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Kiwi cleantech ventures attract Silicon Valley investors

With the cleantech industry seeing an $80 billion NZD investment each year, twelve Kiwi companies are ready to take a slice of the pie as they attract Silicon Valley investors.

Cleantech Trek USA, led by Callaghan Innovation, helped connect these Kiwi companies with corporates and investors at the 2024 Cleantech Forum in Silicon Valley, to further their ventures developing solutions to global challenges in areas like renewable energy, clean water, waste-to-value, carbon capture, and carbon-free concrete.

The Mission Lead, Phil Anderson, says the twelve companies ranging from pre-revenue to growth see this as an opportunity to address these issues on a global scale.

Cleantech Trek USA include the companies Aspiring Materials, Bspkl, Catogenix, EnPot, Geo40, Hydroxsys, Neocrete, Nilo, Openstar Technologies, Sleaktek Biopolymer, Vortex Power Systems, and Zincovery.

“With the next wave of unicorns – start-ups valued at $1billion – likely to include plenty of companies addressing global issues like climate change and environmental degradation, there’s a huge economic opportunity for our globally focused Kiwi cleantech start-ups,” says Anderson.

He adds that their trip was able to impress the corporates and investors of Silicon Valley of the quality of Kiwi innovators and was able to recognise the opportunity of global acceleration.

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The Kiwi market is filled with world-class people and technology but as a country there is limited market size and growth capital for the cleantech start-ups to reach their potential in a global market.

Anderson adds that this is why international connections are vital for start-up founders.

“For US-based entities it’s much easier to partner with or invest in local technologies and talent. They need to see something very special and believe strongly in a founding team before wanting to work with a Kiwi cleantech venture,” he says.

Among the mix, Anderson says there is a large mix of female founders in the space, which showed the international investors the potential of venture capital partnerships.

For the founders in the group, they say the experience going to Silicon Valley is valuable to their experience in growing their companies.

“The journey in the US has been nothing short of amazing, providing valuable connections with inspiring individuals and uncovering insightful stories. The wealth of knowledge gained about navigating investment pitches in the USA has been invaluable. I’m grateful for the opportunities and excited about what lies ahead,” says Bspkl CEO, Christina Houlihan.

The journey to Silicon Valley for the cleantech start-up ecosystem is only the beginning for the space in order of building a profile.

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