“The Best Climate Tech Event in the Southern Hemisphere”
“It’s like everyone I need to know is in the room!”
“Climate Tech Christmas”
These were just some of the things we heard exclaimed at the Australian Climate Tech Festival & Awards 2023. With a record number of over 750 ticket holders, it’s clear that the industry and enthusiasm have grown over the past 12 months. This year's event surpassed all expectations, creating an electrifying atmosphere in the Sydney Town Hall that brought together climate tech founders, investors, mentors, and supporters.
The Festival brought together a line-up of 65 industry leaders. From the keynotes from Sophie Purdom and Craig Reucassel, to engaging and enlightening panel discussions, pitch coaching sessions, an expo featuring 38 companies, along with more than 70 companies presenting their pitches, the place was abuzz with climate tech activity and conversation.
Here were some of the key takeaways —
The Role of AI in Climate Tech
Could it be 2023 without mentioning AI? Across the festival, AI was recognized as a crucial tool for monitoring environmental changes, managing smart homes, and simulating climate patterns. The integration of AI in climate tech offers innovative solutions to climate change challenges. Mark Pesce also highlighted how we can use AI to help analyse, automate or do certain requests autonomously, so we can work more efficiently on what really matters.
More Climate Solution Pioneers
The event echoed a call for increased participation in climate solutions, urging more individuals, businesses, and startups to join the collective effort in creating sustainable solutions. There’s never been a better time to get involved in climate tech!
Storytelling for Change
Speakers across the festival highlighted the transformative power of storytelling within the climate tech sector. It’s not just about communicating information. It’s about creating a narrative for a positive future and inspiring action through emotional connection. Through storytelling, we can simplify complex concepts into relatable narratives to make environmental issues accessible to all.
Many More Climate Jobs
According to Georgia Lourandos (Boundless), there are expected to be 100,000 jobs in climate in Australia by 2027. This includes entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers - but it also includes accountants, lawyers, designers and administrators. There’s an opportunity to transition into a climate-related job for everyone, so get clear, upskill and continue to develop your network.
Global Climate Tech Hubs
Sophie Purdom revealed that while 80% of climate tech companies are based in the US and Europe, Australia is fast emerging as a climate tech hub. It’s clear that regions with strong policy in place to support climate action are leading the way. As Byron Fay (Climate 200) highlighted, the private sector can get the job done, “you just need to give it the right regulatory environment in which to do that work”.
A Full Financial Stack in the Current Economic System
Our investment panel highlighted that traditional financial metrics are essential for building resilient businesses, aligning economic success with environmental responsibility, and that venture capital is just one part of the toolkit for addressing climate change. Diversified investment approaches are needed to support a wide range of climate-focused initiatives.
Of course, we need to work within existing economic systems, adapting strategies to effect meaningful change on a global scale. However, as Sophie Purdom told us, "There's plenty of money out there; we just need to match the money to the founder."
2023 Climate Tech Award Winners
The festival concluded with a celebration of the 2023 Climate Tech Award Winners, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the climate tech landscape:
🌱 Impact Award: Great Wrap - presented by Helen Warner, ACS (Australian Computer Society)
🌱 Newcomer Award: Rainstick - presented by Jack Harber, x15ventures
🌱 Woman in Climate Tech: Allys Todd - presented by Kylie Little, KPMG High Growth Ventures
🌱 Global Growth Award: Avarni - presented by Fiona Messent, Qantas
🌱 Eureka Breakthrough Award: Conry Tech - presented by Albert Bielinko, Telstra Ventures
🌱 Mentor Award: Josh Geelan - presented by Katerina Kimmorley, Boundless
Thank you for joining us for such a successful celebration of innovation, collaboration, and commitment to a sustainable future! Here's looking forward to another year of climate tech advancement.
You can relive the day through our video capsule and image gallery.