Giant Leap’s Small Steps: ‘Code Red for Humanity’ – startup opportunities from IPCC’s climate report

- August 19, 2021 2 MIN READ
climate change protest

Welcome to Giant Leap’s Small Steps, a newsletter offering global insights and news on the impact startup landscape. We’ll be sharing an edited version with Startup Daily readers every fortnight.

Giant Leap is Australia’s first impact venture fund, and they use this newsletter to surface the ideas and businesses that intrigue and inspire them and broaden their own thinking on impact business.

You can catch Giant Leap partner Rachel Yang on the Startup Daily show on ausbiz.com.au, offering insights on the impact of the startup ecosystem.

Here’s what they have to say this week:

The latest IPCC report contained both harsh reality checks and hope for addressing climate change.

On one hand, much damage of human warming is irreversible and we have a 67% chance of remaining under the 1.5C target by 2040 even if we make an extraordinary U-turn to reduce carbon emissions.

In this Australian perspective from Bloom’s founder, “Code Red for Humanity”, we’re in line to get both “barbecued” and “soaked” if the direction doesn’t change.

On the other hand, scientists are much better at modelling climate impacts, making it much clearer who is responsible for warming. This means governments and businesses will have to act (or be held accountable). Bloomberg Green’s key takeaways here.

The cleantech sector is already playing its role: 2021 has seen more climate-focused funds raised during the previous five years combined.

Addressing warming is a game of both reducing the 36b tonnes of new carbon emissions annually and taking carbon out of the atmosphere. We’re heartened by recent investment in both areas with Main Sequence leading an $8m round in MGA Thermal to improve sustainable energy storage while a US-based startup called 44.01 recently raised $5m to lock billions of tonnes of atmospheric CO2 in stone. Meanwhile, we’ve argued previously that health and edtechs startups will play a huge role too.

Last edition’s thoughts on tech diversity highlighted some happy female-led VC news in the last few weeks. Adore Beauty’s Kate Morris, dubbed “Godmother” for startup hopefuls, is reinvesting funds into the startup ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Jackie (Jax) Vullinghs and Elicia McDonald were promoted to partners at Airtree last week.

Once the snowball gets rolling, we expect to see the tech gender gap shrink faster and faster.

US economics professor Matt Clancy makes the argument that entrepreneurship is contagious, with studies showing that working for a female entrepreneur increases the likelihood of those women founding a company themselves. The same goes for having an entrepreneurial mother!


New career paths

There are now 80+ more jobs on the Giant Leap Fund jobs board and more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.


Thoughts for the road

They like to take risks, grew up with the internet, and are more impact-focused than any other generation before them: plenty of reasons to be excited about investing in Gen Z led startups.

First Round collated the 30 best bits of startup advice heard on podcasts. Some choice ones include: Write a weekly round-up to set the tone for employees, train your team on storytelling, and snap up former founders when hiring.

Speaking of advice, if you’re a startup interested in becoming a B Corp, here’s a fantastic article offering some helpful tips.

We talk a lot about impact and commercial return. But can it get any better than this?

If you have any used appliances, send them this artist’s way

And finally, Mamma Mia with tubs made us smile