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Mission Possible: Climate Tech with Mark Tomasovic, Energize Capital


Welcome to ‘Mission Possible: Climate Tech’ with Xan Winterton, a Q&A focused on the Climate Technology Industry.

This Q&A Series will be led by our Managing Director & Head of Climate Tech, Xan Winterton. Xan will be speaking with the movers and shakers across the climate technology sector, the folks that are galvanizing change to make our planet greener, cleaner and dare I say it serener!

This week we have been in touch with Mark Tomasovic, Principal at Energize Capital.

Energize Capital is a leading climate software investor. We partner with best-in-class innovators to accelerate the sustainability transition.

Founded in 2016 and based in Chicago, Energize is backed by LPs who represent world-class institutional, strategic, impact and family office investors. We leverage our team’s deep industry and operational expertise to guide our research-based investment approach and support our portfolio companies in scaling and realizing their full potential, from early commercialization to the public markets.

What inspired you to pursue a career in venture capital, and how did you initially break into the industry? 

I’ve always been interested in the intersection of industry and investing. Originally, I started my career in the energy industry working as a chemical engineer across industrial facilities. I decided I wanted to learn about investing and used business school as a way to break into the industry. During business school I took almost every finance class that I could and then recruited heavily to break in.


What is the investment thesis of Energize Capital? And what differentiates you from other investors in the space?

Energize invests in digital technology for climate and industry. Our team all comes from industry and we’re backed by a number of companies that are interested in digitizing and decarbonizing. We support our companies with a number of commercial and financial resources and we understand that commercializing in climate and industry is different than selling traditional enterprise SaaS. 


Do you envisage generative AI playing a part in climate technology? And if so how? 

Generative AI does well where there are large datasets that need processing, saand there are several applications in climate that require the processing of large datasets. A few examples include: processing geologic data, expediting engineering and design, and expediting things like grant-writing or permitting. 


Can you discuss any recent success stories or milestones achieved by startups in your portfolio that demonstrate the impact of climate technology?

Yeah of course. Aurora Solar is a solar software company that has facilitated the design of 10 million residential and commercial solar projects. Monta, an EV charging software company, surpassed 3 million charges last year. 


What are some of the biggest challenges that the climate tech sector faces? 

It’s hard to lump climate tech into one particular category because there are several different tailwinds and headwinds. Some headwinds include elevated material costs and the lack of labor availability to build the underlying assets. Tailwinds include demand for electric vehicles, federal funding through the IIJA, CHIPS Act, and IRA. As more infrastructure is deployed, the need for digital climate solutions grows to help manage the asset base.


What key lessons have you learned from both your successes and failures in the venture capital world? 

Venture capital has long feedback cycles. Markets change and theres lots of ups and downs along the way. The only thing that matters is the investment making process over the long haul. Consistency is key and ultimately sticking to a strong process will ensure long term success. 


If you could be any kind of tree what would you be? 

Mangrove trees. They pack a lot of punch. Pound for pound, they can absorb 4x more CO2 than the rainforest. They thrive in brackish water, so you can say theyre a salt-of-the-earth tree.

What’s your eco-lifehack? 

Public transit. I love the train. Plus – its so much cheaper than rideshare!

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