IC members are passionate about solving challenges related to climate change. In a recent survey, 70% of IC members responded that they would be interested in joining a working group focused on energy and environmental sustainability. However, IC members aren’t just “interested” in the space, they are actively investing, too. Since 2012, nearly 40% of the dollars invested by IC members and 30% of the deals done have been focused on energy and environmental sustainability.

Innovative solutions recently funded by IC members include:

  • energy efficient building materials made from recycled materials (UltraCell Insulation);
  • technology that more efficiently powers industrial refrigeration systems (Rebound Technologies);
  • visually appealing solar hardware installations (Spotlight Solar);
  • hardware and software that better enables solar adoption (ConnectDER);
  • software platform that expands access to solar energy (EnergySage);
  • sustainable ranch management software that improves agricultural outcomes (PastureMap);
  • natural indigo dyes to replace petrochemical processes with textiles (Stony Creek Colors);
  • planning and management software for sustainability programs (Sustrana); and
  • a software platform that improves the efficiency of public transit agencies (Transloc). 

Overall, these companies are helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, lower CO2 emissions, and generally transition us all to a healthier and more sustainable economy.

We heard from IC members on a recent virtual member meeting that highlighted four of the most recent investments made. Colorado-based #FundedbyIC company Rebound Technologies’s cooling product powers industrial freezers better and smarter. Their product makes existing vapor compression cycles more efficient and also reduces energy from traditional refrigerants. “Rebound’s technology is very compelling in terms of climate change mitigation because if current trends continue, by 2050, refrigerant leaks will be responsible for 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. There is a massive potential for impact here in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” says IC member and investor, Pippa Gawley. 

Furthermore, IC members were pleased to partner with PRIME Coalition, a nonprofit that empowers philanthropists to place charitable capital into market-based solutions to climate change, on a first-of-its-kind collaborative investment into ConnectDER. ConnectDER is developing a meter collar that enables residential solar to connect to the grid safely, more rapidly, and at a lower cost. “ConnectDER’s solution will not only help utilities support increasing solar adoption, but it will also save homeowners from having to pay unnecessary installation costs or drill holes into their walls during the installation process,” says IC member Leigh Wood. Learn more about ConnectDER here.

IC members also funded UltraCell Insulation, a manufacturer of high-performance cellulose building insulation made from recycled cardboard materials. As our consumption habits are rapidly changing, this #FundedbyIC company is stepping right in. Print edition newspapers are on the decline while Amazon cardboard usage is on the rise. UltraCell Insulation is fulfilling a recycling need as well as an energy efficiency need. IC member Roberta Gordon and the rest of the due diligence team were particularly impressed by the management team, noting their industry experience and deep knowledge of the market. Learn more about the UltraCell Insulation deal and hear the #FundedbyIC entrepreneur’s perspective here.

Spotlight Solar is a North Carolina-based company producing solar installation structures for commercial and public properties that are designed to be visible and signal environmental stewardship. Says IC member Steve Monti, “The opportunity here is tremendous. Spotlight Solar is a fellow Certified B Corp passionately committed to increasing solar adoption by making the structures visible and attractive. That is a proven peer effect – when people see solar, they adopt solar.

To further engage with these four companies and others in the IC portfolio, contact Andrew. To find new deals focused on energy and environmental sustainability, learn about attending an upcoming IC pitch event by contacting Jill. To learn from the sector expertise of members in the IC network, members can join the next Virtual Member Meeting.

While in Florida for his daughter’s volleyball tournament, IC NC Local Network leader and investor Steve Monti found a Spotlight Solar installation!

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