Branson and Cannon-Brookes’ advice to climate tech entrepreneurs

Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

Aussie climate tech entrepreneurs should be thinking big, tackling the challenges of our lifetime, and focusing on customer experience while they do it.

That’s according to Virgin founder Richard Branson and Atlassian co-founder and co-chief Mike Cannon Brookes, speaking at the ImpactX Summit Sydney today.

The two billionaire investors and philanthropists addressed an audience of climate tech startups, with Branson saying it’s wholly possible one of them could dream up “a way of actually sorting out the problem completely”.

That ‘problem’ could be capturing carbon from the atmosphere or using tech to reduce the emissions of a household or property.

“Think big,” he advised.

“This is the biggest challenge of our lifetime, and we need tech entrepreneurs everywhere to put their mind to trying to solve it.”

Cannon-Brookes also weighed in with some advice for climate tech founders, noting the importance of focusing on the customer experience.

We already have a lot of great technology. In order to make an impact in the short term, “what we need is to accelerate the rollout of those technologies”, he said.

Telling people to do the right thing will only get you so far, he added. If you can offer customers a cheaper, easier and all-round better experience, the dial will shift more quickly.

People buy Teslas because they’re a good car, he explained.

“We should focus very much on the speed and urgency with which we can get these technologies into people’s lives, businesses, countries, whatever it is.

“We want these to be pulled.”


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