ClimateTech Fund

Connecticut Innovations has a $100 million climate fund intended to support growing companies, create more high-paying jobs in Connecticut and meet the state’s decarbonization goals.

Our Team

Work shoulder-to-shoulder with people who pour all their energy into your success—and bring a wealth of business experience to the table.

Konstantine Drakonakis
Managing Director, Investments
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Ryan Dings
Venture Partner
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Drew D’Alelio
Senior Associate, Investments
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Venture Portfolio

The Climate Crisis

The planet is warming, droughts are increasing, our food systems are under strain, our waste volumes are growing at an unsustainable level, and geopolitical events are underscoring the need for a new energy system. The climate crisis is here. But so is a trillion-dollar market opportunity with technological breakthroughs in sight to transform our energy, transportation, production, and food systems into the era of sustainability.

Our Response

In response, Connecticut Innovations is launching a $100 million climate fund to meet the state’s decarbonization goals and create good-paying jobs in the industries of the future. As the state’s strategic venture capital arm, CI is one of the most active early-stage investors on the east coast of the United States. We have more than 250 companies in our portfolio, including climate tech companies such as Budderfly, Cadenza, Enviropower, and more.

Connecticut’s Advantage

Governor Lamont has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 while ensuring vulnerable communities receive investment and are resilient to the impacts of climate change. Just this year, Connecticut has passed the Clean Air Act, set a 2040 zero emissions target for school buses, passed advanced clean truck standards modeled off California, and more. Connecticut is taking a whole of government strategy to decarbonize, with CI working in tandem with the Connecticut Green Bank, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Office of Workforce Strategy, and more. There’s no better place to build your climate tech business. Connecticut’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has a highly educated and diverse workforce, knowledge-based innovations, a strategic base of blue-chip corporations, and many fast-growing Greentech companies. On a per-capita basis, Connecticut is a top 10 state (#6) for creating $500M+ public companies and acquisitions. CI realized two cleantech exits with valuations of $100M+ in 2021 and dozens of jobs, demonstrating our ability to generate excellent climate tech investment returns and jobs.

Featured Partners

Investment Strategy + Allocation

The CT Fund will invest across climate tech verticals and will target 15-25 companies over a 10-15 year investment period. The Fund will consider early and late-stage deals, including proof of concept stage, seed, series A, and series B/C, in addition to Fund of Funds opportunities. Whether you are in Connecticut already, a US company looking to grow in the northeast, or an international company looking to establish a US office, the CT Fund is ready to engage.

VentureClash: Climate Edition

VentureClash was created in 2016 to seek out promising early-stage companies around the globe looking to open a headquarters location in Connecticut. VentureClash Climate Edition singularly focuses on solution-oriented climate companies, giving Connecticut the chance to invest in groundbreaking ideas that can fast-track climate-related innovations, strengthen the state’s environmental resilience and create new job opportunities.

Our Managing Venture Partner

Konstantine is a managing director of investments for Connecticut Innovations, focusing on climate and adaptation technology ventures. He manages CI's $100 million ClimateTech Fund (CT Fund) to help Connecticut reach its decarbonization goals and create even more high-paying jobs. Konstantine has been a venture capitalist and entrepreneur for the past 16 years, specializing in climate and deep tech ventures. Prior to private equity, he was a professional environmental engineer, working on ecosystem restoration and civil works projects. Konstantine is a partner with the Pritzker Vlock Family Office, where he was a founding member of LaunchCapital, the firm’s early-stage-focused venture firm. He developed a portfolio of 40 companies, representing over 100 transactions and more than $750 million in syndication. Konstantine has also been a founder and operator of four tech companies: 6K, Katharos, PlazMod and PCTRx. He is a board member/director at 6K (founding executive chairman and former CSO), EpiEP, Biorez, TearSolutions and Iridia. Konstantine is also an active member in the university entrepreneurial ecosystem, where he is a lecturer, mentor and adviser to students and faculty ventures at UConn and Yale University. Konstantine has a BSCE from the University of Vermont and a master’s in environmental management from the Yale School of Environment, where he focused on closed-loop economy systems and markets. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Connecticut.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Connecticut Climate Tech Social: Electrification

SAVE THE DATE! We will be hosting our third Connecticut Climate Tech Social, focused on Electrification, on Wednesday, December 6, from 5-7:30 p.m. at Third Place by Half Full Brewery in Stamford.

CRITERIA FOR INVESTMENT

The CT Fund will invest in 15–25 companies over the fund’s 10- to 15-year life. Companies may either be headquartered in Connecticut or have a plan to grow jobs in the state. Companies outside of the US that are interested in expanding to the US are also encouraged to apply.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAQs
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What is the ClimateTech Fund?

The ClimateTech Fund will invest $100 million in innovative companies that are tackling climate change through:

Mitigation (preventing and reducing emissions)
Adaptation (adjusting to current and future climate impacts) or environmental protection, health and safety

The Fund will invest across climate tech verticals, including but not limited to energy, mobility, circular economy, water, food/agriculture and more. The Fund intends to invest in 25 companies over a 10-year investment period. Seed-stage through later-stage (series B/C) investments will be considered for funding, as well as venture funds based in CT or open to relocating here.

Funded companies will receive ongoing strategic support from CI’s experienced investment team, which has already built an active climate tech portfolio, including Budderfly, Cadenza, Enviropower, Greenworks Lending, Tantalus, CoolIT Systems and more.


Who can apply?

Any early-stage or growth company focused on climate change located in Connecticut or interested in building a presence in the Northeast may apply. Climate-change-focused companies that are not currently in state but are interested in growing jobs here will be expected to establish some Connecticut presence as part of a CI investment opportunity. Venture funds/firms in CT or those looking to move their headquarters to Connecticut are also encouraged to apply.

When is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis; there are no deadlines.

Is this funding an investment we would have to pay back, or a grant?

The funding is an investment by Connecticut Innovations—not a grant. CI can participate in priced equity rounds, convertible notes, SAFEs (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), and other equity and blended debt instruments.

What size are these investments? How are the terms of repayment defined?

An initial investment amount will almost always range between $150,000 and $2 million in a given financing round capped at $20 million. No personal guarantee is required.

How does my company begin the process?

To begin the process, submit the requested information here. You will be contacted by Connecticut Innovations staff within one week. You’ll be required to upload a pitch deck.

What should be included as part of the investor deck?

The presentation should include references to the company’s leadership and team, technology/product, potential climate impact, value proposition, target market size, go-to-market strategy, business model and fundraising plan.

How should I prepare my financials?

Financials should include the most up-to-date balance sheet, cash flow and income statements if available. Companies should provide a forecast detailing expected sources and uses of funding.

Is a business plan required? What should it include?

You are not required to submit a business plan. If you choose to include one, it should include, at a minimum, an executive summary, value proposition, business structure, market strategy, details about your leadership team and the financial state of the company.

How long does the process take, from initial contact to when we learn if we are approved?

CI will contact you within a week of receiving your materials. If we move forward with due diligence, the investment process will take anywhere from two to four months (as is the case with almost all investment firms). The length of the investment process depends on your team’s relevant experience, the size of the market, the uniqueness of the product offering, the value-add of the investment and other factors.

Do you require a cash match from another funding source or sources?

Connecticut Innovations prefers to be no more than one-third of a syndicated round. Companies are required to have co-investors to ensure that outside capital and expertise will be leveraged.

LOOKING FOR MORE?

Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to Tamyra Davis.

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