• Elemental Navigator

    Curated access to climate technology for corporations, investors and industry partners

At TEDxElemental, climate-tech entrepreneurs spoke about planting roots and spreading wings

November 10, 2020

· 4 min read
Ian Chipman Editorial Director

It filled our hearts to see so many friends and family at #TEDxElemental! We held this virtual event on October 28 in collaboration with TED Countdown, a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis.

We heard stories from the 19 entrepreneurs and innovators in Cohort 9 on why they started their companies and how they’re looking to bend the future. Together, they offered a blueprint for how we can climb out of our climate mess, ensure social and environmental equity, and inspire collective action in the months and years to come. As one of our founders said after the event, “We are all connected to each others’ success. Let’s continue to lift each other as we climb.” That’s true of all of us and our shared purpose.

You can catch the full replay of the event here, or watch each of these entrepreneur’s stories below.


Innovation Is Rooted in Tradition

Is enough really enough? Evette Ellis, co-founder and Chief Workforce Officer at ChargerHelp!, gave us goosebumps and brought some of us to tears. ChargerHelp! has created a platform for on demand repair of electric vehicle charging stations.


“I don’t need another journey planner for a day that hardly ever goes to plan.” Devin de Vries and his team at WhereIsMyTransport have been hearing this from transit riders all over the world. They are mapping formal and informal public transport in emerging-market cities.


From a family-owned fleet vehicle business to enabling a future of zero-emission fleets. Dakota Semler and his team at Xos Trucks are building electric mobility solutions for fleets.


Su Sanni’s commute to school would start with a long, lonely walk to the subway station. He started Dollaride to build digital rails for transit-starved communities.


Shilla Kim-Parker’s grandparents started the first black-owned business in small town in North Carolina, so small businesses are near and dear to her heart. Today, she and the team at Thrilling run an online marketplace for secondhand stores.


The Future Is Now

Does beer water have value? Matt Silver and his team at Cambrian Innovation are recovering sustainable resources from wastewater. They’ve already treated over 1 billion gallons of wastewater and generated / saved over 1 GWh of energy.


Just like magic. Elango Thevar and his team at NEER are redefining water infrastructure through machine learning.


A few weeks ago, ZeroAvia flew the world’s first flight of the world’s largest hydrogen electric aircraft. Val Miftakhov and his team at ZeroAvia are building a zero-emission future for aviation.


Solar farm design in minutes not weeks. Andrea Barber and RatedPower have built software that optimizes the design of utility-scale photovoltaic plants.


Roots and wings. Jessica O. Matthews and Uncharted Power are building smart, modular pavers for integrated infrastructure development on the way to building smart/sustainable communities that are designed to bequeath two things: roots and wings.


From Dark to Light

These resources (like air and water) know no boundaries, so it’s all or nothing. Stacy Flynn and the Evrnu team are upcycling textile waste in collaboration with leading brands and supply chain partners.


Carbon negative materials. Allison Dring and the team at Made of Air are already creating materials that are carbon sinks.


Never start something you can’t finish. That was Ari Raivetz’s grandfather’s advice to him, sometimes you don’t get things right on the first try. Ari and his team at Transcend have built an automated design software for water treatment facilities.


Tim Latimer started his career as a drilling engineer for an oil company. Today, he and his team at Fervo Energy are building scalable and affordable geothermal power for 100% clean energy.


After 15 years in the food supply chain, Christine Moseley knew the amount of food being wasted. So, she started Full Harvest, a B2B marketplace for imperfect and surplus produce.



Seeds Make Forests Make Seeds

Dana Shapiro was born on a small kibbutz in Israel where everything was done cooperatively. She found her way to Hawaii and started Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative to help revitalize Hawaiʻi’s indigenous food systems.


Regenerative farmers are sequestering carbon in the soil while feeding us all. Frank Wooten and the team at Vence have created a solution for virtual livestock management to help ranchers manage the land for the future.


Julia Collins’ connection to food comes from her grandparents. She and her team at Planet FWD are building an ingredient platform for climate-friendly foods.


Grant Canary grew up building tree forts. He and the team at DroneSeed are scaling drone-based reforestation.