Agents of Impact | October 22, 2021

Dawn Lippert, Elemental Excelerator and Earthshot Ventures

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, Oct. 22 – Dawn Lippert is closing capital gaps at both ends of climate tech funding.

For more than a decade with Elemental Excelerator, Lippert has been plugging the capital gap for early stage startups building for communities on the front lines of climate change. With Earthshot Ventures, her new $60 million venture capital fund, Lippert is mobilizing commercial and institutional capital to take those solutions to scale in every community.

Most “climate technology has to be deployed in location,” Lippert told ImpactAlpha. That means listening not only to technical experts and investors, but to community members, nonprofits, local utilities and regulators. “That’s the understanding of the ecosystem that’s required to get projects in the ground.”

The strategy, Lippert says, makes Elemental and Earthshot “responsive to community needs, but also better investors.”

The low-carbon rebuild means building retrofits, mobility electrification, energy-use optimization and infrastructure investments in urban and rural communities. Those kinds of diverse-led, high-impact ventures still face a capital gap.

Investors like Lippert are overcoming biases and repricing risks by surfacing overlooked talent and great companies from climate-impacted communities. Elemental is building a startup ecosystem inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender and geography, starting in Hawaii and California.

“If we invest with this knowledge, we will be able to decarbonize faster, center equitable solutions and be better investors,” says Lippert.

The community-driven strategy is delivering returns. Elemental-accelerated companies have raised more than $4 billion in follow-on capital, with 20 exits. Earthshot is bringing institutional capital to the party. From seed to scale. That’s how to close a capital gap.