Startmate’s climate-focused accelerator track gets $300,000 boost

Startmate-climate-cohort-funding

The Startmate leadership team. Source: supplied.

Startmate’s climate-focused startup program is set to bag $300,000 in funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s Innovation Fund, with $50,000 apiece pledged to support the accelerator’s next six cohorts.

The investment is in keeping with the fund’s renewed focus on emerging technologies, and specifically, those that have not yet attracted interest from mainstream investors, fund director Kristin Vaughan said in a statement.

“The Innovation Fund is constantly looking for investments that support emissions reduction, and our involvement in Startmate’s climate program is part of our strategy to accelerate the rapid growth of the cleantech sector,” she explained.

“We are excited to support [Startmate’s] climate program and mentor and champion the next generation of problem-solving startups.”

The Innovation Fund will also partner with Startmate, with experts acting as mentors to the founders in the climate program.

Startmate chief executive Michael Batko said he is “thrilled” with the funding commitment.

“Not only does the partnership open up valuable avenues for further private investment into our climate cohort, but the Innovation Fund’s focus on collaboration and solutions-oriented outcomes makes them a natural fit as Startmate investors,” he said.

It’s a knowledgeable team, he noted, with a unique understanding of both the opportunities and challenges in this space.

“Their expertise will help our climate founders fully realise their ambitions, and provide long-term value for our climate program as it continues to grow.”

Startmate’s climate-focused accelerator program launched in 2019, with initial support from Grok Ventures, the investment firm of Atlassian co-founder and Aussie billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Startups receive $75,000 in investment and embark on a three-month program, offering fast-tracked access to mentors, investors, experts and potential partners.

The first cohort of four startups was announced in April 2020. Another three — Gridcognition, Digital Agriculture Services and Cass Materials — joined the latest online cohort, and will be pitching at Startmate’s demo day later this week.

Gridcognition is a software startup designed to help plan and optimise distributed energy projects, such as virtual power plants, electric vehicle charging systems and community energy projects.

Digital Agriculture Services offers AI climate and agri-intelligence solutions for anyone from farmers and traders to lenders and insurers, while Cass Materials is working on producing a cellular ‘scaffold’ for use in the commercial lab-grown meat industry.

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