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💬 "Is Israel Poised to Be a Climate Tech Leader?"


Photo by Shai Pal / Unsplash

Host: Guillaume De Dorlodot
Guest: Itamar Weizman | Partner | Firstime VC
Category: 💬  Opinion | Israel & Climate Tech

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[5:22] “Firstime VC is an investment group that has been around in Israel for over a dozen years. We started as a government backed incubator investing in Israeli entrepreneurs. […] It was a generalist VC […], but in 2021 I joined to lead a new climate tech fund, investing in sustainable ventures. We launched a $100 million fund.”

[18:02] “I think that the climate crisis is going to be relevant for any ongoing event. I think that we're experiencing a paradigm shift […]. We can now review every global event in this new climate lens, whether it's the war in Ukraine, that impacts Germany's energy policy, and impacts crop prices. […] Everything that happens now we need to analyze from a climate and carbon perspective.”

[21:14] “[In Israel] we have almost 1,000 companies in agriculture, precision agriculture, in food tech, in mobility, in renewable energy, […] in circular economy and carbon removal in a variety of natural carbon sequestration solutions. There's a really long list of verticals where you see Israeli companies. I think that climate tech as a whole globally is still in its early stages. So it's the same thing here in Israel.”

[21:45] “Over $2 billion dollars was invested in [climate tech] Israel in 2021. And I think it's going to dramatically increase […] in the coming year. About 7% of all VC money was invested in climate tech. Hopefully, it will grow to 25% […] by the end of the decade. Israel is a real tech powerhouse and I think that the Israeli talent pool can and will be directed towards climate challenges.”

[22:14] “Right now, we're seeing a lot of Israeli companies being built in the food tech space, for a variety of reasons. But because of our great scientific and academic research that we have here in Israel, that leads to interesting solutions in alternative proteins. And on the other side, we're seeing a lot of public transportation solutions in mobility. […] In agriculture, Israel has had a huge challenge since its inception. 60% of the country is a desert, I believe, and we have a lot of irrigation challenges here. […] And I think that Israel is positioned to be one of the leading ecosystems in global climate tech.”

[28:59] “When you launch a new fund, you look for a story that's going to be successful, not tomorrow, but in 10 years from now. Because you're building a company that's supposed to be scaled dramatically in 10 years from now. So when we started to work on this fund a year and a half ago, we were looking for a story that is going to last 10 years from now. And the only story that I believe is going to last 10 years from now is the climate story.

[39:27] “I'm really excited about waste to energy. […] Waste to energy is really really interesting in terms of business models, in terms of returns, in terms of stability, in terms of cash flow, in terms of carbon removal, in terms of methane removal, in terms of sustainable design for our societies, for our waste management systems, for our material sourcing.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

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🕰️ 53 min | 🗓️ 07/14/2022
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