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The Power of Intellectual Partnerships

By Priscilla Tyler, May 4, 2023

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One of my favorite things about VC is getting to work with so many different perspectives and seeing how any one discussion often prompts exponential understanding. The intellectual partnerships that form within our walls and beyond become deeply mutually beneficial, whether with founders, co-investors, or the many experts a part of our network.

As an investor in climate technology, I’ve also recently enjoyed partnering with decarbonization expert Peter Nocchiero. We collaborated on the True Climate Action Guide (more on that below!). 

Peter’s climate advisory firm, Alternate Future, helps climate tech founders grow their businesses and helps execs in any sector implement climate programs. When we first met, I could tell we’d gel. We spent the whole time talking about our lives outside of work. And then our collaboration began. 

On the heels of Climate Week and Earth Day in April, our team asked if I’d share what’s been front and center for me as we look at what’s next in climate technologies and possibilities around how we can help to offset some of the findings shared in the IPCC’s Climate ReportBut it’s not all bad news in that report… 

Progress has been made in climate tech thanks to innovation tied to home electrification, natural disaster prevention, emissions tracking, and a lot more. At True, we’ve had the pleasure of working with so many phenomenal founders building for this space and informing a sustainable future (Emitwise, Carbo Culture, WattCarbon, Gridware, Kettle, Exnaton, and others). 

Aside from entrepreneurs in climate tech doing their important work, all startup founders creating across any industry can put in the work toward climate repair too. That’s why Peter and I made the move to create a guide that can give founders of early stage startups an onramp to decarbonizing their businesses. 

The premise of the guide is that the frameworks around decarbonizing companies are largely written in science speak; they’re riddled with jargon in a language that doesn’t resonate with business operators. This is a big problem but we can help to fix it. 

To assist in translating traditional, unapproachable climate guidelines into tactical actions any startup team can take, we designed the guide in a way that allows founders to select their sector and time/resource commitment, so they know exactly where to start and what they can do to decarbonize today – and the impact when their companies are much bigger will become exponential.

If startup teams do dedicate time to decarbonization in the ways outlined in the guide, they’ll come to see that it can actually save them operating expenses too. There’s a misperception that decarbonization is a cost center or a luxury that can be pursued later, rather than an opportunity for improving balance sheets now. We believe the latter and go into more detail on that front in the guide. 

Peter and I are constantly in conversation about how we can help founders adopt decarb’ strategies as one of the driving ways to turn back the numbers and inspire a stronger future for the planet. And we’ll all be excited to see more ways AI plays into the climate technologies being created today.

Check out our Climate Action Guide and share it with any founder or business operator you know. Doing something to decarbonize, even if minimal, at the earliest stages of company growth will have outsized return for our future.

Priscilla Tyler is a vice president and climate tech investor at True. She’s the driving force of our Follow-On Fundraising Support Program and sustainability initiatives. Meet the whole team.