Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing our world and there are countless ways to approach solutions. If you’re interested in founding a climate startup, we can help you get started.
“How to Create a Climate Venture” focuses on five key areas: unpacking climate solutions, coming up with your idea, leveraging tools to test the viability of your idea, and connecting with fellow climate entrepreneurs to hear their stories and build your network.
The first half of the program is focused on structured ideation, and the second half on idea evaluation.
Ideation sessions cover both mitigation and adaptation and use classic ideation frameworks to generate solutions to climate challenges. Climate entrepreneurs tackling both emissions and city-level adaptation share their journeys. Participants use these examples as well as structured exercises to formulate their own elevator pitches.
The second half of the training hones in on idea evaluation, with sessions focused on the five core areas to validate before diving into a startup. Sessions equip participants with tactical tools in demand validation, A/B waitlist testing, assessing climate impact, and ends with using ChatGPT as a co-ideation tool.
The instructor is Rebekah Emanuel, senior advisor for social impact and director of the Harvard Climate Circle at the Harvard Innovation Labs. The class also features entrepreneurs, operators, funders, and other speakers from the climate entrepreneurship ecosystem, including: Erik Snyder, Sanjay Seth, Ben Soltoff, Margaret Wang, and David Jaffe.
If you are a member of an eligible university, you may enroll in a “How to Create a Climate Venture” program. Participants who work full-time are welcome to enroll if you can commit to attending sessions regularly.
“How to Create a Climate Venture” is designed for aspiring climate entrepreneurs who do not yet have an idea. We will provide structured activities to help you understand the climate venture space and come up with ideas you might want to work on, as well as meet others who are interested in starting climate ventures.
If you have an early-stage idea, and are just getting started on building it out or forming a team, you are welcome to register. If you are pivoting your idea and want to zoom out, you are welcome to register if you think broader ideation and startup tools will help you. Venture ideas may be for-profit or nonprofit or housed within larger institutions.
If your venture already has traction, this is likely not for you.
“How to Create a Climate Venture” is offered in two formats:
This month-long training is open to business school alumni from Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT, Duke, University of Michigan, Cornell, and Yale.
The training meets on Fridays in September 2023, from 1-2 p.m. ET (September 8, 15, 22, and 29).
This 10-week non-credit-bearing class is open to students, alumni, faculty, and staff from the following universities: Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Dartmouth, schools in the ClimateCAP network, and schools in the Greentown Labs TEX-E Consortium (Rice, Texas A&M, UT-Austin, Prairie View A&M, and University of Houston).
The class meets once per week. Outside of class, participants have access to optional networking sessions and exercises designed to foster idea generation.
The Fall 2023 class will be held online. You may pick from two sections: