Climatize, conceived after participation in a FridaysForFuture march in Barcelona, recognizes the collective power found in like-minded investors with shared goals of supporting renewable energy projects through crowdfunding.
The platform aims to transform solar financing and investing, enhancing efficiency, transparency, and accessibility.
Users can start investing in solar projects with as little as $10 within 5 minutes.
Climatize collaborates with reputable organizations such as the DOE, NREL, and NYSERDA to access deal flow, and solar project developers can submit applications online.
The platform employs a rigorous vetting process, led by solar and financial specialists, evaluating projects for profitability, feasibility, viability, and impact.
Climatize’s investment offerings cater to a wide range of investors, from retail to institutional, allowing direct and transparent investment in chosen solar projects through the Climatize App.
Returns are distributed to investors based on a timely or milestone-oriented schedule.
Below is a conversation with Will Wiseman, co-founder of Climatize.
What was the lightbulb moment / origin story of Climatize?
Will: On September 29th, 2019 led by Greta Thunberg, Fridays For Future staged a global climate strike in which millions of people in hundreds of cities took to the streets to protest for climate action.
At the time I was completing my first Masters degree in Barcelona, Spain. My future co-founder & I joined the strikes on the main street leading to Plaza Catalunya where over 100,000 people had amassed.
Students led the charge while parents & grandparents marched behind with their grandchildren.
There was hope & motivation on everyone’s faces. In that inspiring moment I stood up onto a bench to look out over his sea of people & as I took in this sight I was struck by a sad realization – we will all go home & tomorrow, nothing will be different.
If our best option is to make a cardboard sign… that’s a glaring problem. That strike catalyzed an “Ah ha” moment for me.
There had to be a better way, how could we transform this motivation into tangible carbon reduction?
This started a journey, & ultimately a company, to figure out how can we turn the people’s motivation for action into real decarbonization.
We interviewed over 250 people from those strikes & from those insights we were able to pull out a common thread: Climate change feels like an urgent problem but people feel powerless to make a difference.
When we asked “What is something that everyone could contribute?” out came a common denominator: capital.
What if we could make the public active stakeholders in the energy transition rather than neutral bystanders?
What if this presented an opportunity to help everyone see what an enormous opportunity climate change presents?
Both economically & socially, climate change presents an opportunity for growth & the correction of some systematic wrongs.
But what could two 24 year olds really do about that? We started by making a GoFundMe to crowdfund $2,500 for my 25th birthday which we would use to fund a small solar array in Africa.
To our surprise we exceeded the goal & the Co-Founder of GoFundMe reached out to make the first investment in what is now Climatize, a SEC registered Funding Portal which has financed over $1,500,000 of community solar for low-income communities & partnered with the US Dept. of Energy through the National Community Solar Partnership.
Through Climatize anyone can invest directly in solar projects & earn a competitive return on investment with as little as $10.
What is the mission and vision of Climatize?
Mission: To fund $1 billion per year of investment into renewable energy projects by 2027. Vision: To build the people’s financial network for climate finance.
As a society we stand at the precipice of the largest opportunity for growth and innovation in modern history. I have a vision of a more equitable and sustainable future.
A future in which energy and finance have been democratized and more representative of our society as a whole.
My goal is build the people’s financial network for climate action in a way that will empower everyday people to invest and profit from the energy transition in a way that will combine the collective power of the people who stand with my vision of a better tomorrow.
How does Climatize impact lives and/or the environment in a positive way?
Will: Climatize’s work to fund community solar is the key to unlocking 50 million low-to-moderate income (LMI) households’ access to clean, affordable energy solutions:
- The LMI subscriber opportunity is massive, accounting for approximately 43% of U.S. households. Of that total, there are 31 million low-income households, 19 million moderate-income households, and 5.78 million affordable housing properties across the U.S. that would benefit from cost-saving community solar solutions.
- Community solar provides the flexibility to deliver clean energy access to all LMI customers, including renters and multifamily housing – which LMI households are more likely to occupy.
- Community solar also offers significant benefits to low-income customers, including opportunity for bill savings and energy burden reduction, targeted, flexible value propositions tailored to LMI customers’ unique needs, and local economic opportunity to drive the clean energy transition.
- At the same time, the LMI subscriber opportunity remains untapped, in large part due to higher costs to acquire LMI subscribers and limited access to capital for community solar projects involving LMI subscribers.
- But with the right combination of policy solutions, incentives, consumer protections, business model innovations, financing and programmatic support, there’s an opportunity for community solar to play a critical role in creating an equitable clean energy future.
How have you funded the company thus far?
Will: $1,000,000 of VC & angel investors.
$110,000 of non-dilutive grant funding. Participated in Techstars Boulder, Venture for ClimateTech by NYSERDA & Village Capitals Climate Justice for Communities of Color & Immigrants Accelerator program.
Additionally we are currently participating in New Energy Nexus’ Climate Fintech accelerator. First it was friends & family, then grant funding, then angel investors then Techstars then VC.
What tools do you use to run Climatize?
Operations: Slack, Kumospace, WordPress, Hubspot, Google Workspace (Docs, Sheets, Drive, Calendar, Gmail), Figure Equity Solutions, Docsend, ClickUp, Xodo Sign, Figma, Canva, Quickbooks, Banyan Infrastructure.
Analytics: Mixpanel, Segment, Google Analytics
Marketing: OpusAI, Frame.io, ChatGPT
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 800+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.