Why Project Track
We help to buy down the risk of deploying something new and transformational -- such as a new product offering, business model, customer segment, or geography. The most sustainable and impactful projects for startups and the places they are deployed in include a strategy to co-design with and compensate community-based partners. Projects can be deployed in any geographic market and Elemental has a special commitment to Hawaii and California’s frontline communities.
$600,000 of funding to deploy a transformational project in any global market
How have our companies leveraged the Project Track for growth?
"It’s hard to quantify the credibility that being an Elemental portfolio company gives us to other investors, hires, customers, and our peers. That vote of confidence was more than just a little encouragement. Elemental's initial funding, plus a [follow-on convertible note], plus customers we've met through its events have turned us into an operationally profitable company. We'll complete the Project Track in an excellent position to raise a strong venture round and scale our impact on transportation equity in cities."
“Elemental has been an important part of SOURCE’s journey from an early-stage technology company to one that provides renewable drinking water solutions to households, communities, and governments in more than 50 countries around the world. Our partnership with Elemental extends beyond the project objectives and involves broad collaboration across our respective teams and the Elemental partner community."
"Elemental has taken our business to the next level. Prior to Elemental, we had been doing development on our own, but it’s another thing to be able to actually demonstrate our work in the field. With their support, we have been doing test flights in California and, in Hawaii, flew the first commercial route for an electrified aircraft. The Project Track is what is taking companies like us from the lab to actual commercial operation in the field."
Our Work In Action
Community-based organizations, leaders, and nonprofits are uniquely positioned to help design projects in a way that reflects the values and culture of their communities. Through deploying over 100 climate tech projects, we learned that this strengthens a project’s impact on startups, their customers, and the communities where projects are being deployed.
A new model for more equitable project deployment
Elemental’s Square Partnerships model is built upon the conviction that innovation succeeds best when it engages the community early and often. Companies are encouraged to collaborate with three key stakeholders from design to implementation: customers, community-based organizations, and investors / funders. We have developed a toolkit to help startups implement this new model that includes case studies from Elemental portfolio companies that have used this model for their Project Track deployments.
Remix identified a gap in leadership and process to address issues of historical inequity that could only be filled by the leadership of justice and equity advocates that departments of transportation (DOTs) and technology developers are traditionally prone to miss. To overcome this potential barrier, Elemental funded and facilitated a project collaboration between Remix, a group of equity and transportation advocates assembled by the Oakland-based mobility justice non-profit TransForm, and several major DOTs around California. The result was a feature set of geospatial demographic data within Remix’s new Explore product as well as a powerful project brief by TransForm. Remix was acquired by Via shortly after completing their Elemental project.
CarbonCure is pioneering CO2 utilization technologies for the concrete sector. Our project had two major objectives: pilot a policy-driven growth strategy and expand into Asia-Pacific utilizing a new sales partnership structure. We worked with the City & County of Honolulu to pass a resolution to prefer low carbon concrete. CarbonCure then used Honolulu as a proof point to scale to cities and states across the country. At the same time, CarbonCure partnered with Pan-United in Singapore to bring their technology to that region. A year after completing their Elemental project, CarbonCure has licensed 500 systems to concrete plants around the world and saved 132,000 metric tons of CO2.
Applications are open
March 7 - April 8
Acceptance and onboarding
Companies selected into Elemental’s 11th cohort are notified of acceptance, and the onboarding process commences.
Kickoff Week and CEO & Leadership Summit
Cohort 11 portfolio companies kick off their Elemental experience with a week together as a cohort. The week ends with CEO & Leadership Summit with the entire Elemental portfolio.
October 2022 - January 2023
Project execution and closeout
~16 months after project launch
The Not-So-Fine Print | Funding & Equity
Each company selected into our Cohort 11 Project Track receives $600,000. Our funding is structured in one of three ways – a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (“SAFE”), a convertible note, or a warrant donation – and is tied to three agreed-upon milestones. This means funding is released as companies complete each milestone.
As a nonprofit organization, financial returns from our companies’ success go to supporting future climate tech entrepreneurs.
On average, Project Track companies join Elemental with:
Have more questions? Download the Cohort 11 Applicant Packet to learn more about the program.
How do I know if I'm a fit for Project Track?
The Project Track is designed for mature companies, looking to deploy a first-of-its-kind project. Successful companies are able to design and implement a multi-phase project with a commercial customer and have a dedicated project manager responsible for the success of the project.
How does Elemental work with communities to deploy technologies?
Technology, policy, and markets intersect in different ways around the world and we know that community-based organizations, leaders, and nonprofits are uniquely positioned to design projects in a way that reflect the values and culture of their community.
The most compelling projects follow Square Partnerships model, which is built upon the conviction that innovation succeeds best when it engages the community early and often. We believe that, similar to how you would procure and hire a project consultant, fair compensation for community partners is the appropriate way to acknowledge the significant contributions they make to a project’s success, and we are increasing the funding award for Cohort 11 to reflect that. Learn more about how Elemental works with communities through Elemental’s Square Partnership toolkit.
Tell me more about project cost share. Is this required?
Companies will be asked to describe a specific project to be funded by Elemental when applying. Our funding is intended to help buy down deployment risk for projects with demonstrated market pull. One way we assess that is through our 50-50 cost share model for project funding. This means Elemental funding should cover up to 50% of project costs and startups are responsible for finding a customer or partner to fund the other 50% of the project’s costs.
Our strong preference is for cost share to come in the form of cash from customers. This is the strongest indicator of market demand for a solution. Secondary cost share sources can be 1) partners; 2) investors; 3) university, state, federal, or other funds. We will recognize in-kind cost share in special circumstances including labor from customers, discounted equipment/leases, and other contributions to the project.
Where does Elemental deploy projects?
Projects can be deployed in any geographic market, however, Elemental has a strong history and network in Hawai‘i and California’s frontline communities and we plan to fund about half of the projects in these places.
Can I apply with a project that is already in progress?
No, we want our funding to go towards something that will be transformational for your company. We are not looking to subsidize something that is already moving forward with or without our support. Instead, we want to unlock something new for your business, such as a product offering, a business model customer segment, or geographic expansion.