Australia’s $4.2BN Climate Tech Startup Sector is Booming!



Mick Liubinskas, a prominent Australian angel investor in digital startups, has shifted his attention to climate technology. Here are a few startups to watch in the upcoming years.


In Australia’s tech startup scene, Mick Liubinskas unquestionably stands out as a visionary leader.


He is best known for co-founding Pollenizer, an innovative Australian start-up incubator and consultancy that helped launch 25 businesses, in the 2000s with Phil Morle. He also co-founded Telstra’s muru-D incubator program with Annie Parker.


His astute early investment in the group buying website Spreets, which was sold to Yahoo in 2011 for about $40 million after only 13 months, is just one of his numerous successes as a tech investor and entrepreneur.


In other words, people tend to pay attention when Liubinskas directs his attention to a particular aspect of the tech or startup ecosystem. Through an organization called Climate Salad, he is currently focusing on climate companies.


Liubinskas compares Climate Salad to a helpful community network rather than a professional services organization. Along with community peer-to-peer support, seminars, mentoring, tools, content, events, showcases, and programs, member companies receive assistance with building their teams, collecting money, and expanding their supporter base.


“It’s built on the premise that Australia could really have a really thriving and strong climate technology industry – so let’s support it and try to grow it,” Liubinksas says.


Just one year ago, in June 2021, Climate Salad launched as a regular email newsletter. However, according to Liubinskas, the initial notion blossomed as a result of the overwhelming interest from businesspeople, financiers, corporations, scientists, mentors, and governments.


It presently has a small but expanding team that supports a community of over 200 businesses and 500 entrepreneurs. Members of the team include professionals like Olivia Utharntharm, Charlotte Connell, and Jess Taylor.


Although Liubinskas claims the group is independent, it does have some well-known backers. They include Morle, who currently oversees the Main Sequence Ventures innovation fund run by the CSIRO.


“Our 2030 mission is to help 1000 climate tech companies and have at least 10 become global successes,” he says.


Investment in climate startups hits $1.4 billion



Climate Salad Home


According to the organization’s 2022 Australia & New Zealand Climate Tech Industry Report, Liubinksas’ optimism is undoubtedly well-founded.


It demonstrates that the $4.2 billion valuation of Australia’s 171 climate technology firms has been reached. Over the last 12 months, they have raised $1.4 billion, with almost half coming from foreign investors.


With 4000 positions already generated and over 2000 more anticipated during the upcoming year, the sector has already experienced a surge in employment.


39.7% of businesses in this industry, or around two out of every five, have at least one female founder.


While the circular economy (19.9%) and built environment (5.8%) are offering fertile ground for new companies, a major portion of climate tech startups are in the well-established data and finance industry (21.1%).


Some built environment startups to watch


According to Liubinskas, there are numerous inventive businesses and organizations making positive contributions to the built environment, particularly in the field of building.


One of them is IKG Industries, which aims to lower embedded carbon in buildings by introducing hemp-based construction materials like concrete to the Australian market.


With a growing database of 3469 goods from 786 suppliers, BPI rating is a service for assessing and comparing building products based on their environmental credentials.


ValAi, situated in Adelaide, offers specialized guidance to residential clients when they are developing new homes and assists them in understanding how sustainable their homes are.


Wattwatchers develops digital systems that help businesses and homes use renewable energy sources more effectively.


Office of Planetary Observations is a platform that assists city planners with urban planning by using satellite data.


The fact that it’s a highly supportive and cooperative group, though, is what Liubinkskas claims really sets the climate tech startup industry unique.


“A spirit of collaboration and positivity I’d never felt before,” he says.


Source: The Fifth Estate

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