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Full Throttle: Nonprofit Investor Elemental Excelerator Accelerates $43 Million into Funding Gaps

March 15, 2023

· 3 min read
The Elemental Team

San Francisco, CA (March 15, 2023) — Elemental Excelerator, a leading nonprofit climate tech investor, today announced it plans to infuse up to $43 million into climate tech startups focused on social impact. On the heels of a chilly VC winter and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Elemental is leaning into its position as one of the longest-standing climate technology investors to respond to market conditions and fill funding gaps to accelerate climate solutions with deep community impact.

To scale climate solutions more quickly, Elemental will increase its funding to $43 million across two initiatives. First, Elemental announced today it is accepting applications for Cohort 12 and will increase funding by 60% for this cohort to a total of $13 million, with funding released on a rolling basis. Second, this also marks a new offering Elemental is planning: an additional $30 million in catalytic project funding for three to six projects with a profound community impact, bringing the total across its cohort and this new catalytic funding to $43 million total.

“We need both speed and scale,” Elemental Excelerator Founder & CEO Dawn Lippert said. “In light of recent events, it is more critical than ever to scale up solutions like clean drinking water, wildfire reforestation and pollution reduction from trucks near ports. Elemental is building a robust pipeline of projects that will soon be ready for later-stage private investors and unprecedented federal funding opportunities.”

Elemental has invested in more than 150 portfolio companies, including Forum Mobility and BlocPower.

“We need funders like Elemental who are super responsive to the market, innovative and nimble, and who can channel private and public funding to catalyze money into projects and really help them scale for maximum community impact,” Forum Mobility CEO Matt LeDucq said.

BlocPower CEO Donnel Baird stated: “Climate change is impacting ALL communities. Elemental is the best in the business at supporting clean energy solutions that prioritize vulnerable and frontline communities.”

Elemental’s model involves investing in entrepreneurs and organizations committed to supporting people from traditionally excluded backgrounds and frontline communities. To date, Elemental Excelerator’s 150+ portfolio companies have customers in all 50 states, with 55% in low and moderate-income communities.

Elemental brings 13 years of experience investing, scaling and implementing equity-driven climate solutions and has more than 45 private and public existing funders, including Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, Salesforce, United Airlines and the US Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research. To support this additional catalytic funding, Elemental is continuing its fundraising campaign with existing and new philanthropic partners.

Elemental has a proven track record demonstrating the effectiveness of investing with social impact, with 25 exits and $7 billion in follow-on funding. In addition to funding opportunities and commercialization support, Elemental provides wrap-around support for its portfolio companies. It includes access to resources to help drive policy initiatives, connect with corporations and embed equity and access in their work.

Startups interested in applying to Cohort 12 can submit their application here. Early applications will be given priority, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The application period is open until May 31, 2023, and companies will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Philanthropic funders interested in collaborating with Elemental and catalyzing funding into this sector can learn more here.

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About Elemental Excelerator

Elemental Excelerator is a nonprofit investor focused on scaling climate solutions and social impact for all communities. Elemental fills two gaps fundamental to addressing climate change: funding projects for climate technologies in real communities, and embedding equity and access into climate solutions.