do their part to drive the decarbonization of our economy as fast as possible. This will be a multi-decade endeavor that needs not only your investment but also active, informed consumers and advocates. Your tax-deductible contribution to Decarbon8-US supports investment in innovative cleantech companies – and is just the start. How Decarbon8-US Works In sum, the Fund accepts philanthropic donations and grants and then makes equity and debt investments in early-stage companies aligned with decarbonization priorities. Deals are sourced through thematic calls for proposals in areas such as electrifying transportation, green buildings, and agriculture, and for 2020 we will focus on high potential enterprises across all decarbonization pathways. Returns to the Fund are reinvested, though contributions over $5,000 may have returns shared with a donor-advised fund or foundation. Other accredited investors and funds may co-invest in deals as well, increasing our impact. Investments are announced at semi-annual investment presentations and Celebrations. For those new to philanthropic impact investing, please contact us for our legal brief from Adler & Colvin.
Now is the time, amidst great need and change, to deepen our support for the cleantech entrepreneurs and innovations that are beginning to transform our world. The pandemic gives us a window into the systemic threats we may face, but we also see the shift in lifestyles and emissions that is possible. Now is the time to positively reboot our thinking and economy. The Decarbon8-US Fund allows anyone to help the enterprises that will usher in the transformation we need. The Decarbon8-US Fund Makes equity and debt investments in early-stage companies with market-ready solutions. It is philanthropic and open to everyone, accepting donations and grants of any size. Will focus on high potential decarbonization startups in EV adoption, green buildings, agriculture, maritime, carbon capture, and more. Helps accredited investors co-invest to boost impact. Reinvests returns to amplify progress; larger contributions may share returns with a donor-advised fund or foundation. Leverages a diverse coalition and is led by cleantech angel network E8. Veteran investors and subject matter experts from the Investment Committee; the Fund is hosted by Realize Impact, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Investment Goals and Thesis The goal for our investments is to accelerate the growth and scale of solutions that directly align with the sectors and industries needed to decarbonize our economy and successfully reach the clean energy goals required to mitigate climate change. While we invest in companies across the US and Canada, we take our inspiration from the goals and pathways for the Northwest. In order to do so, our investment thesis is to invest in early-stage companies with products and services on the market, who have revenue and find value in investment, and accompanying visibility and community support, from Decarbon8-US, E8 angels and our cleantech coalition. Contingent upon funds available, we expect Fund investments in the $50,000-$150,000 range, with additional funds available from co-investing angels. Proof points and exemplars from E8’s portfolio of investments include ESS, Level Ten Energy, Omnidian, e-Zn, Green Canopy, Beta Hatch and SparkMeter
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Making and monitoring investments and returns Upon selection, Realize Impact will administer investments from the Fund, tracking with E8 the progress of investee companies. All returns will be reinvested in the Fund for reinvestment, minus a 2% expense to support ongoing Fund and Realize Impact operations, along with any share recovered to other charitable funds. Contributors to the Fund will have access to regular investment updates, as well as ongoing learning activities related to past or current investment.