Big Changes Ahead for Climate Change Startups


Silicone Valley is home to hundreds of successful new businesses and start-up accelerators. However, they fail to have any kind of company that tackles one very serious issue: climate change.


Silicone Climate Accelerator

The Silicone Climate accelerator was founded in 2014 by four Stanford and tech industry alums who had previously worked with hackathons, a platform known as GreenBase and also a partnership with White House Climate Data – there’s no denying this four-man crew have plenty of experience behind them! It was, however, their experience that brought them to the realisation that there was a gap in the market for something that enabled new entrepreneurs to turn their unrealistic ideas into very realistic companies.

Co-founder of the team, David Selinger, is a serial entrepreneur himself who has founded several businesses, including Redfin and RichRelevance. According to him, it isn’t down to a lack of interest in the idea of environmental technology that there isn’t enough of it, but rather down to the fact that there is nothing to accommodate environmentally focused businesses and the unique needs of them.

Something Brand New

However, Silicone Climate accelerator is set to be different, unlike any other kind of business seen before. Some of the team’s original companies have already started to become monetized in a pretty straightforward way. An example of one is Zuli, an energy reducing smart plug. It has been such a success that it is now in partnership with Google’s Nest in order to reduce customer’s bills. Similarly to this, another successful company is GridCure. They use large quantities of data to help utility companies boost their income via increased efficiency and reliability.

Investors Not Interested

Sadly, though, there are some environmental companies who don’t generate revenue quite so easily. Rainforest Connection being one of them. Rainforest Connection takes recycled mobile phones and turns them into solar-powered devices that are also able to pinpoint deforestation activity and monitor them, alerting the company so that a real time intervention can occur. Now, whilst this technology is absolutely incredible, and a complete breakthrough in the world of tech, as well as having the ability to drastically reduce deforestation, people are reluctant to invest in the company because it doesn’t fit the regular structure of a high return on investment company, which is absolutely crucial in order to attract any kind of worthwhile investors.

Silicone Climate’s advisers are now looking to find a solution to this problem. They’re hoping to be able to create clear avenues for other sustainable technology businesses and companies in order to connect with investors who would like to make- and commit to- long term investments. Luckily, it looks like time may be on their side, with media outlets such as ‘Wall Street Journal’ reporting on the “cooling down” of companies who claim to have “growth at any cost”. This has lead to investors becoming more wary of businesses that promise investors high returns at incredibly quick rates. Instead, investors are now beginning value lasting impact and pragmatism instead.