Ben sits down with fellow climate papa, Dimitry Gershenson. They head off the deep end into how to balance being a present father with being present for your start up ambitions. They explore if founding a startup makes you more of a jerk to your kids and the importance of vulnerability and apology when you mess up. They reflect on how those same skills make you a better parent, partner, and leader.
Ben and Dimitry unpack how money makes the climate world go round and the gaps in the climate funding markets. Dimitry ramps Ben up on the unique ways that fintech tools like revenue based financing can be applied to climate companies and how many other financiers aren’t doing this right—either giving out bad, dilutive, terms, or taking way too long to finance the companies that urgently need capital. These realizations have led Dimitry to start Enduring Planet to address the market gap.
Prior to Enduring Planet, Dimitry led M&A and served as COO for Rango Wireless, an Enduring Ventures portfolio company. Before that, Dimitry built Meta’s Energy Access program, a $15M+ investing initiative that enabled energy access for 3M people and unlocked nearly $500M in additional capital in underserved markets like Kenya and India. While at Meta, Dimitry also led the development of multiple predictive ML products in the cleantech space and built corporate accelerator programs for impact startups in India and Puerto Rico.
Outside of Enduring Planet, Dimitry sits on the board of Ecosafi, a Lowercarbon-backed climate startup enabling clean cooking in emerging markets. Dimitry holds an MS in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, a BS in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University.
Referenced in the episode:
Feedback? Guest suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Ben is an angel investor in Enduring Planet. Nothing in this episode should be viewed as investment advice.
Post-show notes addendum
Here’s a few things I’m currently reading, listening to, or otherwise thinking about at the moment. My mind has been quite consumed with Israel, but I’m still diving in on a few climate topics, particularly the grid.
The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future. Arthur (from Episode 1) and I are reading more about climate infrastructure, starting with diving in to the grid. I’m a few chapters in so far, and I really love this book.
I Study Climate Change. The Data Is Telling Us Something New. by Zeke Hausfather. This is an impactful review of the records of the last few months and where we are at with climate change. It’s accelerating, but I also really resonated with this end note:
We are far from on track to meet our climate goals, and much more work remains. But the positive steps we’ve made over the past decade should reinforce to us that progress is possible and despair is counterproductive. Despite the recent acceleration of warming, humans remain firmly in the driver’s seat, and the future of our climate is still up to us to decide.
InDERmediate. I’m slowly ready for my 201 lessons on the grid, and James Gordey and crew have started a great podcast and newsletter for those ramping up.
The Rest is Politics on Israel and the trap laid by Hamas. I think this was one of the most useful framings for me to understand what’s happening with Yuval Noah Harari (an Israeli historian who wrote Sapians, one of my favorite books).