Deploy! | October 17, 2023

Elemental Excelerator invests $12.5 million into 15 climate tech startups

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Oct. 17 – Elemental Excelerator, a Hawaii-based nonprofit climate tech investor, is known for spotting and nurturing climate tech talent working on community-centric solutions: BlocPower, ChargerHelp and DollarRide are among its alumni.

The 15 companies in Elemental’s 12th cohort are working on carbon removal, sustainable ingredients and resources, and climate-resilient buildings and cities.

New York-based C16 Biosciences makes a sustainable replacement for palm oil, a $61 billion market that has led to widespread deforestation. Olokun Minerals, in Los Angeles, is developing a way to extract minerals such as lithium from brine waste streams resulting from desalination, e-waste recycling and oil and gas fracking. SparkCharge, in Boston, offers battery-powered mobile EV charging for commercial vehicles.

“These are the innovators who are creating the huge companies of the future – ones that invest in workers, reduce pollution, restore our soils and lower the costs of food and energy,” said Elemental’s Dawn Lippert.  

Project support

The cohort is the biggest one yet for Elemental’s “project track,” which provides $1 million investments to help startups deploy new or first-of-a-kind products, business models, or markets. Twelve members of the cohort, including C16 and carbon removal companies Capture 6 and Ebb Carbon, are deploying first-time solutions.

Startups in the “strategy” track, such as SunFi, a Nigerian venture connecting consumers with
trusted solar installers and providing flexible financing, get $350,000 to support their growth strategy and scale-up.

The latest funding brings Elemental’s total investments to $79 million across 150 companies.

Workforce development

Elemental seeks startups looking to have a positive impact on frontline communities, including by hiring and training locally.

Black-led SparkCharge seeks talent in communities where it operates, especially among underrepresented groups. Gradient, a maker of window heat pumps, taps into green workforce development programs, including BlocPower’s Civilian Climate Corps in New York.

Bedrock, which last week raised $8.5 million from Wireframe Ventures for its geothermal heating and cooling technology, is looking to transition oil and gas workers with drilling skills to green jobs.