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UNSW and Virescent Ventures to invest $1.6m in Australia’s most promising climate startups

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The Trailblazer for Recycling & Clean Energy and Virescent Ventures back UNSW Founders’ Climate 10x accelerator program

The Trailblazer for Recycling & Clean Energy (TRaCE) and Virescent Ventures have partnered to invest $1.6 million in Australian climate tech startups through UNSW Founders Climate 10x Program.

The partnership will see the largest investment made to climate tech startups through an accelerator program in Australian history. It comes amidst new urgency around climate action and a renewed government focus on accelerating climate innovation.

The Climate 10x program aims to uncover Australia’s up-and-coming climate tech startups that are breaking some of the biggest barriers to decarbonisation. Last year’s cohort saw startups developing solutions for decarbonising diesel engines, revolutionising the asphalt industry and accelerating manufacturing material discovery with AI, just to name a few.

This year, the program is on the hunt for more startups looking to move the needle on decarbonisation, accelerate the transition to renewables and strengthen our nation’s circular economy. Virescent Ventures, which has invested on behalf of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, is Australia’s largest dedicated climate tech venture capital firm, investing in startups that address the biggest emissions sources.

Eleni Assargiotis, Program Manager of UNSW Founders Climate 10x program says: “Virescent Ventures supported our inaugural launch of the Climate 10x program last year which was a huge success, providing founders from across the country with the capital, commercial perspective and strategic vision that they require to go on and make their business a viable success.

“This renewed support and investment, alongside the ongoing support from TRaCE, serves as an important vehicle to ensure promising climate tech startups can transform their solutions into high-impact, scalable tech companies. UNSW continues to be Australia’s most entrepreneurial university and we can’t wait to uncover the next big innovation in the climate space.”

Interested startups are encouraged to submit their expression of interest for the program, with applications open from 12th April.  Successful applicants will receive between $120,000 and $330,000 in funding alongside ongoing mentorship, access to facilities and UNSW Founder’s global investing community to go and build their viable startup.

Blair Pritchard, Partner at Virescent Ventures says: “Australia needs to do a better job of channelling its world-class university talent towards solving the biggest challenges of climate change, and accelerator programs are an important catalyst for that.

“We’re proud to support TRaCE & UNSW Founders on its mission to solve a decade’s worth of climate change in just four years. Climate change affects all of us and every aspect of the economy – the investment opportunity for these startups is unparalleled.”

More details on the Climate 10x program can be found here.

About UNSW Founders 

UNSW Founders exists to help entrepreneurs. As Australia’s most comprehensive and inclusive entrepreneurship program, our integrated experiences provide UNSW staff, students and alumni with the mindset, capability, community and networks to be successful. Supporting everyone no matter where they are on their entrepreneurial journey – just curious, have an idea to explore, a startup to build, or a company to launch globally.

About the Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy

The Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (TRaCE), awarded by the flagship Commonwealth Government Trailblazer Universities Program to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Newcastle (UoN), aims to accelerate a pipeline of disruptive technologies out of the lab and into local manufacturing and global deployment. The $280M program spans the innovation lifecycle, from research and development through to de-risking, demonstration, deployment, and manufacturing, and is underpinned by critical workforce skills, cultural change, and university workplace reform.

About Virescent Ventures

Virescent Ventures is Australia’s leading climate tech venture capital firm. We invest in the founders and technology at the heart of the global transition to net zero. Born out of the world’s biggest green bank (the Clean Energy Finance Corporation), we seek investments that address the largest, hardest to abate sources of emissions. We are committed to backing our founders on their journey as their needs evolve, investing from pre-seed to late stage growth capital.

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