As you know, the impact of climate change in our cities and society isn’t gonna be a walk in the park. This is why not like the last tech bubble, software only won’t be enough to provide really impactful solutions.
To adapt our infrastructures to these environmental changes, we will need entrepreneurs to make the best of the available hardware, biology, chemistry technologies. The next Unicorns or Gigacorns will surely be the product of an alliance between entrepreneurs and scientists. And that’s the type of team we are looking to invest in with our Atlas Seed Fund.
The climate change problem is really much a complex thermodynamic problem, and this is why at Atlas we do not believe any venture capital in our space can be taken seriously unless they gather a strong scientific advisory component in their investment teams.
With this scientific council, our Atlas team is getting strong of exceptional humans with incredible expertise and aligned purpose, focusing funding on vital sustainability tech innovations for our planet and cities.
I mean, we all first heard about Cesar Harada with his TED talk back in 2012, when he was sharing how he build a global community of makers using DYI robotics to clean up oil spills in the ocean. BOUM! What an intro! Then we had the chance to meet back in 2015, thanks to a mutual friend at a tech conference in San Francisco… Then in Hong Kong in 2017 when I visited his maker space —and one of Asia’s first profitable ones— Makerbay. Cesar is not only a scientific marine biology expert, environmentalist, and inventor from MIT… he is a celebrity in the sustainability space! We are glad to welcome his foresight in our scientific advisory council, where Cesar will be helping us in the due diligence process, to cut through the BS of companies that looks good in the press, with a beautiful website but do not have a real usable tech, or simply aren’t really gonna help us reach our carbon-negative objectives at all!
Benjamin and I are way back. We met back in 2013 when he was organizing Ouishare Fest, a first prototype of what we will call later a sharing economy conference. Back in the days, he was already gathering changemakers, entrepreneurs, and scientists that were looking at using technology to make our society more sustainable through the innovation of business models that were permitting technology. A few years later came Uber, the world's largest car-sharing app, Bla Bla Car, the French copycat, and now all of us are using Airbnb on holidays instead of hotels. Benjamin is a visionary, and he is still surprising me. In 2016 when I was still chasing HRtech money in Hong Kong, I met him and he was writing a report about 500 climate tech solutions he interviewed, under “Good Tech Lab”. And that was of course just the teaser of his new adventure, as a few years later, now, he launched the world's first carbon capture venture builder “buildaclimatestartups.com”. In the wash (sillage) of the new climate tech hype, we will need advisors like Benjamin who have watched — LITERALLY — thousands of climate tech projects, for us to be able to identify which founders will have the highest chance to become a Gigacorn.
I met Thomas back in 2013, in Paris, and I have to say that at the time, I didn’t know that this guy will change my life, but when. You meet him, everyone feels something special: Thomas is the guy who has been teaching the French government how to vulgarise science since 2014. During, his Ph.D. in biotechnology, he created La Paillasse, Europe’s first biotechnology Hackerspace and incubator, Thomas has triggered a new era of biotech in France and connected with the top people across Europe and North America in the space. I have helped him to create La Paillasse back in the days when I was a student, and now that he is scaling this community to be virtual with JOGL, this is an exponential network of hardware, biotech, climate tech, cleantech, and Agritech experts that we will be connecting with Atlas portfolio companies, and I believe that’s a first one in the venture capital space.
With Atlas Capital, since we are now in the space, we are proud to “accidentally innovate” and push the boundaries of what Venture Capital means by bringing this concept of scientific counsel. If you want to be part of our counsel or want to recommend someone, get in touch with us.
See you in the Climateverse!