By: Nicole LeBlanc
It’s one thing to come up with a brilliant idea on how to solve a problem. It’s another thing to ensure it has a global scale. The latter is typically what sets apart the startups that survive and those that do not. Building solutions within the urban tech and sustainability sectors is hard. Entrepreneurs are working with large complex customers such as cities, real estate developers or large multinationals. Products often require a mix of hardware and software, navigation of complex regulatory environments, or balancing of multiple stakeholders.
In order to achieve success, startups need these large institutional customers to scale, and of course these institutions want to support new technologies and drive innovation within their industry. However when it comes to execution, it’s difficult to bridge the gap between high-growth, disruptive startups and structured industry anchors.
Many of the startups 2150 will back are addressing large systems-level issues, ones that affect our buildings, our cities, and our environment. It will take a combination of digital, physical and policy innovation to succeed and not all of these elements can be tackled by startups alone. That is why 2150 was built on a foundation of facilitation across the entire ecosystem of industry, investors, advisors, and startup founders.
We have already started this facilitation process, and will continue to build upon it as new problems emerge and new players come to the table. Our approach is threefold:
- Collectively identifying the key problems within the Urban Stack. Our problem-driven investment thesis is divided into a core subset of issues, to frame the topic and identify ways to approach solutions. By bringing together the collective expertise of our strategic investors, startups, and industry leaders- such as those who have joined our advisory board- we believe we can create compelling opportunities to tackle the big problems of the built world.
- Acting as a curator for industry to facilitate transformation. We have structured a systematic sharing of knowledge and insights including due diligence work, sector analyses, and learnings from company interactions. This more hands-on approach with our industry partners allows us to identify key challenges they are facing. 2150 can then curate, screen, and provide access to new transformative, sustainable technologies that can help our partners innovate within their own businesses.
- Creating network effects for startups to realize scale. Our tight-knit, engaged partner network means we can help our portfolio build targeted relationships with relevant industry leaders. These organizations can help implement the solutions within their own companies, support regulatory or policy issues that need to be addressed, and provide access to infrastructure, distribution channels, and the domain expertise needed to scale.
At 2150 we’re building more than a venture capital fund. As former operators, entrepreneurs and investors we know the value that is derived from collaboration. By acting as a facilitator across this network, and working closely with our portfolio and strategic LPs, we can accelerate the timing, scale and impact of new technologies. They will address the core issues facing the urban environment today and ensure the world in 2150 is a more sustainable, efficient and affordable one. This not only gives us an edge as an investor, more importantly, it is also good for the ecosystem and our common future in the urban environment.
2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment. 2150’s investment thesis focuses on major unsolved problems across what it calls the ‘Urban Stack’, which comprises every element of the built environment, from the way our cities are designed, constructed and powered, to the way people live, work and are cared for. Find out more at www.2150.vc