Groups offer green tech startups advice for survival and growth during a pandemic

The World Economic Forum says governments should listen to startup founders and focus on creating public-private funding opportunities.

Today’s headlines:

ūü¶† STARTUPS IN A PANDEMIC:¬†Chicago-based venture capital firm¬†Energy Foundry¬†will host a¬†free webinar¬†tomorrow, Thursday, June 11, to discuss how VC-backed cleantech startups can survive and prosper during and after the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the¬†World Economic Forum¬†has released advice for growing green tech startups amid the pandemic. The recommendations are taken from a new¬†report¬†dedicated to identifying and mitigating challenges ‚ÄĒ specifically, funding challenges ‚ÄĒ and helping innovators regain lost momentum.

Although the report focuses on European startups and economies, the guidelines are applicable to the Midwest, too. A key takeaway is to focus on public-private collaboration. For example, the report recommends blending public and private funding to minimize risk, as well as giving startup founders a bigger voice when governments are drawing up regulatory policies.

ūüďĎ REPORT:¬†The¬†Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative¬†released a¬†report highlighting the results of a recent survey¬†about American‚Äôs interest in beneficial electrification: transitioning from natural gas or liquid fuels to electricity in household and transportation applications to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve power grid stability or flexibility, and save money.

I spoke with SECC President and CEO¬†Patty Durand¬†about the importance of the report and its implications. ‚ÄúThis focuses on what consumers are willing to do to leave behind old fuels,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúBeneficial electrification¬†is a transition that the industry is already experiencing‚Ķ It is possible to do now and it is happening now.‚ÄĚ

  • SECC found that 62% of the survey participants were open to switching to electric heating, 68% were open to electric cooking, and 70% are open to electric water heating.
  • The survey findings have implications for Midwest-based tech businesses working on innovations related to renewables, energy efficiency, and energy storage. For example, the survey suggests HVAC is a big opportunity area for electrification to reduce emissions. That implies potential consumer interest in smart HVAC solutions emerging from the region (such as 75F,¬†previously covered in Centered), but they might need more education to make a purchasing decision.
  • The survey results show that consumers perceive cost as a major barrier for switching from fossil fuels to electricity, both for electric vehicles and household applications. That suggests entrepreneurs should keep costs in mind when developing greener, more energy-efficient products or services and be able to make the case for short-term and long-term value add.
  • Durand noted the importance of the work cleantech researchers and entrepreneurs are advancing. ‚ÄúWithout this current set of technological¬†advances in front of us, there is no electrification,‚ÄĚ she said.

Do you know of Midwest businesses or organizations developing technology that improves the environment? Send news tips, press releases, and feedback to or connect on Twitter @centereddottech.

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