Regenerative VC. Sounds like a beautiful ambition. But is it possible? That was where I started in 2019. As a young venture investor in the first significant wave of sustainability ("cleantech") investing in the early 2000's, the idea that venture investing could succeed at sustainability let alone go beyond it seemed borderline naive. A little over two years later I've come to see how "regenerative" is not just possible (and necessary), but the key characteristic that will define the iconic companies of our time. That is why I chose at the end of 2021 to join Dan Fitzgerald as a managing partner at ReGen Ventures alongside Rose, Tom, Parker, Alex and the rest of our team.
Thanks Will. There are some gems in here. The insights you offer about entrenched interests and the need for consumer pull to disrupt oligopilies are spot on. As an energy guy, I've had a front row seat to many executive meetings in which the "Kodak choice" occurs and the catalyst for change is not powerful enough to overcome the very real (and often personal) cost that must be borne. Hence the success of "clean sheet" venture-backed companies in meeting emerging needs with better solutions.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the role of venture capital, as the climate capital stack matures. Unlike SaaS, cleantech is infamously capital intensive. How can venture capital be more catalytic for the type and scale of debt financing required? You mention a few companies doing great work (e.g. Generate Capital) and the role of others like the Loan Programs Office, Breakthrough, Prelude etc. is critical. How can we better support venture-backed companies to accelerate their path to scale?