Newswise — ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University and Chloe Capital launched Diversity in ClimateTech, a new program to recruit, educate, inspire, and support capitalization in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and women founders developing startups with clean tech innovations.

Women and BIPOC entrepreneurs typically face more acute challenges scaling startups including limited access to, and attention from, investors. Additionally, clean tech innovation usually experiences slower adoption rates among customers and therefore slower revenue growth. The Diversity in ClimateTech program is designed to support diverse company founders with partners and programs in New York state’s Southern Tier region.

This program will help participants in underrepresented communities start climate technology companies and build their businesses. The program is being administered by Cornell's Center for Regional Economic Advancement in partnership with Chloe Capital and is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Cornell’s team at the Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) will identify and recruit diverse innovators with solutions in climate technology and provide them training on early-stage entrepreneurship skills including customer discovery, business idea validation, and IP generation. They will also connect these entrepreneurs to mentors and potential customers and partners in New York’s growing clean energy ecosystem in the Southern Tier. Cornell and its Center for Regional Economic Advancement already support numerous programs that empower diverse founders including W.E. Cornell (Women Entrepreneurs) and BET (Black Entrepreneurs in Training).

“W.E. Cornell and BET are just two examples of the programs that identify and attract the pre-seed and idea-stage startups that we want to help train and nourish through the Diversity in ClimateTech program,” said Andrea Ippolito ’06, M.Eng. ’07, W.E. Cornell program director, Cornell eLab instructor, and Cornell Engineering Lecturer. “By supporting diverse founders from an early-stage, we can help more of them succeed and connect them to the resources they need at each stage in their startup journey—right here in New York’s Southern Tier, a leading hub of clean energy innovation.” 

Chloe Capital is a movement-driven venture capital firm that invests in women-led technology companies with diverse leadership teams. The organization will help recruit diverse founders from across the country to participate in its signature program—to receive coaching and connections to investors. In the fall of 2021 Chloe Capital will host a public pitch event in Ithaca, New York to showcase the progress of its founders and introduce them to venture capitalists, private investors, and potential customers.

Diverse founders with innovations that increase resource efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support the decarbonization of the economy, and broadly reduce energy consumption are candidates for the Diversity in ClimateTech program. Founders can be based anywhere in the world, but they should have an interest in taking action in New York’s Southern Tier region that will benefit the economy such as hiring, opening an office, manufacturing, or piloting. The Southern Tier region is comprised of the following counties: Broome, Delaware, Chemung, Chenango, Tioga, Tompkins, Schuyler, and Steuben.

Katie MacDonald, NYSERDA’s Assistant Director Technology to Market said, “To solve the toughest climate and energy challenges, we need the best talent. Supporting this program provides recognition to women and entrepreneurs in underserved communities and will help bring their innovative technologies to market while helping New York State meet its nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.” 

“Investing in the growth of Climate Technology companies in the Southern Tier continues to make a huge impact,” said Elisa Miller-Out, Managing Partner at Chloe Capital. “Clean energy initiatives have created an awareness of the Southern Tier as a hotbed for cleantech innovation and spurred the growth of many startups—helping them to scale, create new jobs, and attract more like-minded startups and investors to the area.”

About CREA Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) fuels economic growth and diversity in Upstate New York through entrepreneurship and innovation. CREA is focused on making a measurable impact by supporting and managing a portfolio of over a dozen programs including Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, Rev’s Hardware Accelerators, Grow-NY, UNY I-Corps, Cleantech Hardware Scaleup, and many Cornell-facing startup accelerators and fellowships.

About Chloe Capital
Chloe Capital is a Movement-driven venture capital firm that invests in women-led technology companies with diverse leadership teams. In addition to investing with a gender and diversity lens, Chloe Capital partners with foundations, institutions and corporations to host programs that help catalyze fundraising efforts for female founders. This collaborative approach to early stage investing is what makes the firm so unique. More than 15,000 people around the world have already joined Chloe Capital’s Movement to #InvestInWomen.