After nearly 20 years working with early stage technology companies in Australia and the US, I had a wakeup call about the need to take climate action. My wife Karen and I started a blog and monthly newsletter to share the stories I was seeing, we called it ‘Climate Salad’.
We shared the stories of companies and founders who were creating technology to tackle climate change and who were having a positive impact on the planet. After the first month we had dozens of people reaching out to tell us about incredible and inspiring initiatives and we decided to start a community of twelve climate tech companies.
From the start, we set two, simple, big goals for 2030 —
- Bring together 1,000 Australian climate tech companies. This was about scale and spreading risk. One company won’t solve all our climate problems, we need a whole industry.
- Have 10 global successes in terms of impact, people helped or valuation.
We honestly had no idea where it would go or how we’d go about it. We tried things, grew a bit, and tried some more things.
Two years later and we have over 400 companies, 100 mentors, 50 investors and thousands of supporters. We have a team of eight people working really, really hard, and dozens of partners collaborating to help bring this new industry to scale.
I’ve never felt so simultaneously proud and dissatisfied.
And, it’s not enough. We’re not there. Not by a long shot. We have to get that huge growth again next year, and the year after, and the year after that.
Every day we see more stories of record low ice levels, record heat, dangerous floods and worse. Climate change is happening and we’re 20 years too late in our action.
But I do have hope. In the teams of people working hard on climate tech solutions in our community in Australia and all over the world. In researchers, scientists, policy makers, and in not-for-profit workers. We also see a small but powerful group of leaders at all levels in media and corporations changing these massively rich and powerful companies from within.
We can do it. We must do it.
I’d like to thank all the team at Climate Salad who work very hard with very few resources and way too much to do. Olivia, Jacki, Audrey, Stefan, Michael, Christian, Alison and advisors Robin and Katherine. A big shoutout to Charlotte who recently left us to no doubt bring her immense energy to more good causes - we wouldn’t be here without you.
Thank you also to all of the people and companies that have generously backed and supported our big ambitions. AWS Startups, KPMG High Growth Ventures, LaunchVic, NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change, Investment NSW, Queensland Entrepreneur Office, SA Entrepreneur Office, Main Sequence, Tenacious Ventures, Wollemi, Pollination, Virescent, Investible, Microsoft, Google, Boundless, W23, CEFC, x15 Ventures.
Most importantly I want to thank all those wonderful people working in climate tech companies investing their lives in building solutions for all of us. One day we’ll look back and see you as the heroes I know you are. Check them out in our Climate Tech Company Directory.
Two years of building real momentum. Let’s keep going.