The Climate Tech Startups to Watch: May Week 3

May Week 3, 2024: In this weekly series, we highlight 5 climate tech startups to watch by featuring the incredible startups, companies, or projects that are leading the fight against the climate crisis. 

Each month, we add these startups to our running list, which we have categorized based on fuel emission sector data from the most detailed, recent data SBC could identify from the World Resource Institute in 2016.

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With care,
Guillaume and the SBC TEAM

Cross-cutting enablers

1. Insempra


Founded: 2021 – Munich, DE

Founder: Jens Klein

Elevator Pitch: Insempra is pioneering a biology-powered revolution in manufacturing, using bioscience and technology to grow materials that are not only superior but also sustainable.

Problem they solve: Traditional manufacturing methods heavily rely on petrochemicals and other industrial processes that deplete natural resources and harm the environment. Insempra addresses this by shifting the paradigm to use biological processes that grow matter with precision, reducing dependency on non-renewable resources and decreasing environmental impact. This not only provides an eco-friendly alternative but also meets the growing consumer and regulatory demand for sustainable products.

Impact: By growing materials using biological processes, Insempra minimizes waste, reduces carbon emissions, and conserves natural resources, contributing to a regenerative economic model. This method allows for the creation of high-quality, innovative products without the environmental degradation associated with traditional manufacturing.

Stage: Series A.

Interested in Insempra?
To learn more about their technology or get in touch, see here.

Energy use in Industry and Buildings

2. Mimic Systems

Capture d’écran 2024-05-16 à 10.23.02 PM

Founded: 2022 – Brooklyn, NY, USA

Founders: Berardo Matalucci & Theodorian Borca-Tasciuc

Elevator Pitch: Traditional heating and cooling systems rely heavily on refrigerants and mechanical compressors, which are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions due to refrigerant leaks and energy-intensive operations. These systems also suffer from mechanical wear and noise issues. Mimic Systems tackles these challenges by introducing a solid-state heat pump technology that eliminates the need for refrigerants and reduces reliance on mechanical components.

Impact: By eliminating refrigerants, which are potent greenhouse gases, and enhancing system efficiency, Mimic contributes to substantial reductions in global warming potential. Additionally, the durability and reduced maintenance needs of solid-state systems decrease the resource consumption and waste associated with HVAC upkeep. 

Stage: Seed.

Interested in Mimic Systems?
If you are interested in learning more, see here.

Cross-cutting enablers

3. Eztia


Founded: 2022 – San Francisco, CA, USA

Founder: Tiffany Yeh

Elevator Pitch: Wearables for on-the-go cooling that’s friendly to people & planet using materials powered by water, not electricity.

Problem they solve:  Extreme heat poses a significant health risk, affecting over 3.8 billion people in 2023 alone. Traditional cooling solutions are often energy-intensive, contributing to further environmental degradation and are impractical for on-the-go use. Etzia addresses this issue by developing wearable cooling technologies that are portable, non-electric, and designed to lower body temperature effectively in hot conditions. This not only enhances safety and comfort for individuals in warm climates but also provides a viable solution for athletes, outdoor workers, and everyday users who need to manage their body temperature effectively to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Impact: By eliminating the need for power-consuming devices and harmful chemicals, Etzia reduces both energy consumption and the release of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the sustainable design and materials used in Etzia’s products contribute to reduced waste and lower environmental footprint, aligning with global efforts to promote sustainability and combat the adverse effects of climate change.

Stage: Pre-Seed.

Want to learn more about Eztia?
To learn more about their technology or get in touch see here.

Cross-cutting enablers

4. Switch Bioworks


Founded: 2022 – San Carlos, CA, USA

Founder: Tim Schnabel

Elevator Pitch: Switch Bioworks is transforming agricultural sustainability by revolutionizing fertilizer production through bioengineering. Their innovative approach harnesses naturally occurring microbes to create sustainable fertilizer directly on plant roots.

Problem they solve: Conventional fertilizer production relies heavily on fossil fuels, leading to substantial CO2 emissions and pollution. Additionally, it perpetuates global inequality by contributing to food insecurity and supply chain vulnerabilities. Switch Bioworks addresses these challenges by providing a sustainable alternative that reduces CO2 emissions, enhances food security, and mitigates supply chain risks. Their bioengineered fertilizer production method offers a greener, more efficient solution to agricultural needs.

Impact:  By harnessing naturally occurring microbes, they eliminate the need for fossil fuels in fertilizer production, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, their approach promotes soil health and biodiversity, contributing to overall environmental sustainability in agriculture.

Stage: Pre-Seed.

Interested in Switch Bioworks?
To learn more about this company, see here.

Cross-cutting enablers

5. Fungtional Labs


Founded: 2023 – Langley, CA

Founder: Rico Gutierrez

Elevator Pitch: Fungtional Labs is revolutionizing the way we approach sustainable agriculture with its cutting-edge mushroom cultivation supplies. Specializing in climate-friendly mycology solutions, Fungtional Labs empowers individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact by growing their own mushrooms. Offering a wide range of products from mushroom spawn to complete growing kits, Fungtional Labs supports sustainable food production at any scale. 

Problem they solve: The conventional agriculture sector is a major contributor to environmental issues, including deforestation, water scarcity, and high carbon emissions. Mushroom cultivation presents a sustainable alternative, requiring less space and resources compared to traditional crop farming. Fungtional Labs addresses the need for accessible and sustainable cultivation methods by providing comprehensive tools and resources for growing mushrooms, which have a significantly lower environmental footprint. This empowers users to partake in a more sustainable form of agriculture that contributes to carbon reduction and waste minimization.

Impact: Mushrooms are efficient converters of waste and byproducts into nutritious food, making them an ideal component of a circular economy. By enabling more people to cultivate mushrooms, Fungtional Labs helps reduce reliance on high-impact agricultural practices and promotes biodiversity. 

Stage: Pre-Seed.

Interested in Fungtional Labs?
If you are interested in learning more, see here.

Do you know of other startups we should include in our Startups to Watch Series? Submit to our list!

How do these startups fit in with all the others we have looked at?

Check out our running list of the 400+ climate tech startups to watch we have featured. 

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