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My Journey to Climate Tech Investment: Nam Tran’s Story

In the fast-paced world of venture capital, Nam Tran stands out as a passionate advocate for sustainability and innovation. As an Investment Associate at Earth Venture Capital, Nam leverages her extensive expertise in finance, renewable energy, and deep tech to drive impactful investments in climate tech. With a sharp eye for identifying promising startups and a deep understanding of complex technologies, Nam is at the forefront of fostering groundbreaking innovations that address global environmental challenges. Her role involves not only sourcing and evaluating potential investments but also providing strategic guidance to portfolio companies, ensuring they have the resources and support needed to thrive. Nam’s commitment to merging sustainability with venture capital exemplifies the transformative power of aligning financial growth with positive environmental impact.

To learn more about Nam’s journey and insights, we sat down with her for an in-depth interview. Here, she shares her experiences, challenges, and the key lessons she has learned along the way.

My Journey to Climate Tech Investment: Nam Tran’s Story

Can you tell us about your early passion for climate tech and how it started?

My passion for climate tech started during my university years when I worked with an NGO focused on green technology. We installed solar energy systems in Tra Vinh, where 10-20 households had no access to electricity. These families had to rely on rechargeable batteries because they had no power grid. That hands-on experience with renewable energy and climate technologies was eye-opening. Working with the Frogsleap Foundation on water filtration and solar energy projects further solidified my interest in leveraging technology to address social and environmental challenges.

What were your first steps in the venture capital world?

At my previous company, I got the chance to be involved with a micro venture capital fund. I was in charge of deal sourcing, which meant I got to see the inner workings of the VC model. I became fascinated with the idea of investing in startup ideas and fueling their growth. This exposure sparked my interest in venture capital and set me on the path to finding a place where I could combine my love for sustainability with my growing investment interest.

When I discovered Earth Venture Capital, it felt like a perfect fit. Their focus on climate tech aligned with my passions, and I was eager to be part of their mission. From applying to interviewing, it took about a month and a half. I read everything about Earth VC and loved the concept. When I got the offer, it felt like a dream come true.

What were some of the challenges you faced when transitioning to your role in investment?

Transitioning into a role focused on investment wasn’t easy. I had read about investment, finance, and climate change, but that was just shallow knowledge. The real challenge was understanding the practical aspects—evaluating their idea, product, market, business model, etc, and most importantly, assessing the team's capabilities.

The complexity of deep tech evaluations forced me to confront the limitations of my scientific knowledge. I revisited subjects like chemistry, physics, and biology, this time with the intent to delve much deeper. You know, it's mind-blowing how Founders utilize these core principles to develop groundbreaking solutions and tackle our generation's problems.

What is your typical day as an Investment Associate?

Every morning, I start by reading news and newsletters to stay updated on the latest trends and developments in climate tech and investment. This helps me keep a finger on the pulse of the industry. After that, I check emails and sort through new pitch decks and proposals from startups. Sourcing deals is a critical part of my role, so I spend time reviewing these opportunities to identify promising ventures.

Meeting with founders is a key part of my day. These meetings can range from initial introductions to deep-dive discussions about their technology and business models. Conducting due diligence is another major task. This involves assessing the viability of startups and evaluating their technology, market potential, and financial health.

Collaboration is essential in this field, so I often connect with other VCs to exchange insights and explore co-investment opportunities. This helps me stay informed about the broader investment landscape and learn from my peers.

Attending events and conferences is also a regular part of my schedule. These gatherings are great for networking, discovering innovations, and gaining knowledge from industry experts.

What are some of the rewards you find in your work?

Understanding global concerns and witnessing innovation firsthand is incredibly fulfilling. Sometimes it feels like I’m ahead of my time, seeing technologies that will shape the future. The opportunity to interact with talented individuals is another highlight. In my role, I get to discuss various topics with experts, which is both a privilege and a learning experience. Every day, I have the freedom to pursue my goals and explore new opportunities. The support from our General Partners and Principals through training and coaching is invaluable.

Each achievement, like closing a deal or helping a portfolio company make a crucial connection, keeps me motivated. It wasn’t just about the financial investment but knowing that I believed in a startup's vision and potential. Watching that startup grow and succeed, seeing the founders' hard work pay off, and knowing I played a part in their journey is incredibly rewarding. At the end of the day, I want to "be a part of the solution, not part of the pollution.”

What key lessons have you learned, and what advice would you give to aspiring impact investors?

If you’re passionate about impact investing, the best time to start is today. Here are some key lessons and advice based on my experience:

  • Dive In Immediately: Don't wait for the perfect moment or for all the stars to align. The world of impact investing is dynamic and always evolving. The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll begin to understand its nuances. Embrace the journey with all its learning curves and challenges.

  • Read Extensively: Knowledge is your greatest asset. Get comfortable with reading a lot—be it books, articles, research papers, or market reports. Don't shy away from complex topics. The more you read, the more informed your decisions will be. Keep a notebook handy to jot down key points, insights, and connections between different pieces of information. This habit will help you see patterns and make informed decisions.

  • Stay Curious and Ask Questions: Curiosity drives innovation and understanding. Always ask questions—of yourself, your colleagues, and the industry at large. However, make sure you do your homework before you ask. Research thoroughly to form thoughtful, insightful questions. This not only shows your dedication but also helps you learn more effectively.


Nam Tran is an Investment Associate at Earth Venture Capital, where she leverages her expertise in finance, renewable energy, and deep tech to drive impactful investments in climate tech. With a strong background in green technology and a passion for sustainability, Nam excels in identifying and nurturing promising startups that address global environmental challenges.

Before joining Earth VC, Nam worked in a technology R&D center and a software firm, where she wore many hats—from Business Development and branding to Product Operations. Additionally, she built a community for sold-out NFT collections while running her media platform.

Nam joined Earth Venture Capital to look for the next impact startups and support them with funding and expertise. She has led investments in innovative companies like TreeToScope (Israel), Tômtex (US/VN), and Orbillion (US), with more exciting projects to come. Connect with her to talk about your game-changing solutions to tackle climate change.

Nam's commitment to merging sustainability with venture capital exemplifies her vision for a future where financial growth and positive environmental impact go hand in hand.


Follow Earth VC on LinkedIn to stay informed about our climate tech initiatives and connect with our community.


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