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Aera VC’s Derek Handley & Outset Ventures’ Imche Fourie Host NZ Climate Tech Sector Panel: 28 Oct

In the race to decarbonise emissions, we need more New Zealand entrepreneurs, “Building a climate tech venture to save the world,” and this is the topic of an online panel discussion tomorrow (October 28, 5pm), hosted by two investors backing climate tech startups in New Zealand and around the world: Derek Handley of Aera VC; and Imche Fourie of Outset Ventures.

The interactive online event aims to inspire entrepreneurs to build climate tech start-ups and to partner with industry to scale and is part of the inaugural Auckland Climate Festival.

“The pandemic has crashed into the climate crisis, spawning new ventures and accelerating breakthrough technologies that capture carbon, generate clean energy, build more sustainable food systems, and turn waste into wealth,” says Derek, who will open the event sharing some of his experiences backing climate and frontier tech startups over the past five years.

“The founders who crack these problems fastest will not only have a massive impact on climate change, but will also be starting the world's most important and most valuable, unicorns. And we have seen with Rocket Labs and more recently Dawn Aerospace, that New Zealand is as good a place as any to be inventing the future, and we need more of this future filled with breakthrough climate solutions.”

The panel will be moderated by Imche Fourie, co-founder and CEO of Outset Ventures, which has invested in three New Zealand climate tech startups this month, with two of them moving into Outset’s purpose-built workshop and laboratories as soon as Auckland Covid restrictions allow.

Panellists include climate tech trailblazers and supporters who are forging the future of New Zealand’s burgeoning climate tech sector:

Max Olson, co-founder of Seachange, a startup that is paving the way for zero emission ocean transit through its groundbreaking electric hydrofoiling ferries;

Anthony Bitossi, general manager at Stevenson Concrete, which has recently partnered with a game-changing Canadian climate tech startup that’s cracked a carbon friendlier way of producing concrete, which Stevenson will offer to New Zealand consumers.

Cathy Clennett, co-founder of Hiringa Energy, the first company to supply New Zealand with zero-emission hydrogen, and is now creating one of the world’s first hydrogen refuelling networks to assist the New Zealand’s government’s commitment to zero-emission transport;

“Investors and consumers are shifting their money into purpose-driven products and companies that will have a meaningful impact on addressing the climate crisis,” says Imche. “Australia has recently identified 500 climate tech startups and it would be incredible if New Zealand had more than 50 to talk about next year. There's no reason why New Zealand can't be the heart of climate tech in Asia-Pacific.

Record amounts of funding is pouring into climate tech, with the Silicon Valley Bank reporting US$58 billion will be invested in 2021, beating out last year’s record $US35 billion. A 2020 global PWC report shows “climate tech” is growing five times faster than overall VC investment.

Aotearoa New Zealand emits about 80 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year.

Register here to attend the event online, 5-6pm, 28 October.


About Aera VC
Aera VC invests at the frontier of deep technology and sustainability to accelerate the world to a better future since launching in late 2016. The Singapore-headquartered company’s two founding partners are based in New Zealand pioneering investments into transformational technologies to reverse climate change and make frontier breakthroughs for humanity.

About Outset Ventures
Outset Ventures is the largest and fastest growing hub for deep tech startups in New Zealand. The company offers commercial laboratory and workshop facilities, incubation programmes, and investment for early stage ventures founded on science and engineering breakthroughs. Currently home to 21 deep tech ventures, entrepreneurs backed by Outset Ventures can access its facilities and its expanding entrepreneurial community while preparing their companies for global markets. See

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