Nicole Kleid Small - Investment Director at Rampersand

It may not be popular to admit this, but I’m not your traditional ‘greenie’. But even through my designer sunglasses, I can see the imperative to make changes to the way we use our planet.

From the repeated, yet unprecedented floods in Southern Queensland and the Northern Rivers, to the ice shelf collapse in East Antarctica with temperatures 38C warmer than normal, to the mass coral bleaching in our Great Barrier Reef due to “abnormally warm waters” (all within the 24 hours of writing!). These unprecedented climate events are now occurring at a regular pace.

And it is having devastating, real time impacts on our lives, livelihoods and on our cost of living. As carbon emissions rise unabated, so too will our cost of living rise — unabated.

I am not a typical greenie. I like the comforts that the modern world brings. And how am I, one person, going to affect change? Unfortunately, I’m not alone in thinking this. I am not alone in not wanting to make tradeoffs to my lifestyle. Mass behavioural change is really hard to do. Particularly when the actions taken today won’t be seen for many years to come (why is it so hard to stick to that diet and lose that extra kilo?).

This is where technology and government policy (a discussion point for another time) come in. Given I’m probably in the majority of those who are reluctant to make big lifestyle changes, I see the need for technology to help shift people, business, and governments from the traditional, carbon emitting ways of doing things. I see low carbon solutions that maintain or even improve our standard of living playing a huge role in our shift to a lower carbon economy.

I believe new technologies can help us switch to products/solutions that are non-carbon emitting; remove carbon from the atmosphere, through development and nurturing nature based solutions; and reduce carbon produced from industries/products in which a non-polluting solution is currently unavailable.

Climate technologies are maturing quickly. Many technologies are at a tipping point, and moving into the mainstream. For example, our portfolio company, Goterra, manages food waste with insects, through an autonomous robotic process. Goterra has proved its ability to radically reduce the impact of food waste, and help meaningfully tackle climate change. Rampersand is excited by the evidence that ClimateTech is maturing fast and delivering real and big results, both on an environmental and economic level.

There are many companies already in the market that are gaining attention and traction. But there are and will be many startups that need seed stage funding to get their ideas/technologies to market. I want to meet with those early stage startups solving for our future. I want Rampersand to be the Venture firm that supports these founders to bring their products to market. And in doing so, makes our world a safer, healthier and more stable place to live — for us, for our children and for our children’s children.

Nicole's 7 year old daughter in front of her painting "Save the Animals! (turtle eating plastic)

Cover Photo by Antonio Garcia on Unsplash

Apr 4, 2022

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