For the final episode of the Propcast season 8, Louisa is joined by Greg Smithies, Partner and Co-Head of Climate Tech at Fifth Wall and Jonathan Schulhof, Co-Founder and CEO of FootPrint Coalition Ventures. They talk through their roles and what their funds are doing within the climate and sustainable technology space, explaining the growth and trends that they have seen in the market at the macro and micro level. They speak about what the future looks like for impact investing and the built environment, and what we can personally do to reduce our carbon footprint.
Key Insights From This Episode:
About Our Guests:
Greg Smithies, Partner and Co-Head of Climate Tech at Fifth Wall.
Greg is a Partner at Fifth Wall, where he co-leads the Climate Technology Investment team. Prior to joining Fifth Wall, Greg was a Partner at BMW i Ventures where he led the Sustainability investing practice, investing in companies such as Prometheus Fuels, and PureCycle (NASDAQ: ROCH). Before joining BMW i Ventures, Greg led Finance & Operations for both The Boring Company and Neuralink simultaneously.
Greg started his investment career at Battery Ventures where he covered early-stage enterprise technology startups, as well as industrial technology buyouts. Successful exits from his work there include Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), AppDynamics (acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc.), and IST (acquired by Scott Brand).
Greg was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and currently lives in Oakland, CA. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where he received a BS in Economics and a BS in Computer Science.
Founded in 2016, Fifth Wall, a Certified B Corporation, is the largest venture capital firm focused on technology-driven innovation for the global real estate industry. With approximately $3.0 billion in commitments and capital under management, Fifth Wall connects many of the world’s largest owners and operators of real estate with the entrepreneurs who are redefining the future of the Built World. Fifth Wall is backed by a global mix of more than 90 strategic investors from more than 15 countries.
Jonathan Schulhof is co-founder and CEO of FootPrint Coalition Ventures, a digital publishing and venture firm he started in partnership with Robert Downey Jr., to back environmentally focused sustainable technologies. FootPrint is a cross-platform digital publisher that features sustainable technology in news and short form video content for social media, and long-form series for streaming networks. FootPrint uses its publishing activity to originate and add value to investments in high growth companies. FootPrint then makes these investments accessible to investors that want to join in our movement through funds and through co-investment syndicates. We invest in areas such as alternative proteins, biodegradable plastics, electric vehicle motors, and energy storage.
Jon has over 20 years of experience investing in clean technology startups. He was a founder and lead investor in Motivate, which owned and operated Citibike and the other leading North American bike sharing systems (sold to Lyft). He started Loom Media to finance the rollout of free public electric vehicle charging systems, and other smart city amenities sponsored by corporate media (now part of WPP). Earlier in his career, Jon created ColdWatt, a high efficiency power electronics company (sold to Flextronics); and Glori Energy, a microbially enhanced oil recovery business (IPO).
In addition to his cleantech work, Jon serves as non-executive chairman of GTI Capital Group, a permanent capital investor in India. Jon started this company while living in New Delhi from 2010 through 2012. GTI’s holdings include Air Works (aviation maintenance), Samhi (hotels), and WebEngage (B2B SaaS tools for ecommerce). GTI has several prior exits including Brattle Foods (refrigerated logistics, sold to Future Group), National Stock Exchange (sold through secondary trades), Sandhar (autoparts, IPO), and Nova Medical Centers (healthcare services, sold to Apollo).
Jon was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served on the Board of Northside Center for Early Childhood Development for 10 years. He is now a mentor at iMentor. Jon holds a law degree from Stanford, and attended Dartmouth College.
About Our Host
Louisa started her career in property working at a well-known estate agency in London. Realising her people skills, she moved over to Lloyd May to pursue a career in recruitment. She now is a Director at LMRE, who are a specialist recruitment firm driven by PropTech and recruitment professionals, and Louisa oversees their 5 core areas. Louisa co-founded LMRE and provides a constructive recruitment platform to the new disruptors in real estate. Louisa is also on the board of Directors at UK PropTech Association (UKPA).
LMRE believe there is a better way to recruit. LMRE focus on a more comprehensive, client led focus delivering exceptional talent to the place at the time. They are passionate about the industry and passionate about people’s careers. LMRE spend time with each client to become and an extension of the business, and their transparency and core values help them grow with the sector. LMRE simplify recruitment and innovate with our clients and evolve the people driven, PropTech community.
[02:05] Greg, can you talk us through your journey?
[06:10] John, can you talk us through your journey?
[14:20] Greg, can you talk us through impact investing and how it’s going to affect our built environment?
[16:50] John, in your 20 years, what major changes have you seen?
[22:30] With technologies such as Carbon Cure and cross-laminated timber, it is expensive for buildings to put into practice and will the cost of these buildings be higher?
[24:50] John, you have experience in alternative proteins, can you expand on that and give an example of a technology in that space?
[28:00] Is there something our audience could be looking for to play their part in the future of the built environment?
[30:55] The ‘LMRE’ part, Louisa asks the guests to talk about;
1.Lessons learned in your career
2.Mention a person, product or service
3.Rewarding parts of working in the space:
4.What are you most Excited about for the future of the space?:
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