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Village Capital and Dream.Org Put Out Call for Climate Tech Startups Advancing Environmental Justice in Underserved Communities

Seeking 8-10 Black and LatinX-led early-stage startups that are working to reduce inequities exacerbated by climate change
Washington, DC (May 15, 2023) – Today, Village Capital and Dream.Org launched Dream Climate Tech Launchpad, a milestone-based fellowship program for Black & Latinx-led startups innovating in the climate tech space and working to ensure a green transition for all. These solutions will create a localized impact for underserved communities that have been historically excluded from the clean energy transition in the United States.

Applications close on June 12, 2023. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found here.

The call for applications is open to startups in the United States that are building high-growth, scalable solutions supporting low-to-moderate income communities and communities of color disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. Village Capital and Dream.Org are looking for 8-10 startups focused on addressing:

  1. Built Environment (Heating & Cooling, Energy Efficiency, and Construction Tech) including efficient heat pumps, improved insulation, financing solutions, or clean or circular construction materials.  
  2. Electric Transportation and Infrastructure (EV Charging, Battery Technology, and Models that Promote Greater Access)including greater access to EVs and charging stations, improved charging efficiency, vehicle-to-grid (V2G), alternative production and recycling methods for batteries, or wireless charging.
  3. Food Systems (Sustainable Protein Production, Farming, and Food Waste Tech) including alternative & cultivated proteins, vertical & precision, alternative packaging, upcycled food, and increased access to affordable, nutritious meals.
  4. Circular Economy (Circular Textiles, Plastics, Automotive, and Electronics)including resale fashion, sustainable clothing, elimination of packaging, recyclability tech, ride-sharing, remanufacturing of parts, or product-as-a-service.
  5. Carbon Tech (Carbon-to-Value, Carbon Utilization, and Carbon Accounting)including carbon-to-value applications in building materials, agtech, new materials, and platforms to help organizations track and monitor their carbon emissions data.

From July to October 2023, the selected entrepreneurs will participate in an intensive one-week virtual investment readiness training workshop, followed by two monthly virtual cohort meetings and one in-person Program Summit. A founder/C-suite member of each selected startup will travel with all expenses included to an in-person Program Summit in Oakland, CA in October to interact with one of the biggest ecosystems of the country.

During the workshops, startups will receive support on fundraising, business development, and opportunities to build connections with the cohort and mentors. Village Capital and Dream.Org will also work closely with cohort companies to create individual milestone-based development plans, which will guide the progress and growth of each company throughout the program. The curriculum is focused on helping them develop the networks and tools they need to scale their impact.

The 8-10 selected startups will receive an equity-free grant fund of around USD $3,000 for their participation and completion of the accelerator program. The top two peer-selected startups will receive an equity-free grant funding of USD $10,000 from Dream.Org to support their operations.

All startups that apply to the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s online global network that helps entrepreneurs articulate how ready they are for investment or their next big expansion. The platform provides a diagnostic tool and matches them with relevant investors and resources. Applicants will also be invited to join the Dream Business Network, a growing community of Black and Brown climate tech founders that Dream.Org helps connect to policymakers and resources to unlock federal climate investment.

For more information, reach out to Sofía Cándano at Village Capital (sofia.candano@vilcap.com).

About Village Capital 

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth.

Village Capital has operated in the US since 2009 by running over 45 accelerator programs. VilCap has supported more than 897 startups from over 43 states and 23 entrepreneur support organizations (ESO) working in sectors such as financial health, health equity, justice tech, and sustainability. Learn more at www.vilcap.com and follow @villagecapital.

About the Dream.Org

At Dream.Org, we bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines. Through our Justice, Tech, and Green For All programs we are working towards an America with fewer people behind bars, less pollution, and greater opportunities for underserved communities. Learn more at Dream.Org.