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‘Climate tech: SEA needs more time to improve startup quality, attract capital’, says Earth Venture


Earth Venture Capital General Partner Tien Nguyen


Lack of climate change education, governmental support and entrepreneurial culture contribute to the shortage of climate tech firms in SEA.


Earth Venture Capital General Partner Tien Nguyen

Lack of climate change education, governmental support and entrepreneurial culture contribute to the shortage of climate tech companies in Southeast Asia, said Tien Nguyen, General Partner of Earth Venture Capital.

However, with the growing awareness and initiatives in the region, it is just a matter of time before highly qualified climate tech startups emerged in various sub-sectors of climate tech.

“Entrepreneurship and venture investment develop through the history of economy, education and culture. Southeast Asia needs more time to improve startup quality and attract more relevant capital,” he said. “The region, however, has possessed the potential of a large and young population, a growing source of tech talents and a supportive government in terms of climate change.

Founded by Tien Nguyen and Linh Nguyen (not related), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam-based Earth Venture is a VC fund investing in early-stage digital solutions tackling climate change. The debut fund — closed a few days ago — seeks to support pre-seed to Series A-stage companies with a potential to expand globally.

The VC firm invests in startups in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, computer vision, and the Internet of Things that serve the goals of switching to renewable energy, abandoning fuel and diesel and planting more trees.

Also Read: There’s a mismatch of investment and entrepreneur focus in SEA’s climate tech: Steve Melhuish

Fund I aims to back 10-12 startups, with ticket sizes ranging from US$500,000 to US$3 million. Earth Venture Capital’s LPs include unnamed global institutional investors with a strong focus on climate change.

According to Tien Nguyen, the Vietnamese ecosystem has excellent potential, but it is still nascent and investing in the country is risky. It, therefore, applies a venture studio model in the market.

Earth Venture Studio is an institutional co-founder that invests and works closely with local startups — from ideation to the product-market-fit — in a scientifically systematic entrepreneurial sequence. After a year in the studio, the best startup will receive investment from the VC firm.

As founding investors, we co-build Earth startups, and we stick around for the entire mission, including the pre-and post-launch phases. We help turn an idea into a product, see it in action, and launch it for the world to experience it,” he said, sharing the details.

The VC firm also runs Earth Venture Foundation. This not-for-profit unit provides grants and sponsorship to academic and scientific initiatives/research/inventions that add value to the climate change preventing battle.

Tien Nguyen stressed that climate change is a global issue that needs to be addressed on a global scale. “There should be more education about climate change and entrepreneurship to develop more feasible initiatives in the cleantech industries. More capital commitment and involvement are needed from governments, think tanks and institutions to empower innovative entrepreneurship. Besides, the partnership with global organizations for climate change initiatives and ideas sharing is also an essential factor for Southeast Asia to keep up with the world trends.

“Our region is severely affected by climate change. Our startups, therefore, have an opportunity to test their products right on the battlefield with real issues. The complex consequence of climate change pushes our communities to react faster and more critically. The advantages that may differentiate Southeast Asia from the rest of the world are the outstanding talent in the region and the lessons we can learn from the mistakes of other regions in terms of climate tech,” he concluded.

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The Article is originated by Sainul Abudheen K @e27