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Reaching Net Zero Alongside Ground-Breaking Startups

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Eddy Lee

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Reaching Net Zero Alongside Ground-Breaking Startups

It’s become common knowledge that the decarbonisation of our planet is not only essential, but also a multi-billion-dollar opportunity.

We produce 50 gigatons of carbon dioxide every year, and that number has to be halved to 25 gigatons by the year 2030 to avoid a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial level, which would have long term, irreversible effects to life, climate, weather and beyond.

Eddy Lee, PhD in bioengineering, venture builder and current Managing Director of the Decarbonize program, has invested in more than 50 US and Asian technological startups. In this interview, Eddy discusses the importance of decarbonisation, the startups they’ve chosen for this year's cohort, and the crucial role that mentors and investors play in a startup’s journey to success.

The Decarbonise Program, which is a three-year collaboration among Startupbootcamp, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK Line, is now in its second year. Over the span of 12 weeks, SBC will work with selected startups to accelerate their product development and support engagement with the program corporate partners (Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line).

So how does this 12-week program work? The program is focused on three core areas:

  • Pitch readiness
  • Commercial readiness
  • Investment readiness

The startups undergo a programmatic approach to company building comprising three core elements: communicating their business proposition, validating their business model and creating a venture-investable opportunity. These are achieved through stress testing their business with selected industry professionals from the corporate partners and beyond, and building an advisory and entrepreneurial network around their business.

The startups chosen for the program this year are predominantly deep tech oriented. They require a combination of: materials science, hardware engineering and business model innovation in order to go to market. That’s all learnt, tested and developed throughout the program.

The other critical element that ensures the success of the program and the greater mission - to decarbonize the planet- is the opportunity to collaborate through the program.

The program partners Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line, as large, global companies are directly collaborating with each startup in this year’s cohort to help push their businesses forward.

Similarly - the startups bring forward a unique perspective on decarbonisation and innovative ideas. As Eddy mentioned in the interview, being the second year in its running, the program is attracting experienced entrepreneurs with big ideas. Entrepreneurs who have had prior experience, including some who have already raised more than $10 million in funding and are on track to do $30 million in revenue this year.

The last piece of the puzzle are the mentors. In order for the cohort to put their best foot forward, the program looks to engage with two types of mentors, which both play a pivotal role in the success of the startups.

There are two types of mentors - “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” also called external mentors who are subject matter experts in their specific domain, and “Intrapreneur-in-Residence” or internal mentors, from Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line. Internal mentors offer advice to the startups and help them push their ideas forward.

The program also engages an ecosystem of (angel) investors. The investors work with the startups as more than just an investor, they lend a helping hand to affect the success of the startup - similar to mentors.

If you’re interested in becoming an external mentor, you can apply here

Interested in becoming an angel investor - reach out to Eddy Lee, Managing Director at

Watch the full interview here:

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Eddy Lee

Program Director @ Startupbootcamp Australia