May 30, 2024

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Few sectors have boomed in the past few years like climate tech has. But despite the burgeoning urgency driving interest and investments, the ongoing market downturn is threatening to dim the prospects of many bright startups.

But are climate tech VCs as gloomy as the rest?

Three investors active in the space joined me on stage at TC Sessions: Climate 2022 this week in Berkeley to share why they’re in it for the long haul, the problems they’re looking to tackle, and how they find the startups poised to make an impact.

After the clean tech bust a decade ago, and given the current downturn, there are concerns that climate tech may be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Christian Garcia, a partner at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, said there might be some casualties, but overall, that won’t be the case. Climate tech, unlike clean tech, he feels, is here to stay.

“Everybody is walking into this with eyes wide open, that this is the change that has to happen in our economy, and therefore, our investments into this space have to exist in order to be a big part of that future economy.” Pae Wu, a general partner at SOSV and CTO of IndieBio

“There’s a little bit of a difference, which I agree with —  the opportunity is bigger, right? We rebranded it because it’s decarbonizing everything. I think that exists, and that opportunity exists regardless of what the Nasdaq is doing.” Garcia said.

Pae Wu, a general partner at SOSV and CTO of IndieBio, agreed: “This is probably one of the greatest opportunities that we have in front of us right now, and I think our LPs largely understand this, too.”

Garcia and Wu were joined by Kiersten Stead, managing partner at DCVC Bio. While all these firms have a broad portfolio of investments, they share a similar approach to the vetting process. That’s partly because many of their investments are focused on deep tech, the challenging and time-consuming technologies that have the potential to make the biggest impact on the climate.

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