Impact Engine, an early-stage investor in Chicago, shared lessons about resource efficiency from its portfolio of about three dozen “impact tech” startups. (An earlier article highlighted investable opportunities in economic empowerment.)
Take Measurabl, a San Diego startup that helps commercial real estate owners collect and manage the environmental impacts of their buildings. By benchmarking other subscribers, the app pinpoints opportunities to save energy.
Earlier this year Impact Engine participated in a $2 million round for Full Harvest, which is creating a market for “ugly” produce in order to reduce food waste. Other firms are using drones and satellites to optimize water and fertilizer use on farms.
The water crisis in Flint, MI, as well as droughts and water shortages, highlight opportunities for efficiencies in the $600 billion water industry. Water startups are taking on conservation and water quality with smart meters and monitoring technologies.
Impact Engine also sees investment opportunities in marketplaces for alternative energy sources, as well as energy storage, installation, and management.