The University of Connecticut, R/GA Ventures, and CTNext are kicking off their first cohort of the Future Climate Venture Studio this week, with six selected companies creating solutions across a range of critical areas of climate and sustainability including energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and financial services solutions.
The Studio has been launched as a partnership between UConn, a national and global leader in interdisciplinary climate research, R/GA Ventures, a leading venture studio operator and early-stage investor; and CTNext, a state agency dedicated to public-private partnership to catalyze Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem.
The companies selected to the first cohort are:
- Applied Bioplastics (Austin, TX): Delivering lower-carbon durable plastics at price and performance parity with traditional plastics while reducing emissions by 20-40%
- Clean Crop (Holyoke, MA): Using electricity to boost yields, improve safety, and reduce waste across the food space
- Cool Amps, (New Haven, CT): Innovating to power a sustainable energy future
- GreenPortfolio (New York, NY): Helping millennials and Gen-Z fight climate change with their financial decisions
- INOVUES (Houston, TX): Retrofitting building facades to incorporate the latest energy-saving and smart glass innovations without removal, replacement, or disruption
- Urban Stalk (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada): Creating novel circular vertical farming technology to grow vegetable foods locally, year-round, and with no waste or carbon-based chemicals ensuring a higher quality, nutritiously safe product
The Studio is the latest in a series of investments and initiatives for UConn as it establishes itself as a leader in climate change and clean energy research and innovation. Working with other institutions and industrial leaders, the University has expanded its influence and worked lockstep with state leaders toward the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
“The selected companies align perfectly with UConn’s mission to contribute valuable research toward clean energy production and reducing dependence on carbon-based fuels,” says Pamir Alpay, UConn’s interim Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. “Our faculty and students are committed to the solutions that will steer us toward a cleaner energy future.”
The program and its partners will provide the selected companies with access to industry and UConn faculty experts, capital investment from R/GA Ventures, technology facilities at the Innovation Partnership Building at UConn, as well as guidance from the Studio’s Investor-in-Residence, Cody Simms from MCJ Collective, a media platform and investment fund powering innovative climate solutions.
Additional partners include CT Innovations, the state of Connecticut’s venture capital arm; Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first green bank; the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA); technology leader Oracle Corporation; and investor partners such as Cimbria Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and others.
You can learn more about the Future Climate Venture Studio at futureclimateventurestudio.com.