Helping early-stage climatetech startups survive the valley of death

The challenges of funding new climatetech solutions.

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

In climatetech, valley of death” is used to describe the lack of capital for newer solutions, especially those that mainstream investors view as unproven, and the difficulty of finding funding to cover expenses during the crucial early stages of technology development. The climatetech world is full of technologies that would be fantastic tools for fighting the climate crisis — if only they could safely traverse this valley of death and scale up.

Scott Jacobs co-founded Generate Capital in 2014 to help address this problem. In this episode, Shayle talks to Scott about how to successfully finance first-of-a-kind climatetech. They cover technologies such as electric-bus leasing, anaerobic digesters, microgrids and EV fleet charging infrastructure.

And they dig in on:

  • Winning over investors who don’t have the time to understand complex technologies or business models.

  • The various types of support, beyond capital, that first-of-a-kind technologies need from investors.

  • Navigating the rising cost of capital and supply-chain problems.

  • Pinpointing when technologies can be said to have proven themselves in the eyes of investors.


Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise, or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.

Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.