Dream Climate Tech Launchpad
The green economy will see another boom in the coming decade, especially with climate tech now accounting for about a quarter of all venture capital funding and adopting the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, unlocking $369B in federal investment for climate. While this growth is urgently needed–it also must be ensured that all perspectives are valued in the entrepreneurial landscape and that solutions are deployed equitably throughout communities. There is abundant evidence revealing the outsized social impacts transitioning to a green economy will have on communities of color, as they have long faced environmental injustices that have had permeating effects throughout their lives. Climate Tech solutions have the power to advance economic mobility, health outcomes, and opportunities–impacts that can often be overlooked when analyzing viability through just emissions reduction potential and business model sustainability.
Dream Climate Tech Launchpad, with support from Dream.org, is a milestone-based investment readiness program that will support Black and Latinx-led climate tech startups, especially those building solutions in the Built Environment, Electric Transportation & Infrastructure, Food Systems, the Circular Economy, and Carbon Tech sectors. These solutions will also create a localized impact for communities of color that have been historically excluded from the clean energy transition.
The program is designed to help startups identify early milestones to support growth and prepare for the next round of capital (if relevant). In short, through virtual and in-person workshops, we deliver a targeted, award-winning curriculum and provide countless connections to prepare startups for growth.
Who should apply: Village Capital is looking for 8-10 Black or Latinx-led startups focused on addressing the following areas:
- Built Environment (Heating & Cooling, Energy Efficiency, and Construction Tech) including efficient heat pumps, improved insulation, financing solutions, or clean/circular construction materials.
- Electric Transportation and Infrastructure (EV Charging, Battery Technology, and Models that Promote Greater Access) including greater access to EVs and charging stations, improved charging efficiency, vehicle-to-grid (V2G), alternative production and recycling methods for batteries, or wireless charging.
- Food Systems (Sustainable Protein Production, Farming, and Food Waste Tech) including alternative & cultivated proteins, vertical & precision, alternative packaging, upcycled food, and increased access to affordable, nutritious meals.
- Circular Economy (Circular Textiles, Plastics, Automotive, and Electronics) including resale fashion, sustainable clothing, elimination of packaging, recyclability tech, ride-sharing, remanufacturing of parts, or product-as-a-service.
- Carbon Tech (Carbon-to-Value, Carbon Utilization, and Carbon Accounting) including carbon-to-value applications in building materials, agtech, new materials, and platforms to help organizations track and monitor their carbon emissions data.
Eligible startups must have:
- 51% owned and operated by Black or Latinx founders
- Legal incorporation as a for-profit entity
- Scalable solution that tackles one of the above mentioned areas, specifically impacting low-to-moderate income communities and communities of color in the US
- Headquartered or with operations in the US
- Market-based solution that tackles the challenges above
- Have a minimum viable product (MVP), and raised less than $1.5M in equity
- Have at least one full-time founder based in the US
- Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, it can also be successful pilots, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)