Exploring the role of hardware in Climate Tech and the entire value chain of the energy transition with FORWARD.one

With the highly anticipated 0100 Conference Europe 2024 on the horizon, we had the privilege of engaging in a conversation with Beau-Anne Chilla, Partner at FORWARD.one, a prominent VC firm leading investments in Climate Tech. With a profound dedication to expediting the energy transition, Beau-Anne brings invaluable insights into the role of Climate Tech innovations in tackling climate change—a subject she will further delve into as a keynote speaker at the conference. Join us as we uncover Beau-Anne's expertise and explore the transformative potential of Climate Tech in shaping a sustainable future.

What is the role of climate tech in energy transition?

Recent Research by Pwc showed that the world needs to decarbonise seven times as fast as the current rate, to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial averages. Climate Tech innovations are our only hope to accelerate the pace at which we as a society decarbonise. The Energy Transition is the largest and most important aspect of Climate Tech in that regard. As it is gaining momentum, so are the investment opportunities in this space.

How has the landscape changed in deep tech related to Forward.One’s field?

When we started, deeptech and hardware investments in VC was a blue ocean. Now we see more and more VC's interested in the space. Forward.one applauds this development; true impact in Climate Tech comes from hardware investments and more co-investors are needed to make a huge success out of the untapped potential.

How relevant is hardware development in building the future of climate tech?

It is simple: we cannot solve climate change with software alone. Hardware is essential along the entire value chain of the energy transition, of electrifying households and the industry, of making the industry more energy efficient, and of capturing (past) emissions.

What are the major challenges when looking for the most innovative founders in Semiconductors, Climate Tech, and high-tech fields? Where do you see the most innovative companies?

We have top-ranked technical universities in Europe that form the basis of the most innovative companies we encounter. Unfortunately, too often, founders with their great technology miss the commercial knowledge to scale their innovation in the market. We have experience in finding product market fit and building these sales teams for hardware companies.

What are the most promising areas for hardware climate tech innovations in the next 5 years?

Great question! The market evolves so swiftly that the promising areas in 5 years time will be completely different from what we see as promising today. But battery recycling, solving net congestion and storing captured CO2 are definitely areas I am currently looking into.

Don't miss Beau-Anne Chilla’s insightful presentation on "The Underestimated Opportunity of Hardware in Climate Tech" at the 0100 Conference Europe. Join us next week from Tuesday, April 16th to April 18th at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam, located at Paul van Vlissingenstraat 24, 1096 BK Amsterdam, Netherlands. Register now to gain invaluable insights into the future of Climate Tech and the pivotal role of hardware innovation in driving the energy transition forward.

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