We invest in smart green startups to save our climate and planet
If you want to become a VC and manage other people’s money, you need to start investing your own money first. The angel strategy allows us to build a profitable ecoportfolio and track record now rather than waiting for the first closing of our first fund. Having started in 2019, we made 5 angel investments in Dendra Systems, Clim8, Solar for Schools, Sunvigo and NexWafe reinvesting our profits from organising our Ecosummit conferences since 2010. All 5 startups are led by outstanding CEOs and are fundraising in 2021/22. We look forward to meeting more smart green investors in their cap tables soon and are happy to make introductions. We plan 1-2 new angel investments every year to generate environmental, financial and strategic returns for Ecosummit and maximise our impact until 2030, the global deadline for carbon neutrality.
Angel investment in 01.2019 – $10M Series A in 09.2020
We’re very happy that Dendra raises $10M Series A led by Airbus Ventures on 16 September 2020. In January 2019, Ecosummit made our first angel investment of £50K with a convertible note in the bridge round of Dendra Systems (formerly Biocarbon Engineering). The Oxford-based smart green startup provides ecosystem restoration as a service to its customers in the mining, oil & gas and food & beverage industries. We got to know Dendra via our Ecosummit sponsor Systemiq that invested in March 2018. After our initial call we visited their HQ in Oxford in December 2018 and were very impressed by Founder CEO Susan Graham and her brilliant and diverse team of ecologists and technologists. Dendra will play a big role for our climate and planet and is one of the most impactful startups we can think of.
Angel investment in Seed 12.2019 – Raising Series A in 2021
In December 2019, Ecosummit made our third angel investment of £50K in the Seed round of Clim8, a new smart green investment community in London currently launching their app that is eagerly awaited by over 10.000 impact investors in the UK. Clim8 is a simple way to invest in a sustainable portfolio of carefully selected companies already making a positive impact on climate change. Founder CEO Duncan Grierson is a serial entrepreneur and ex-VC with an amazing track record who decided to build a big fintech startup to fight climate change rather than raising a VC fund. We know Duncan for 5 years as he is a loyal Ecosummit participant (ECO16 London, ECO17 Berlin, ECO17 London, ECO19 Berlin) and speaker (Ecosummit Zoom 7 October 2020). Clim8 successfully raised £4.4M in seed funding across 3 rounds (December 2019, April 2020 and November 2020) from angels and on Crowdcube. The next step is a big Series A in 2021.
Angel investment in 05.2019 – Raising Series A in 2021
In May 2019, Ecosummit made our second angel investment of £15K (plus £10K in April 2020) into Solar for Schools that brings solar systems to our schools and sustainability education to our kids empowering the next generation to fight climate change. Founder CEO Robert Schrimpff is a long-time friend and soul brother, a serial entrepreneur with 2 exits and an ex-VC, too. Solar for Schools is Robert’s third startup and we absolutely believe in his mission and execution skills. Solar for Schools is currently raising their Series A and pitched at Ecosummit Zoom 2 September 2020.
Angel investment in Seed 10.2020 – Raising Series A in 2021
Solar is by far the most important renewable energy on planet Earth. To grow the number of PV systems on global rooftops a lot faster, we have to make the solar purchase decision and PV system operations as simple as possible for consumers. The solution is to package the complex bundle of solar technology, financing, installation, operations and insurance into a super easy solar electricity tariff provided by a new smart solar utility. Sunvigo are the new kids on the block, in this case the residential solar market in Germany. After aggregating a strong partner network including a smart meter operator and several PV installers, the Cologne-based solar-as-a-service startup already have their first happy customers making their own solar power at home while paying only their monthly electricity bill. Most importantly, the 3 co-founders Vigen Nikogosian, Michael Peters and Bastian Bauwens are a great team: intelligent, well educated, modest and ambitious, with impressive track records and highly motivated to maximise their impact until 2030. That’s why Ecosummit invested €50K in the €500K Seed round together with Zurich-based Übermorgen Ventures and other smart green angels.
Angel investment in Series B 12.2020 – Raising Series C in 2021
NexWafe designs, develops and pilots a superior green solar wafer production process to make PV more sustainable and efficient. In December 2020, we made our 5th angel investment participating with €50K in the €10M Series B of the Freiburg-based solar deeptech startup. The state-of-the-art EpiNex wafers are low-carbon, high-efficiency and price competitive enabling NexWafe to become the “NexWafe inside” of a new generation of smart green solar cells and modules in the coming years. We’re very happy and proud to work with CEO Davor Sutija and Chairman Bart Markus to maximise the impact of green solar wafers on the global solar industry. In 2015, NexWafe was spun out from Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems which continues to be a shareholder and research partner.
Ecosummit Ventures Fund
Since we announced our plan to build Ecosummit Ventures we have learned a lot about setting up a new independent financial VC with many LPs. The key lesson is that the fund management team and its proven experience making successful investments and building a reputation among founders are the key decision criteria for professional fund investors. Our fund management team is not yet complete and we continue to look for co-founders with VC and startup track record who want to be part of our new smart green VC platform in Berlin. Our investment strategy is focused on investing in promising software and hardware startups with B2C and B2B business models in energy, mobility and cities. Ecosummit Ventures leverages the deal flow, investor network and track record of 20 Ecosummit conferences in 5 countries since 2010. Our goal is to generate environmental, financial and strategic returns for our fund investors and co-investors. We start small and aim at building the best smart green VC in Europe until 2030. Please get in touch if you want to get involved – we look forward to hearing from you.
About Jan Michael Hess
Jan is Founder and CEO of Ecosummit, an active angel investor and working on starting a new smart green VC. Ecosummit is Europe’s leading conference for smart green startups, investors and corporates. Our vision is to automate sustainability in energy, mobility and cities to save our climate and planet. Our events are startup markets enabling business development, co-investing, open innovation, corporate venturing and M&A. Since 2010 Jan organised 20 physical Ecosummit conferences in 5 countries and 11 online events. Ecosummit TV on YouTube provides over 1.100 videos (600.000 views). Prior to founding Mobile Economy in 2000, Jan worked for Pixelpark, Icon Medialab and Ciao as Strategy Consultant, Senior Project Manager and Head of Marketing and Sales. Holding a business degree from the University of Mannheim, he lives in Berlin with his wife Simone and their son Mateo and is a big fan of Yoga, Japan and Jazz.
Linkedin – email@example.com – +4917621208417