Following the successful launch of its initial startups, UConn and its partners unveiled the second cohort of new businesses collaborating with the Future Climate Venture Studio.
On Wednesday, September 20, UConn, RG/A Ventures, and CT Next announced the next group of startups. The six companies will work with partners to grow and expand opportunities in fields focused on sustainability and climate responsibility.
“UConn and its partners have high standards for the startups involved with the Future Climate Ventures Studio, seeking those whose business endeavors mesh well with our commitment to clean energy and sustainability,” said Pamir Alpay, UConn’s Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. “These startups represent the intersection of entrepreneurship with climate responsibility, and UConn is proud to be a partner in their mission.”
The Studio brings together three main collaborators committed to research, development, and entrepreneurship in areas related to combatting climate change and increasing sustainability. UConn; RG/A, which helps operate the studio and serves as an early investor; and CTNext, which represents the state in promoting public-private partnerships to catalyze Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem.
The startups are connected to the UConn Research Enterprise and its Technology Commercialization Services (TCS). The entrepreneurs will have critical access to technology, research, connections, and networking with industry and corporate partners. In addition to considerable financial opportunities, the startups will have the support of UConn’s experts and corporate partners at the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB). The companies can also consult with the Studio’s Investor-in-Residence Cody Simms.
The Studio launched last February with six startups headquartered throughout the United States and Canada. They ranged from companies dedicated to investing in green portfolios to businesses striving for more equity in food production, distribution, and access.
The second cohort continues the legacy of merging ideas and practices with products and services focused on sustainability and social justice. They include:
- Afterlife Ag, which is building a network of circular mushroom farms through the power of mycelium, which absorbs nutrient in decomposing food waste to produce local and sustainable mushrooms and biochar.
- Eli Technologies, a company seeking contractors to make electrification more affordable and accessible.
- Homeostasis, a startup that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it into materials needed for battery production.
- Monterra, which helps electric vehicle charging installers design and quickly turn around projects.
- Raincoat, which provides instant-paying climate insurance at scale to customers.
- Ric, a micro parametric platform and solution provider dedicated to supporting resiliency for communities and individuals that have experienced catastrophic events.
UConn leaders have declared climate change to be one of the greatest threat facing the globe. The University is committed to reducing its own carbon footprint, working toward a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
The Future Climate Venture Studio is an initiative in step with UConn’s goals and continued leadership in the areas of climate change mitigation, sustainability, and clean energy. Last April, when the first cohort of startups presented their progress and pitched investors, President Radenka Maric remarked that climate change responsibility is not limited to technology but is also human wellbeing.
“We cannot solve the problem as a nation if we don’t work collaboratively globally,” Maric said.
Additional partners for the Studio include CT Innovations, the state’s venture capital arm; Connecticut Green Bank, an accelerator for private capital into markets energizing a green economy; the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority; the Oracle Corporation; Investors Cimbria Capital; Nexus Venture Partners; and others.