Foley recently cohosted a webinar with the 4thly startup accelerator where a panel of experts discussed Climate Tech and Renewable Energy.

The panel was moderated by 4thly founder Bret Waters in conversation with panelists Charlie Crocker (founder and CEO of Zonehaven, sold to Genasys), Kathleen Egan (Co-Founder and CEO of ecomedes, a vertical SaaS solution for cost-effective, sustainable commercial building products and projects), Gopal Erinjippurath (CTO of Sust Global, a platform providing AI-powered climate modeling for science-backed climate risk reporting, analysis and adaptation), and Kristin Wegner Guilfoyle (Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and CleanTech co-chair for the Keiretsu Angel investment group) with Foley's energy co-chair Jeff Atkin and Silicon Valley-based partner Louis Lehot.

The backdrop for the webinar was set by the massive amount of federal spending for clean energy projects and the proving economics for climate tech investors and entrepreneurs, juxtaposed against the challenging dynamics for obtaining venture capital (despite the fact that climate-tech deals are outperforming the overall market by a factor of 50%). Investors are increasingly looking at climate tech to diversify and develop profitable new markets, which include both hardware companies and software companies.

The panel discussed climate tech and renewable energy trends, greenwashing, the level of risk in investing in these industries, where each speaker would be investing right now, and much more.

Here are some of the key takeaways from their discussion:

  • The climate industry is becoming a much safer area to invest in, and because of this, we are seeing growth in climate product commercialization. Climate tech is in an area where investors can quantify future profits on a derisked basis.
  • Significant capital is available to a large number of investors as both the climate and energy industries continue to mature.
  • Greenwashing has become a hot topic within the environmental, social, and governance investment areas. Typically, investors with dedicated funds in these industries and investment areas hire scientists or related professionals to understand the level of realness and competence to avoid any greenwashing.

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