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Calling all climate tech entrepreneurs

2 Nov 2021 By Natasha Jones

The world’s eyes are on Glasgow as leaders from across the globe meet for COP26. Widely viewed as a critical moment in our planet’s future, there is huge pressure on politicians to agree a way forward, as we attempt to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

Yet it’s not just politicians who need to find solutions. Even with internationally agreed targets in place, every country will need to find a way to meet them, and new technology will be vital.

In venture capital, Climate Tech is very broadly defined, in recognition of the complexity of climate change and the myriad ways it can be tackled. It incorporates everything from agriculture to transport, and infrastructure to green finance, and much more.

Given the urgent need to fund and scale new technology solutions, Octopus Ventures is hosting a series of Climate Tech office hours, providing an opportunity for founders in this space to meet the Octopus team, ask questions, and get useful feedback on pitching and business strategy.

The sessions are open to anyone building something in the carbon reduction space, but there are three verticals that excite us the most. These have been chosen as we believe they have the potential to truly move the needle if given the chance to reach scale. They are:

  • Carbon credits and markets – Carbon credits will play a key role in financing climate projects, with demand for voluntary offsets rising rapidly. In 2019 alone, transaction volumes increased 6% to top 104 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) traded – a milestone, passing the 100 MtCO2e mark for the first time. We believe we’re only at the beginning of an inflection point for voluntary offset markets, the market is predicted to increase by 10x-15x by 2030, and up to 100x by 2050.
  • Alternative fuels – The past decade has seen a revolution unfold, equivalent to Henry Ford’s pioneering development of the production line. Electric vehicles are widespread, and the market is only set to grow, with some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers shifting entirely to electric power. But we think the alternative fuels space is still nascent. From developments in battery technology, to innovation in biofuels, ammonia and hydrogen, there is incredible potential to reduce emissions – and open up new frontiers in green transport.
  • Carbon removal – Direct removal of CO2 from the Earth’s atmosphere is critical to achieving global Net Zero emissions by 2050. Pioneers are working on solutions that span both high – and low-tech; from nature-based carbon sinks to carbon-removing concrete – and everything in between.

We are also increasingly conscious of the role of hardware and software enabled ‘hardtech’ to reduce emissions. The development of these technologies often involve long R&D periods before they can reach true commercial scale. As an experienced investor in R&D heavy businesses, we understand this better than most, with an ability to provide truly patient capital, in addition to specialised support from our Talent team.

How to apply for the Climate Tech Office hours?

Our remaining office hours are being held on the 9th and 16th November.

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