35 Climate Tech Startups to Watch
An increasingly fertile area is innovation to tackle the climate crisis — both for the potential societal impacts and the financial returns. Overall climate tech (along with all venture) funding was down a lot in the first half of the year, but VC firms have been putting more smaller investments into early-stage climate companies. The Inflation Reduction Act adds close to $400 billion to further the cause.
For 11 years, early-stage founders — with seed or series A funding — have applied to pitch at our annual climate tech event, VERGE. Among the themes that stand out in 2023: While most activity is still in energy and carbon, there is increasing diversity of ideas in food startups (seaweed, insects) and building businesses (biosolar roofs, materials that sequester carbon).
This year, of 120 companies that applied, we identified seven of the most promising startups in each of five categories: energy, carbon, transport, food and buildings. The Climate Tech 35 were selected based on strength in six criteria: the solution, business model, customer need, customer traction, team and pitch presentation. All companies are incorporated, have a product ready, and employ at least one person full-time.
Watch the founder video pitches below (scroll to see all 35). Community voting for the People's Choice Winner has closed and the winner will be announced mid-September 2023. The "people's choice" winner could be covered on GreenBiz.com and can pitch live — along with 25 GreenBiz-selected finalists — at VERGE in San Jose, California in October. The top prize is $20,000; two runner-ups each get $10,000. — GreenBiz staff
Small-business software for calculating offsets.
AI-powered search engine that invests ad revenue in biodiversity protection projects.
THE CLIMATE CHOICE
A climate data dashboard for enterprises and their suppliers.
Enables companies to build and manage a sustainability plan like their financial plan.
A fungi that removes carbon from soil.
Commercializing a method to turn captured carbon dioxide into a compound used in long-lasting industrial materials.
Concrete that absorbs and captures carbon emissions.
Aquaculture tech to grow ocean seaweed, which is refined for soil supplements and animal feed.
Insect-based pet food and treats.
Remotely managed vertical farms that reduce water use.
Jackfruit-based vegan meat alternative.
Manufactures pet health products out of wild-caught Newfoundland fish and seafood.
Sparkling sugar-free drink made from naturally occurring organic fruit water.
Minus by Compound Foods
Beanless, fermented coffee that reduces emissions, water and land use.
Fire-resistant battery technology for government and commercial sectors.
Maximizes battery energy storage capabilities with backend smart algorithms and electronics.
Replaces coal-fired hearths with eco-pellet-fueled biomass cookers, reducing CO2 emissions and toxins.
Sesame Solar Inc
Remotely manages off-grid, renewable power.
New Sun Road
Cloud-based software that monitors and controls fleets of renewable energy microgrids.
Uses drones to cut wind turbine installation costs and material use.
Photovoltaic modules that generate power from outdoor and indoor light.
Retrofits lamp posts into electric vehicle charging platforms.
Software to manage charging and avoid overloading existing utilities like transformers.
An operating system that manages and monetizes EV charging infrastructure.
Curbside charging posts for electric vehicles.
A payment app for easy EV charging.
A battery-integrated fast EV charger.
A zero-emission engine that decarbonizes the heavy-duty vehicle, shipping and off-grid power industries.
Decarbonizes buildings with emissions-free geothermal energy.
A database of green building incentives to help achieve sustainability goals.
Lasso Loop Recycling
"Smart" recycling bin that senses, sorts and cleans recylable waste.
A carbon-negative concrete company.
A data and software dashboard to help commercial property owners convert rooftops to biosolar roofs.
B2B platform mitigates water risk and waste in buildings.
Removes cement from concrete manufacturing, reducing carbon emissions by more than 85 percent.