Are you interested in connecting with other alumni leveraging their careers to combat climate change? BEI invites HBS Alumni to join our Alumni in Climate Networking Series for a chance to connect with local alumni to discuss ideas, trends, opportunities, and challenges at the intersection of business and the environment. Email to learn more about upcoming events.

The Bay area has been known as a hub for innovation for decades, and this next wave of innovation is centering around climate change. The Business and Environment Initiative worked with the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and the California Research Center to bring alumni together who are working on all aspects of that innovation. On September 26th, Scott Jacobs (MBA Class of 2007) and the team at Generate Capital hosted around 75 HBS alumni who wanted to learn more about investing in climate tech innovations and network with other alumni interested in working in climate.

The event started with a panel hosted by Senior Lecturer Jim Matheson (MBA Class of 2001) that discussed the current landscape of investments in the climate space. The panel consisted of four alumni who are working on funding climate companies at various stages of their fundraising journey, including:

  • Monica Varman (MBA Class of 2016) Partner at G2 Venture Partners
  • Raj Kapoor (MBA Class of 1996) Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Climactic
  • Adzmel Adznan (MBA Class of 2017) Co-Founding Partner at Piva Capital
  • Nam Tran Nguyen (MBA Class of 2003) Chief Operating Officer at Generate Capital

The panelists discussed their views on the evolution of the climate investment landscape and how investments have changed from the first wave of investments in renewable energy in the early 2000s to today. They discussed the biggest financial and technical opportunities that make them hopeful for our global climate and how recent legislation such as the IRA, CHIPs, and Science Acts have advanced those opportunities and informed their investment strategies. They ended the panel with a discussion about how to bolster the climate workforce and the career opportunities for MBAs that want to make a big impact on climate.

Alumni entrepreneurs, investors, and operators gathered after the panel to network with one another. I met alumni working in a vast array of companies such as a trucking logistics company focused on optimizing trucking efficiency to cut down on emissions, a robotics company that is focused on modernizing the recycling industry, several alumni working for renewable energy firms, and a number working in the electric vehicle space. I left the event energized by the sheer number of alumni working to make an impact on the climate in their own way and I look forward to continuing our series and learning more about the impactful work of HBS alumni!