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The Earthshot

Project Track

We invest $500,000 in project funding to help startups buy down the risk of trying something new that will be transformational for your company.

We want to fund a new piece of technology, a new angle on your business model, and/or technology deployment in Hawaiʻi or California’s frontline communities.

Our team works closely with companies to supercharge their network and accelerate impact through:

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Stakeholder introductions

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Equity & Access model for deployment

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Project management support

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Community engagement

As a nonprofit organization, we ask for an equity donation to our program. It is our philosophy that when you succeed, part of that success should go back to supporting the ecosystem for future entrepreneurs.

The Project Track at Elemental is what is taking companies like us from the lab to actually show this is a viable technology in the field in actual commercial operation. So, Elemental really has been essential to prove our business is viable.

Cory Combs, co-founder and CTO of Ampaire 

I think there’s a kindred bond between Elemental Excelerator CEOs, not just because we’re in their portfolio but because we’re trying to do the same hard thing – we’re trying to take a technology and bring it to market through the needs of particular communities and particular ecosystems.

Naveen Sikka, CEO of Terviva

We can have a meaningful impact on climate change, but do it in a way that’s not disruptive actually. We like working within the supply chain to make it greener, to make it more profitable, to make it more competitive so that it’s compatible with a new low carbon economy.

 

Rob Niven, Ceo & Founder of Carbon Cure

Elemental’s team, funding, network and world-class community of entrepreneurs have been instrumental in helping us scale faster.

Cody Friesen, Founder & CEO of Zero Mass Water

Where do we fund projects?

Hawaii

Hawaii startup accelerator

Hawaii is an island state that faces unique challenges and opportunities around transportation, water, agriculture, energy, and waste. Our team has developed deep relationships across public, private, and nonprofit sectors to help startups deploy at the community level.

California

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In California, we fund projects in communities that are on the frontlines of climate change. We are interested in investing in companies that could provide jobs, internships, and/or educational opportunities with community partners. Our goal is to increase access to clean technology and employment opportunities in an affordable, equitable, and scalable fashion.

Who should apply?

Team

  • Diverse and experienced teams with deep knowledge of their industries and a proven track record of execution.
  • A strong and growing team that can support multiple project deployments.
  • At least one full-time project manager is recommended.

Maturity

  • Companies with a scalable business model and an appetite for expansion.
  • Typically Series A and beyond with at least 1 paying customer

Project

  • A project concept that is high-impact and in line with the company’s core business strategy. We’re looking to fund projects that can scale at least 10x after completion and, if the implementation is successful, the partner or customer should be able to continue using the technology going forward.
  • Projects can be a new piece of technology, a new angle on your business model, and/or technology deployment in Hawaiʻi or California’s frontline communities that incorporates Equity & Access
  • Project funding is used to help buy-down deployment risk. This means we do not pay for the whole project, but rather we will structure deployments under a 50-50 cost-share model. More details can be found in our Applicant Packet.
  • Projects must be completed in 16 months.

We do not fund:

  • Companies with fewer than two full-time employees
  • Companies without an operating prototype
  • Project developers selling third-party products
  • Consulting firms
  • Marketing or PR agencies
  • Nonprofits
  • Acquired startups

Timeline

Fall 2021
Winter 2022
Spring 2022
...and beyond
Project Timeline
Onboarding + Contracting
Project Finalization > Execution > Closeout
(Projects must be deployed in 16 months)
Alumni
All Cohort 10 CEOs and at least one other full-time team member will be required to participate in all three "elements" for the first year of the program. After completing the program, we ask that you participate in one or two of the "elements" in the following years to continue building relationships among companies and partners, share your learnings, and seek new investment and partnership opportunities within our ecosystem.
Core Program Elements
Oct 2021
Kickoff Week


The cohort comes together for the first time for a week of workshops and facilitated discussions that advance companies toward strategy goals, project milestones, and other key commercial inflection points.
February 2022
CxO Summit


100+ leadership teams from our newest cohort and alumni companies share networks, knowledge, and insights over the course of a 2-3 day summit.
May 2022
Interactive


We introduce you to investors actively funding companies in the energy, water, agriculture, mobility, and circular economy sectors.

For our next cohort, we are seeking technologies in these sectors:

Solutions:

  • Energy technology at the nexus of other sectors 
  • Robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning
  • Fintech
  • Resilience
  • Hydrogen
  • HVAC
  • Democratization of energy
  • Asset management tools that easily integrate with and optimize current systems
  • Manufacturing, commercials and industrial energy solutions
  • Electrification of everything
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Infrastructure
Nneka Uzoh Headshot

As the world transitions to cleaner energy and renewables become both cheaper and better than fossil fuels, we need to invest in the next level of innovations that democratize energy, optimize current energy systems, and support the electrification of built and rural environments across the globe. We are looking forward to finding some of the most impactful technologies that will lead us to an integrated energy decarbonization roadmap and a more sustainable future.

 

Nneka Uzoh, Director of Innovation - Energy

Solutions:

  • Affordable, appealing, and reliable mobility options for those most in need – disabled, seniors and frontline communities
  • Increased convenience, appeal and access to electric transportation for commercial fleet operators
  • Technologies that unlock new revenue models for cities
  • Reduced emissions in heavy freight, shipping, logistics, and air travel
  • New data insights to improve cities’ operational and resource efficiency 
  • Enhanced roadway infrastructure safety, resiliency and disaster planning

As we reach new heights of mobility innovation, we are excited to see how companies are building business models and strategies to encourage mass adoption of electric fleets, slash emissions from freight and aviation, and deliver new revenue streams to cities buckling under the weight of the pandemic. The future of movement will be driven by the alignment of technology and mission, and we are looking for entrepreneurs with a deep understanding of the need to accelerate a just transition to clean, equitable mobility systems.

 

Danielle Harris, Director of Innovation - Mobility

Solutions:

  • Soil health and carbon sequestration technologies
  • Alternative protein, dairy, and feed
  • Traceability and supply chain efficiency
  • Aquaculture, particularly seaweed and algae solutions
  • Solutions that reduce energy, fertilizers,  pesticidesand water use
  • Indoor agriculture – greenhouse, vertical and modular systems
Danya

The inefficiency and fragmentation of our global food system have been starkly illuminated over the past year. To build resilience, we need to deliver better tools to help farmers produce more with less while continuing their stewardship of the land. Given the growing inequity in communities across the world, we’re especially interested in solutions that increase access to food, tools, land, and resources for frontline communities and farmers. As we work to curb the climate impacts of feeding a growing population, we’re also looking for regenerative solutions needed to help remove carbon from the atmosphere.

 

Danya Hakeem, Director of Innovation - Agriculture & Circular Economy

Solutions:

  • Emerging contaminants – pfas! pharma, microplastics 
  • Stormwater management and flood resiliency solutions 
  • Water resource recovery 
  • Digital solutions
  • Industrial treatment applications
  • Energy efficiency in operating processes
  • Membrane optimization 
  • Pipeline health
  • The nexus areas with water: agriculture, energy, circular economy  
  • Decentralized treatment 
  • Water financial products 
  • Water recycling and reuse 

In the last year, inequities around access to clean, safe water have become even more pronounced while our critical water systems continue to be tested by emerging contaminants, aging infrastructure, and climate-related stresses. At the same time, we’ve seen just how resilient the sector can be. Moving forward, there is a real opportunity for the next generation of technologies to demystify water and provide a holistic understanding of how people, companies, and cities can collaborate to become better water stewards.

 

Kim Baker, Director of Innovation - Water

Solutions:

  • Carbon capture, utilization & storage
  • Green materials, chemicals and packaging
  • Supply Chain Transparency, responsible sourcing and data collection 
  • Waste to value solutions
  • Resource recovery and reuse
  • Solutions that create good quality, local jobs for people who live in frontline communities
  • Manufacturing startups interested in ‘Equity IN’ projects to establish diverse hiring, inclusion & retention, and responsible supply chain practices       
Danya

The circular economy is a broad umbrella — covering everything from carbon capture and utilization to innovative reuse models — but driving it all is the idea that we need to abandon the linear, extractive model and reconceptualize how we treat resources. Entrepreneurs are transforming the way we make materials, chemicals, clothing, buildings, and everything else in our daily lives to be less climate-intensive. I’m particularly excited to see how both nature-based and technological solutions can improve our existing systems and reach the scale needed to break the ‘take, make, waste’ model for good.

Danya Hakeem, Director of Innovation - Agriculture & Circular Economy

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