On August 17 - we are partnering with with QLD Chief Entrepreneur for a Queensland Climate Tech Showcase - featuring demonstrations, Climate Tech pitches and a panel with Australia’s leading climate tech investors including Senior Investment Associate with Main Sequence, Alezeia Brown. We caught up with Alezeia recently to chat all things climate tech, what she looks for and how important it is to support this sector and head to a showcase in her home state.
When investing in Climate Tech Startups - what is it that sparks your interest, what decks, ideas, founders stand out to you?
That’s a big question to unpack.
We always look for founders that have an incredible vision & belief to build companies that can be category leaders.
Right now, I’m looking into high-temperature industrial heat, climate risk and adaptation, closed-loop processing and companies that take waste from one process as feedstock. I’m always amazed by the solutions people are developing to help solve the world’s greatest challenges.
A stand out - particularly in climate tech - is founders who have an understanding of what it takes to activate their client base, especially when the solution is a First of a Kind; this is particularly important if you are stepping into a capex-heavy space.
Why is it important for Main Sequence to support the Climate Tech sector in Queensland?
We believe that science and venture can help solve some of the earth’s biggest problems - with decarbonisation front of mind, Main Sequence supports a number of climate tech companies across Australia. For example - Endua - which makes H2 Power Banks - is based in Brisbane, and MGA Thermal - a thermal energy storage company - is based in Newcastle. Great companies aren’t just in Sydney and Melbourne.
For me personally, as a Queenslander, I’d love to see the number of climate tech companies grow in Queensland, not just because they will bring incredible economic benefits to the region, but also to retain and attract amazing talent to the state instead of folks leaving to work in our southern states or overseas..
You’ve described yourself as a recovering engineer, how do you apply those skills to investing?
Recovering engineer, recovering product manager. That background really instilled how important it is to always be curious, ask questions, and always be learning. These skills remain necessary to critically assess a situation and find a solution.
We recently released the inaugural Climate Tech Industry Report and proudly we have 39.7% of climate tech companies with a female founder, what can we do to increase the inclusion and diversity of this sector - regional participation as well as minority groups?
Firstly, I love that climate tech has stronger female founder representation.
We think about how we might increase diversity and participation in startups all the time. Diversity and ESG are part of our considerations when evaluating a company for investing.
An observation I’d make is that often deeptech companies have technical and business co-founders, this can allow for diversity to increase purely based on a mix of skills.
A colleague of mine, Gabs, recently wrote about initiatives the startup ecosystem can implement to increase diversity.
If there are any folks in the audience from regional areas, I’d love to hear your story and how we might be able to get more involved.
What excites you most about the climate tech sector?
That it is possible to build a planet-positive company, which provides employees with deeply meaningful work, while being remarkably successful economically.
QLD Government has announced a $2B Hydrogen taskforce and the Olympics are set to be the most sustainable yet, could QLD become the climate tech powerhouse for solutions and jobs across Australia if not the world?
Queensland has long been an economic powerhouse thanks to traditional industries like Agriculture, Mining and Tourism and I believe that was only just the beginning.
We have great universities, diverse landscapes and water, abundant wind and sunshine, and close proximity to our neighbours in the pacific and Asia. I think Queensland has the opportunity to become a climate tech powerhouse, while still paying tribute to its history, by transforming our traditionally strong industries with science and technology to create a better future for everyone.
Grab your tickets to the Queensland Climate Tech Showcase for your opportunity to pitch, meet, mingle and network with Australia's top climate tech investors.
Photo by James Douglas on Unsplash