CleanTechies Podcast
#168 Advice for Project Finance, AI x Climate, CleanTech 1.0, Late Stage Investing, & More w/ Mike Jackson (Earthshot Ventures)

#168 Advice for Project Finance, AI x Climate, CleanTech 1.0, Late Stage Investing, & More w/ Mike Jackson (Earthshot Ventures)

🌎 Welcome back to the CleanTechies PodLetter, VC edition.

Today, we are talking to Mike Jackson from Earthshot Ventures.

We discuss…

  • Strategies for startups to prepare for project finance

  • Promising business models in ClimateTech

  • What he learned from CleanTech 1.0 and what parallels he sees today

And a lot more.

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The Guest: Mike Jackson

  • Mike Jackson is the Managing Partner at EarthShot Ventures

  • His “climate career” started when he was a kid and donated part of his allowance to environmental groups — this reminds me a lot of John D. Rockefeller who did the same

  • With a background in Biological Science and Earth Systems, Mike co-founded an early carbon offset market in cleantech 1.0

  • Before leading EarthShot Ventures, he played a key role at the Westly Group, where he rocked from intern to partner in 5 years due to his ability to source and execute on great climate companies (he batted at 90%…)

  • He spent some time in project finance, underscoring a deep commitment to harnessing entrepreneurial and financial strategies in the fight against climate change

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The VC: Earthshot Ventures

One Liner: Invests in entrepreneurs solving the toughest climate challenges

Earthshot Ventures invest in both hardware and software companies from Pre-seed through Series B across energy, mobility, food & agriculture, industry, and carbon.

They help supercharge our portfolio companies' growth by plugging them into our global network of customers, investors, and policymakers.

Prior to Earthshot Ventures, their team has collectively invested in over 200 climate tech companies and celebrated more than 25 exits. They have deep experience working alongside entrepreneurs as they deploy technology with customers.

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📝 Show Notes:


  • 06:49 Journey from Childhood to Leading a Climate Fund

  • 12:54 Lessons from Cleantech 1.0

  • 15:54 Preparing for Project Finance

  • 25:13 Importance of Business Models

  • 32:35 Rising at the Westly Group

  • 34:37 Building a Complementary Team

  • 39:48 Why Earthshot is a "Network Fund"

  • 43:14 Investing Earlier in ClimateTech

  • 45:02 AI and its Impact on Climate

  • 48:31 Attracting Capital from Generalist Investors

  • 49:50 Advice for VCs 


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CleanTechies Podcast
CleanTechies is a Podcast and Newsletter where Somil & Silas interview the leading ClimateTech Founders and Investors to share their advice and journeys with other Founders and Investors to help others succeed.