Climate

Here’s the complete agenda for next week’s TC Sessions: Climate 2022

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TC Sessions: Climate, in partnership with the Extreme Tech Challenge 2022 Global Finals, is our first event dedicated to the climate crisis. And our agenda is complete

Leading scientists, entrepreneurs, VCs and more will gather in person on June 14 at UC Berkeley (and online on June 16) to examine the role of tech and startups in mitigating and adapting to the existential threat you know and dread. I know this reporter will be there! How about you? Join me at the show — but hurry. Buy your pass today and save $100. Prices go up at the door.

On stage, you’ll hear from influential leaders, including former EPA administrator Carol Browner, Impossible Foods founder Pat Brown, Berkeley Lab’s director of Climate & Ecosystem Sciences, William Collins, Lime CEO Wayne Ting and — Bill Gates. Off stage, you’ll have the chance to meet many of the founders, scientists and engineers that are building the next generation of climate startups.

Here’s the full agenda outlined below. Study it, plan your day and get ready to explore the latest in climate tech.

June 14

Opening Remarks

with Carol T. Christ (UC Berkeley)

The Climate Crisis Is Real — The Solutions Should Be, Too

with William Collins (UC Berkeley) and Kari C. Nadeau (Stanford University)

Let’s talk hot air. This level-setting panel will explore climate tech hype, hope and reality, as the sector scours the Earth for solutions and the powers that be (politicians) stubbornly cling to the outdated, fossil-fueled tech that got us in this mess in the first place.

Scaling Deep Tech Startups in Climate with SOSV’s HAX Program [Roundtable, Table 1]

with Essam Elsahwi (Pulsenics), Beth Esponnette (Unspun) and Susan Schofer (SOSV / HAX)

Discussion of some of the challenges / hurdles and approaches to overcome scaling and early commercialization of diverse climate tech companies.

Climate Investing Insights with Alumni Ventures [Roundtable, Table 2]

with Matt Caspari (Strawberry Creek Ventures / Alumni Ventures)

Intimate discussion on investing in climate. Topics: Lessons from Climate 1.0; Current trends; Macro financial impact; Zones of opportunity.

Ground Floor Green: Early-Stage Climate VC

with Christian Garcia (Breakthrough Energy Ventures), Kiersten Stead (DCVC) and Pae Wu (SOSV)

Climate tech is a hot area for investment once again, but the money going in this time around is a lot smarter on the subject than it has been in the past. Balancing hope and hype is still a major challenge, however, especially at the earliest stages, and we’ll dive into how the best and the brightest on the investment side are picking their winners.

Extreme Tech Challenge Global Finals Opening Remarks

with Young Sohn (Extreme Tech Challenge)

Sponsored by Extreme Tech Challenge

Extreme Tech Challenge co-founder Young Sohn introduces the Extreme Tech Challenge 2022 Global Finals. Sohn will share the mission of the organization and how the fifth wave of technology evolution we are in now represents a massive opportunity for founders and investors. 

Extreme Tech Challenge 2022 Global Finals: Pitch Session No. 1

with Victoria Slivkoff, Young Sohn and Bill Tai (Extreme Tech Challenge)

Sponsored by Extreme Tech Challenge

Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) Category and Special Award Winners will pitch their innovative startups with the potential to radically improve the world.

How to Solve the No. 1 Contributor to Climate Change — Food Waste with Full Harvest [Roundtable, Table 1]

with Christine Moseley (Full Harvest)

Every year, one-third of all edible produce is wasted on farms in the U.S. simply because of cosmetic or surplus reasons, contributing to food waste as the No. 1 contributor to climate change globally. Join Christine Moseley as she discusses how to solve the massive food waste problem at the farm level with technology and innovation.

Planting the Pre-Seeds: Investing Early In Climate Tech with Obvious Ventures [Roundtable, Table 2]

with Andrew Beebe (Obvious Ventures)

We have seen a surge in investors and entrepreneurs building companies that address the climate crisis. The solutions, however, are far-reaching: cold fusion, electrified transportation, carbon-free cement and emissions accounting software. How are top investors in the space defining climate tech? What are they looking for in entrepreneurs and ideas at the earliest stages? What is their decision-making process? What trends are they seeing in this space?

Bill Gates on How to Deploy Billions in Clean Tech

with Bill Gates (Breakthrough Energy)

Earlier this year, Breakthrough Energy revealed an intention to deploy as much as $15 billion in search of innovation solutions to minimize and reverse our combined carbon output across the global economy. Breakthrough Energy was founded by Bill Gates in 2015 to work through public-private partnerships with the goal of achieving net-zero global emissions. We’ll hear from Gates about what he thinks are the top priorities in climate technology investment.

Powering the Future Through Transformative Tech

with Jamey Butcher (Chemonics International), Philipp Gruener (Decisive Capital Management SA), Victoria Slivkoff (Extreme Tech Challenge) and Bill Tai (Extreme Tech Challenge)

Sponsored by Extreme Tech Challenge

This panel jumps into the breakthrough tech innovations that are transforming industries to build a radically better world. How can business, government, philanthropy and the startup community come together to create a better tomorrow? Hear from these seasoned investors and industry veterans about how technology can not only shape the future, but also where the biggest opportunities lie.

Accelerating Climate Solutions from Discovery to Deployment with UC Berkeley [Roundtable, Table 3]

with Kathy Yelick (UC Berkeley)

What role should universities play in developing and transferring innovative and equitable solutions to the climate crisis?

Building Trust with Forward-looking Reforestation Carbon Offsets with DroneSeed [Roundtable, Table 2]

with Cassie Meigs (DroneSeed)

With overall demand for carbon offsets increasing and buyers getting more sophisticated, high-quality removal offsets with tangible, verifiable benefits for the climate and local ecosystems are in short supply. At the same time, wildfires are getting bigger, hotter and more frequent, leaving many forested lands struggling to recover naturally. A new approach to forestry-based offsets that focuses on planting trees and the CO2 they will capture as they grow offers a solution to both challenges. Learn about ex-ante (forward-looking) forestry-based carbon offsets, why they represent new, promising approaches to post-fire forest recovery, and how they provide a better supply of high-quality carbon removal offsets in the marketplace.

CAPEX CAPEX CAPEX with SOSV’s IndieBio [Roundtable, Table 1]

with Alex Kopelyan (IndieBio & SOSV), Jared Moore (Solid Ox Motors), Parikshit Sharma (SOSV’s IndieBio) and Michelle Zhu (Huue)

Will burdensome balance sheets and long pay-back cycles of infrastructure keep the cleantech industry behind?

Networking Break

Grab a bite at a nearby eatery on campus or on Telegraph Ave. Lunch is not served at the conference.

Kitchen Consequential

with Pat Brown (Impossible Foods)

Patrick Brown founded Impossible Foods in 2011 with the goal of offering customers an ethical and environmentally responsible alternative to meat. An innovative approach to developing its product has propelled the company into restaurants and homes across the world. Brown, who recently transitioned from CEO to chief innovation officer, will discuss the present — and future — of fake meat.

Why the Next Big Entrepreneur Must Come from Climate Tech with Fifth Wall [Roundtable, Table 2]

with Peter Gajdos (Fifth Wall)

We have arrived at a time where climate change is finally being acknowledged as a true climate crisis. From historic fires in Europe and Australia to record-breaking hurricanes to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, nearly every region in the world has been heavily affected. As a result, it is now a financial and moral imperative to make climate technology a main priority of humanity, and for this reason, we need to encourage and support young entrepreneurs developing these technologies. We need the brightest scientists, entrepreneurs and lawyers and financiers involved to make a significant difference to the future.

The Future of Green Buildings — Flexible, Smart, Carbon-Free with ProspectSV [Roundtable, Table 1]

with Doug Davenport (ProspectSV)

Commercial real estate is evolving quickly, from the rise of vehicle charging and renewable energy, to a new focus on indoor environments. Let’s have a talk about the opportunities coming to build and manage buildings that are adaptive to new demands, responsive to needs, cost-effective and sustainable. We’ll also discuss the big frontier — building portfolios ripe for new solutions and services.

The Road to Zero-Emissions

with Carol Browner (former EPA Administrator) and Wayne Ting (Lime)

In spite of increasingly strict regulations in some states and the rise of electric bikes, scooters, mopeds, buses and cars, the vast majority of vehicles on roads today have tailpipe emissions. Lime CEO Wayne Ting and Carol Browner, former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and administrator of the EPA, will talk about where the U.S. is on the road to zero-emissions. The pair will dig into the challenges that remain and the role that innovation, policy and investment can play in greening up transportation.

Climatech — How to Make it Different this Time with Khosla Ventures [Roundtable, Table 1]

with Rajesh Swaminathan (Khosla Ventures)

What can startups learn from the successes and failures of Cleantech 1.0? How do we ensure a much more successful outcome this time?

Building a Food System for the Next 1,000 Years with Iron Ox [Roundtable, Table 2]

with Brandon Alexander (Iron Ox)

Join Brandon Alexander, CEO and co-founder of Iron Ox, to discuss how his team is revolutionizing the future of farming using AI and robotics to make the next generation of our global food system more sustainable, scalable and delicious.

Our Reliance on Docile Fuels

with Carlos Araque (Quaise), Caroline Cochran (Oklo) and Suleman Khan (Swell)

The world is going electric, but the energy has to come from somewhere. As we are reducing our reliance on oil, coal and natural gas, this panel takes a look at what else we’ve got going for us to keep our cars rolling, our laundry spinning and our factories doing whatever factories do.

Extreme Tech Challenge 2022 Global Finals: Pitch Session No. 2 & Winner Announcement

with Victoria Slivkoff, Young Sohn and Bill Tai (Extreme Tech Challenge)

Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) Category and Special Award Winners to pitch their innovative startups with the potential to radically improve the world.

Sponsored by Extreme Tech Challenge

How Corporations Can Be Better Citizens

with Amy Burr (JetBlue Ventures), Kentaro Kawamori (Persefoni) and Mark Kroese (Microsoft)

As corporations become more and more powerful, corporate social responsibility (CSR) encompasses a breadth of programs on how they can take a leadership role in society. On this panel, we discuss how corporations can flex their muscles for good across financial, economic, societal and environmental issues.

AI in Farming: The Key to Sustainable Agriculture with Farmwise [Roundtable, Table 1]

with Sebastien Boyer (FarmWise)

There is a lot AI can do to help farmers reduce their environmental impact. We’ll dive into climate-smart farming strategies and applications of AI in farming today and tomorrow.

Reducing your Cloud Computing Climate Impact

with Fred Plais (Platform.sh)

Sponsored by Platform.sh

Making the choice to deploy to the cloud is clearly the better choice for the climate, but you can further reduce your emissions by taking a couple of key steps. You are invited to attend this session to learn more about how the tech community is helping to mitigate climate change and a simple strategy to reduce your carbon footprint in the cloud.

Wasting Away

with Matanya Horowitz (AmpRobotics), Megan O’Connor (Nth Cycle) and Miranda Wang (Novoloop)

Recycling has been an environmental buzzword for decades, but the reality of reusing waste products hasn’t always lived up to its potential. A trio of startups on the cutting edge of the industry will discuss recent breakthroughs and what the future looks like for recycling, from sorting robots to ocean plastics and batteries.

Extreme Tech Challenge 2022 Highlight Video

Sponsored by Extreme Tech Challenge

June 16 (online only)

Fireside Chat with Secretary Jennifer Granholm (U.S. Department of Energy)

TechCrunch Climate Desk Analysis

Hang with us at the TC Climate Desk to catch up on what you may have missed from across the show, including fresh analysis and clips from the in-person talks.

TechCrunch Climate Pitch-off

Join us to see three companies pitching at TC Sessions: Climate. Hailing from around the United States and the globe, founders will pitch for four minutes, followed by an intense Q&A with our expert panel of judges. Founders will learn some key tips to incorporate into your own pitches.

Speed Networking

Startup Pitch Feedback Session 1

All exhibiting startups at TC Sessions: Climate are invited to present a fast pitch and hear feedback from a TC staff member.

Startup Pitch Feedback Session 2

All exhibiting startups at TC Sessions: Climate are invited to present a fast pitch and hear feedback from a TC staff member.

TC Sessions: Climate 2022 takes place in person on June 14 in Berkeley, California (with an online day June 16). Buy your pass today and avoid the price hike at the door. We’ll be there to greet you!

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