Mike Cannon-Brookes Expands Pipeline of Climate Technology Founders with Startmate

Startmate and Boundless Earth, Mike Cannon-Brookes’ philanthropic venture, have accelerated their partnership to recruit and upskill 300 new founders and operators into climate technology start-ups over the next 18 months.

Startmate launched its inaugural Climate Tech Fellowship last week as part of the plan. The An 8-week virtual program with Boundless Earth is conducted every six months in three cohorts of 100 people in Australia and New Zealand, inspiring them to make the transition into the climate technology sector.

Startmate Program Manager Julia West said she hopes one wave of exceptional talent enters the climate technology sector.

“We know that people in Australia and New Zealand have the skills and drive to make a difference,” he said.

“We want to help them make the transition from a deep concern for climate change to actively working to solve climate problems.”

Late last year Boundless Earth CEO Eytan Lenko announced the launch of Startmate’s Climate Tech Fellowship during Blackbird’s Sunrise Festival.

Startmate should have no problem meeting the goal of 300 as he has already received over 1200 expressions of interest to join the program.

The program costs $1,650, but Startmate offers full and half scholarships. Details on that are here.

Lenko told the first cohort last week that they are “changing the narrative” through their involvement in the fellowship.

“We need hundreds of thousands of Australians working in climate jobs over the next few years. But we need to provide a path for people to join this industry, and we need to change the assumption that climate jobs are just someone hammering solar panels into a field or building a wind turbine,” he said.

“Anyone can have a climate job: a software engineer, an accountant, a factory worker. The diversity of the participants in this fellowship is a good example of this. These are all skills we need as we transition to a zero-emissions future.”

Over the next two months, climate technology founders, operators and investors in AU and NZ, from organizations such as Climate Salad, Grok Ventures, Wedgetail, Artesian, Vow, Goterra, Great Wrap, Brighte, Fleet Space, Xylo Systems and Loam Bio, fellowship recipients speak about their experience and insights

Lenko said a climate job felt a bit lonely ten years ago.

“Today it is a different story. The number of people who have applied for the fellowship gives me tremendous hope,” he said.

“It’s all about leveraging the passion for climate to get things done quickly. When people work under the assumption that change will happen and they build companies and make decisions in companies with this in mind, then change really happens.”

Cannon-Brookes founded the nonprofit Boundless Earth last year as part of its $1.5 million commitment to climate investments. It uses philanthropy, investment and direct advocacy as part of a mission to run Australia a renewable energy superpower by 2030.

More about the Starting mate climate Tech Fellowship here.