A bank collapse threatens climate startups

Silicon Valley Bank’s meltdown leaves a big hole for early-stage companies building climate solutions. What comes next?

On The Carbon Copy podcast this week:

Silicon Valley Bank was a midsized bank that catered to entrepreneurs in the tech sector. The bank was an early supporter of the climatetech and sustainability space, with over 1,500 clients across the industry.

But things quickly unraveled this month after SVB executives told investors it had taken a loss on a massive portfolio of mortgage bonds, setting off a historic run on the bank and a government takeover.

For a couple of days, it looked like many climate startups would lose their cash. They narrowly avoided a complete financial catastrophe after the Federal Reserve stepped in, but now many are pondering the longer-term consequences.

They were early pioneers in cleantech [and] what became known as climatetech. They were here from the beginning. We’re gonna be missing them for a long time,” explains Prelude Ventures’ Gabriel Kra.

This week, we discuss the demise of SVB. What was the bank’s role in the industry, and what happens now that it’s out of the picture?

We’ll talk with Gabriel Kra, managing director and co-founder of Prelude Ventures. We’ll also profile two entrepreneurs with money tied up at SVB: Maria Intscher-Owrang, CEO of sustainable-fashion startup Simplifyber, and Bryan Guido Hassin, CEO of materials-science startup DexMat.

Come watch a live episode of The Carbon Copy! Canary Media and Post Script Media are hosting a live event at Greentown Labs in Somerville, Mass. on April 6. We’ll record a live episode of The Carbon Copy with some very special guests. Get your tickets today.

The Carbon Copy is supported by FischTank PR, a public relations, strategic messaging and social media agency dedicated to elevating the work of climate and clean energy companies. Learn more about FischTank’s approach to cleantech and their services: fischtankpr.com.

The Carbon Copy is supported by Scale Microgrids, the distributed energy company dedicated to transforming how modern energy infrastructure is designed, constructed and financed. Distributed generation can be complex. Scale makes it easy. Learn more at scalemicrogrids.com.