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91 Michael Smith – transcript

Circular Economy Podcast 91 Michael Smith - Investing in regenerative startups

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Interview Transcript

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Catherine Weetman  00:25

Michael, welcome to the circular economy podcast.

Michael Smith  00:28

Thank you so much, Catherine. It’s great to be here.

Catherine Weetman  00:31

And thanks for joining us at quite an early hour in the States. And regeneration VC targets a massive value opportunity to evolve consumer industries by harnessing the power of circular and regenerative principles. And you’ve got three investment themes for design, use and reuse. Could we start by asking you to unpack that a bit for us?

Michael Smith  00:55

Absolutely. So at Regeneration, we invest in early stage companies, these are typically those in the seed and Series A, so have just sort of found product market fit or revenue or customers. And then we come in with capital and with the energy of our team. And think about the world of venture through three lenses. The first you highlighted is design. These are the systems and materials inspired by natural processes or the materials that go into the products we’re consuming. The second is use, these are the brands and products that use those materials to create the next great apparel and food and different product categories that you interact with as a consumer. And lastly is reuse this, these are technologies that repurpose materials and products and the type of interventions you think about a lot. And you hear about a lot on this show. Um, how do we extend the life of products? How do we reimagine a waste stream into a new material? So those are the three different pockets that that we cover and excited to go into more detail on what that means and how we apply that into actual investment and portfolio approaches.

Catherine Weetman  02:08

Yeah, great. And we’ll definitely come back to those and talk about some of the examples. But first of all, I’m curious to know a bit more about your wife for doing this. Because it’s I think it’s fair to say your background isn’t one of the conventional route into venture venture capital.

Michael Smith  02:26

That’s a that’s a fair assessment. And I feel very lucky and blessed to do the work that I am doing. Now. I’ve always been very passionate about environmental causes and considerations. And I was an entrepreneur earlier in my life and sold some businesses and had a good outcome and was able to focus my attentions and energies around the climate emergency. And that’s really how I came to this is how can I take a limited amount of capital and a lot of energy and connectivity and put it to work somewhere that it would be useful within the realm of the climate situation that that we were facing, you know, a decade ago? And certainly that is only exacerbated since then. And so what regeneration is is the is the highest realisation of the research and effort and work that I did along the way of investing in a whole bunch of different categories, to where I found a big opportunity to make some change, that there was a lack of capital for what we’re doing. And that there was a lot of excitement amongst entrepreneurs and certainly among consumers, and you know, people in general about wanting to do something about this and not knowing how to meaningfully engage.

Catherine Weetman  03:38

Yeah, I think you’re right. And definitely, interest is growing. And now we can see more mainstream funds, banks and so on, getting involved in this, and also perhaps a broader community of people who are interested in investing in this. I remember I first came across regeneration VC when I was doing some research for the book and looking for names of funds that were specifically focusing on circular economy things. And I came across a press release about Leonardo DiCaprio joining Bill McDonough on your advisory board and notice that the date of that press release was the day before. So I thought oh, this is quite current I’ll post it on LinkedIn and it got way more reactions than any other posts I’ve ever I’ve ever done before or since. So you know what, what’s the mood amongst investors that you’re talking about? What kind of reasons do people have for wanting to put their money into something like this?

Michael Smith  04:42

That’s a really interesting observation you just made and we’re excited to see the the reaction that you know you got and that we’ve gotten for a variety of reasons, I think, you know, one, anytime you put entertainment and culture someone like Leonardo DiCaprio having him as an investor in us and as a strategic Take advisor, and then add the credibility and depth of expertise that Bill McDonough brings to us as well, as well as additional experts in the categories that we’re working in the design, use and reuse again, which will, which we’ll double click into further. It allows and enables a lot of intrigue, a lot of questions, a lot of potential, I think that helped enable us to successfully raise a first fund in this category, we can still count pretty much on our hands, the amount of exclusively circular focused funds that exist, there’s many, many more that are more generalist funds that have circularity as a principle of their investment themes. So we are still at the very beginnings of seeing venture and circularity work hand in hand. And we hope to show that within the context of consumer industries, that this is something that there will be in the future, dozens to hundreds of funds doing what we’re doing. But for the moment, it’s been a useful acceleration of interest into our work. And to the second point of of the why of this, you know, because consumers are so interested in doing the right thing on these topics. And they have, maybe the only real power of deciding where they choose to spend their wallet share is within our realm. You right, they’ve been waiting on government for so long, which finally in the EU, and finally in the glimmers in the US here with the new climate bill passing is happening. But this is the one place you know, what you put on your body, what you consume, what you choose to buy for your house, these are things you can really do. And we want to make sure that we empower consumers to make good decisions to make ones that are actually beneficial for planet and themselves and they can afford and that can improve their lives. And so that’s really a driving goal of our why around what we’re empowering it regeneration.

Catherine Weetman  06:57

I think you’re right that people really do starting to see the power of the money that they spend and voting with their wallets, and also voting online by calling out greenwashing companies that they don’t really, you know, trust and believe in. So there’s definitely a swing of interest, starting to maybe change the dialogue in quite a lot of consumer companies. But just talking a bit more about the investors, are you seeing a trend towards people wanting to use their money to make a positive impact. And for that being the primary purpose of investing, rather than it being the primary purpose is to make a good return. And if I’ve got a choice between conventional business and circular business, then maybe I’ll go with circular how, you know, how’s that starting to shape up?

Michael Smith  07:54

From the investor side, you know, going back almost a decade ago, when I, when I really started fully focusing my energy on this space, there was this concept of of what’s called discretionary returns. And these are investors who are actively willing to take lower returns for a set amount of impact. And that was a breakthrough idea, call it venture philanthropy, so on so forth. What what we hope to see within what we’re doing is that we’re investing in companies that can scale and grow at exciting rates for investors that can also measure environmental impact. So though it doesn’t apply to all companies, and there are plenty of great solutions that don’t fit that box, we want to prove that this is a great place to invest your money because it unlocks great environmental returns alongside economic returns. So that’s really what what we’re trying to demonstrate every generation what we hope to demonstrate, because then we feel like there will be a flood of not just more capital, but more talent, more entrepreneurs doing this work. And you’re starting to see already a lot of, you know, traditional, big tech founders and high level employees leaving the Facebook’s of the world where they’re just not motivated anymore, to cite to start climate tech projects. And this is happening, you know, in droves in Silicon Valley here in the States. And certainly where you are in the UK, there’s a lot of bright minds working on these problems. So that’s our main focus. We do not want to decouple those things. But there are certainly amazing solutions and the beginnings of regenerative which we can get into as well practices are still very early and even just quantifying how do you think about economic impact? The the social impact, the environmental impact is obvious, but maybe not the full extent of the value of the economic impact within a community or ecosystem or whatever it might be. So very early days on what you’re asking about, but we’re excited to see all of these things how Many.

Catherine Weetman  10:00

Yeah, I think you’re right it is. It’s starting to really challenge people to think about the long term implications of the companies that they’re investing in. Certainly, I’m noticing evidence of insurers, as well as some invest, some mainstream investors starting to look at risk, whether it’s around climate risk, or resource risk, or even reputational risk. But there are so many externalities aren’t there that aren’t priced into business models. And as legislation, maybe starts to catch up with some of that, then some of these models will become an economic instead of profitable in some of the linear models. So I think it’s, it’s becoming really complicated. And maybe the best way of ensuring that you’ve put your money into something that’s future fit, is to put it into something that’s genuinely circular and regenerative. Instead of something that’s perhaps doing a bit less bad than the mainstream. So yeah, I think it’s, there’s, there’s a lot more to unpack isn’t there as as conversations evolve on that? So can we come back to those three investment lenses in a bit more detail? And maybe you could give us some examples of of the kinds of things that you’re investing in?

Michael Smith  11:26

That’s a great segue from what you just said, do, I think exactly how we apply and make that occur and within our work, so So back to the three themes. The first is design, again, these are the products that go into the materials that we’re consuming. So these this might be the fibres and clothes that we’re wearing, right. So by you, we have a company called Pangaia and also by you, we have a dye company called ColoriFIX. That takes uses synthetic biology and makes pigments that fastens to apparel in different ways and cuts down dramatically, toxics and wastewaters. It could be food inputs, right? The things that we’re consuming, how do we do that in a more regenerative way, way that draws down atmospheric carbon into soils and, and natural systems. And same with oceans and aqua tech, it could be biopolymers, right, the next generation of polymer activity that can feed fibres and packaging and novel materials. Right. So we have a company called Cruz Foam that we can certainly talk about. That’s really exciting in that context, that’s taking shellfish waste and making polystyrene alternative Styrofoam from shellfish waste. Then, then we have the use side, these are the next brands, these are the things you buy in store or order online or interact with in the real world as a consumer, they could be food brands, they could be beverage brands, apparel, different lifestyle products, that you may buy things for your house personal care, right. So what are those brands? And how are how are you as a consumer, getting to them? How are you using those products, and then moving into the last case reuse, the use is a bridge between the creation of that material and what happens after. And so reuse is if we’re not sending something to a landfill? What are we doing with it? How are we using reverse logistics to move it back post use through the supply chain? Should that be a smart thing to do? And not in all cases? Is it right? Should we repair that thing? And there are new laws right to repair laws out in the EU and that are occurring within the industry that are that are vital to that being viable, and also getting producers to reimagine the way that they make things around planned obsolescence in terms I know that that come up often in your show. And then what are the marketplaces for all these waste streams? And how do you get value out of them? And how do you best route them again, ideally more domestically or or within local environments versus sending them throughout the world and kind of creating a lot of emissions in the process. So each of those could be a digital or a physical intervention on the reuse side. And enabling circularity for consumer products and brands and things is a top focus of our firm. So those highlight how we’re approaching each of the themes and I’m happy to give more concrete examples on how we approach them.

Catherine Weetman  14:36

Yeah, great. I think you know, there’s a there’s a really strong range of examples there. And I had a quick look at colour effects earlier on today. And that sort of, you know, the the ethos of that is of using more natural approaches or chemicals or whatever, you know, adapting something from from nature to replace. What’s typically a petrochemical source now, I think is really important and transformational because I think we’re starting to understand just a few of the health issues to do with synthetics and the dyes and the finishing chemicals that are embedded in those and even embedded not in just not just in synthetics that brings to mind Patagonia’s story from years ago, about why they went to organic cotton, when they realised that in a new store that was that was full of brand new cotton garments waiting to be just be sold, their employees started feeling sick and had headaches, and they realised that it was VOCs coming off the garments, and that, you know, they were they were buying cotton was full of chemicals. So there’s just so much that we’re only just starting to unpack with, you know, new new science and new understandings, and so on. So maybe you could talk a bit more about those those kinds of, you know, more natural approaches to materials.

Michael Smith  16:13

So Colorifix, what’s fascinating about it is that you we’ve been serving the dye space, and there are just a very limited subset of alternatives to chemical dyes that are functional. So there’s a whole class of dyes called natural dyes, and natural dyes are significantly more expensive. And these are the guys that you’ve probably interacted with, when you were trying to, as a consumer do the right thing. They frequently wash off in clothing, maybe they’ve stained other clothes you’ve had, they don’t hold on to the fabric very well. And again, they’re upwards of double to multiples more expensive. What Colorifix is utilising is a technology called synthetic biology, where they go into nature, and they find different colour ways. They take DNA from different things that they find within nature. And then they feed that to a micro organism, and it grows a pigment. So this is very advanced technology, that pigment can then fast to different fibres, and it behaves differently with different fibre sets. But it holds and it holds very well. And its impact reduction are, you know, almost two thirds less chemicals involved in the process period, half of the water consumption 1/3 less energy and a third less co2 emissions throughout the process, just where they are at now. Right. And they are rolling out globally with this technology and making a lot of improvements in colorways, and so on and so forth. But that’s a very science based and fascinating approach. Whereas a Cruz Foam takes chitin, which is a biopolymer that’s naturally occurring in all things that have shells like shellfish, crustacean insects, and it breaks it down, and it blends it with starches and fibres, and into a drop in pellet. So these are all, you know, Earth created ingredients that you can make into something that you can thermoform and extrude on existing machinery that gets rid of Styrofoam, which has benzene and horrible carcinogens in it. And now you, you’ve displaced all of that, and you actually have a product that when you’re done with it, you can put it in your soil, and within it several months it will compost at home in a certain within a soil or other sort of situation, you know. So that’s a more natural approach of how do we take advantage of nature? How do we find something that would have gone to a landfill like the shell of a of a shrimp or lobster? And how do we remake it into something that’s displacing a harmful, toxic and regenerate soil? So those are two very, you know, distinct and exact examples of what we’re doing. And and we’re things we’re very, very excited about the potential.

Catherine Weetman  19:01

Yeah, I think both of those sound like, you know, complete game changers. And I think when people think about the principles behind behind those, again, it opens up new ways of conceiving lots of other things, doesn’t it? You know, kind of getting back to the basics of for the, for the shells, what are the chemical company, you know, how, how’s this made in nature and what’s actually what does the shell actually consist of? And what else could we use those those kinds of properties for? I’m going way beyond my paygrade there in terms of the science and the biology, but I think it’s those when people see those things, and see what it’s opened up, then that could transform so many other similar industries. And is there an example that you want to give us from maybe from the use or reuse side of things?

Michael Smith  19:56

So there’s a really fun company called Clean oh two that that was our first investment that actually checks all three boxes. In frequently a company will be in one or two. So clean oh two has built a storage device that sits in your mechanical room of a commercial building. And that could be a mall a multifamily apartment building a factory. It captures emissions that come off of an H vac system, and it bonds it into a material known as potash. So you put into the machine potassium hydroxide and it becomes potassium carbonate. potash is in 1000s of different products, but high value ones that derive our fertiliser and cleaning products. So clean out to operates these machines takes this material and then harvests it and makes a soap commercially branded soap product. So they have the machine that’s reused. They have the potash that is a carbon captured ingredient value add ingredient. And then they have a brand. That is a soap product you can buy if you go to clean Oh And check that out. And we’re looking to bring it right now it’s in the US and Canada and Japan. And we’re looking to bring it to the UK and the EU, create within local markets. So products and fertiliser products that we’re serving. So very early days for that company. But right now we capture about 20% of the emissions off of typical H vac systems powered by natural gas, the next unit will be about 50%. So this is about 15 tonnes a year of co2 equivalent per machine per year, we’ve got little over 50 of them operating. So it’s it’s very, very unusual, very exciting introduction of micro scale carbon capture and utilisation into consumer product.

Catherine Weetman  22:01

Yeah, and again, that sounds like a complete game changer, doesn’t it? Particularly given I don’t know whether you’ve you’ve picked up on some of the challenges we’ve got over in the UK and Europe. So quite local to me. And American as it turns out, manufacturer of fertiliser and and carbon dioxide cartridges has suspended production again, because the price of gases makes it an economical. So, you know, whilst whilst it would be brilliant to suddenly persuade farmers to use regenerative agriculture and not not fertilisers, that’s not going to happen overnight. So finding a way to capture carbon, instead of it being a problem and turn that into something useful, is obviously really critical, isn’t it? And just to unpack for those people who are not familiar with the acronym, so H factors, as you call it, or HVAC as my husband, who used to work in that industry calls it is heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. So that’s that’s what the, the the technology is working on. And moving on to the sort of modus operandi of regeneration, VC, how do you help accelerate or scale out the solutions that you’re investing in?

Michael Smith  23:21

So that our tagline is supercharging, consumer powered climate innovation. And what supercharging means for us is beyond just giving money to a company, we have a programme, that each quarter we work with each of our portfolio companies and we establish what’s the one or two things that we can do as a team, because we have a core team and we have this very interesting advisory group that breaks up into design, use and reuse amongst our 15 advisors. Right. And so for that each quarter we work on in smaller groups, these initiatives such so that we deliver by the end of the year for meaningful steps of change, that could be a distribution partner, that could be sales opportunities that could be environmental measurements and how we should message and communicate distinctions and changes between circular and linear models or even novel regenerative considerations. That could be a whole host of Business needs that startup an early stage company might have. And so we structure that and that we consider that a valuable part of of what we do to help make this whole industry happen faster to show our LPS or investors that we’re doing work and really looking to add value beyond writing a check. And it’s it’s necessary as we’re building ecosystem and community among investors and companies and big corporates and these sorts of things.

Catherine Weetman  24:48

Yeah, I can imagine there’s there are just so many things that startups like this need help with. And, yeah, and kind of, you know, making making sure that things accelerate at the right at the right pace, you know, not not too fast and not falling over. So I’d like to just come back to obviously, it’s called regeneration VC. But why do you think it’s important to focus on regenerative investments and not just circular.

Michael Smith  25:19

So in coming up with how we think about environmental measurements and the impact and change that we want to make our sort of our theory of change, if you will, for regeneration. And working with Bill McDonough, he has a concept of a progenitor of biosphere and a circular techno sphere. So within a circular techno sphere, I think that’s pretty well imagined and defined to this point. This is what we just described of moving things from where they come from to use and back through the supply chain and all the steps that can happen in between. But you can’t endlessly circulate an ingredient or material at some point, you need to reintroduce it back into a natural system. And ideally, if you’re applying the same thinking that you would around a circular technosphere to the biosphere, you’re thinking about where things are coming from, how they’re being grown, raised, you know, considered where they are travelling, and how they’re being reintroduced. And this allows for a more whole picture of circularity that that incorporates earth systems into it. And so for us, we think about for each of these technologies, not just the reduction of the harm, per your earlier point, call that the sustainability movement, we think about is there an opportunity to actually unlock or system potential, because the Earth is regenerative on its own, and it wants to so badly regenerate? Are there activities and things we can do? Certainly from the food systems that we encounter and the fibres, and that is natural products, and you write that that we that we’ve seen interact with? That is what we want to do our best to measure. And the challenge that we’re having at the moment is it’s so complex, there’s something very simple about circularity, not to call it easy, but it’s all you know, it’s manmade human made systems. With earth you have this interaction of, of trees and soils and communities and things streams that travel and and how do you measure and consider that. So how we think about it now for our first fund is we are doing our very best to get our heads around and just understand all the downstream impacts all the opportunities really begin to map it. In the future, I hope that we get better quantitative rigour around how we evaluate it and consider it. And there are a number of new models that are emerging. And so our impact team, we have a team dedicated to thinking about these things is we’ll be discussing it. And we will have in the next few weeks our impact report and in concert with climate week here in New York, on the third week of September, that you can get at our site, and we’ll be we’ll be talking about this topic. So feel free to go to regeneration.bc. And and and download our report and get some insights on regenerative measurement.

Catherine Weetman  28:29

Thank you. Yeah, that sounds interesting. And I’d be really keen to see what kind of things you know how you’re approaching that. Because I think you’re right, it is just incredibly complicated, but also incredibly important that we think about how to not just sustain the sustain better flows. And I guess this is one of the dangers of companies taking a circular approach just to materials, in that, you know, if you’re still encouraging people to just consume as much and it’s not really regenerative further back down the system, then you’re not really solving the problem in any meaningful way. So are there any real or imagined barriers, blocking progress on on what you’re doing?

Michael Smith  29:19

Of course, right? So there’s inertia of this linear system that we have that we were all trained in and brought up in it’s, it’s, everything we’re doing is counter to that and we live in this world of intense specialisation. So finding open and interdisciplinary systems is is rare and it’s new and the world of circularity, by design breaks these systems apart. And there’s so much friction to getting there. So there are many blocking factors. behaviour change is probably at the top of that list. How do we show people different ways of consumption? How do we educate them on alternative ways that are beyond what they’ve been trained. And what’s exciting for me is when I was a kid, you know, my grandparents came from a more circular system before these last 57 years. And so it made sense to me that that has existed. But if you’re under the age of 30, that’s really a novel idea. You’ve just grown up in a much shorter consumptive, single, limited use culture. Also, regulation right there. While the I’d say the circular economy action plan is the most hopeful and forward thinking around all the topics that we’re getting our heads around, there’s very little elsewhere. You know, California has a couple of things that are exciting on these topics, and few states and a few cities and the occasional audit in country. But overall, this is a new idea. And the things that are being focused on within a regulatory framework are not empowering, and enabling us as much as say, you know, electrification right now, or renewable energy or certain other segments that have a tonne of focus? There’s very little applied to consumer industries and circularity yet, but we do think that is changing, and we do see hope on on each of these fronts.

Catherine Weetman  31:17

Yes, and again, it’s complicated for governments, isn’t it to get the head around it, and to make sure, whatever legislation or policies that are put in place, don’t have unintended consequences. So thinking back to the, you know, the beginning of of this, what have you struggled with Michael, and perhaps what surprised you in the process of getting this far with regeneration, VC,

Michael Smith  31:45

the hardest thing that you can do in finances is raising a first time fund, because finance loves to see a track record. And they love to see that a lot of other people have done something and they love to know where you’ve come from, and why you can execute on a vision. So that in and of itself was hard, then you double on that less than 2% of all venture capital goes to consumer related industries. And most of that goes to growth. So almost nothing, virtually, you know, load less well, less than a quarter of a percent is going to early stage consumer and around environmental. So that just made it additionally challenging. But it resonated, because everyone we spoke to was a consumer and saw the problem and had a sense, this is where it’s going. And there has to be investors who care about this. And so in the context of that we got our way through, and it was a lot more work than we ever expected, but very much worth it. And now to the point where we’re out and people know about us and entrepreneurs are reaching out, things are in a much more exciting lane right now, especially in a global, all the global challenges occurring to see the amount of interest we’re getting from finance and from sovereign funds and fund of funds in some of these institutional categories is very encouraging, and shows that, you know, hopefully, we’re on to something.

Catherine Weetman  33:16

I’m sure you are onto something. And that’s really interesting to hear that sovereign funds are starting to look at this as well. That’s, that’s really helpful. So if you were talking to another business that wanted to start something, obviously, you talk to entrepreneurs all the time, but or go circular. Thinking about the consumer sector, what would be the one number one tip that you’d share with them? Well, for where to start?

Michael Smith  33:42

So this is, this is an interesting question, in the sense that you have your existing business, should it be reimagined through circular contexts? Right? So start there? Is this something that has a place in, in the realm of what we’re discussing? Are there circular and regenerator of opportunities? The answer is typically that there are things that you can do no matter what we’re in your personal life and your family life, in your work life and your government life. And whatever it is that you can apply these principles, because at the end of the day, you’re talking about increasing efficiency and reducing waste at a high level around circularity. And so going through your business and saying what are changes that I could make? And ranking those to say, Where are the economic opportunities? Where can I make the most money or create the most savings? And then on the other side, getting some sort of proxy analysis done, if you’re a big company, it’s worth investing in if you’re at home, just using, you know, off the shelf tools, or reading or whatever it might be, but ranking the environmental potential of each of those changes, and then creating a diagram and strategy to say okay, here’s the 20 things I could do. But here’s the three things that are probably the easiest can get me the best return then have a good environmental impact, because those are the things you’re actually going to do, and put your effort into. And if you can see a benefit from that, then you’re going to keep going. That’s my best recommendation. Yeah,

Catherine Weetman  35:11

I like that. Thank you. And I think in personal life, you know, starting something and the feelgood factor of actually having changed a habit that you might have been sticking with for years and years and changing that and sort of realising how it makes you feel that really gives you energy for the next complicated thing to research or or persuade your, your family to change. And Michael, is someone you’d recommend as a future guest for the programme.

Michael Smith  35:42

Yes, we just recently invested in a company that’s originally from Tel Aviv, and now is in New York as well. It’s called Tulu and the co founder Yael Shermer, I would recommend having a conversation with what Tulu is doing is they have shared services and apartment lobbies. They’re in London and a number of buildings right now they’re in 14 different global cities. So instead of having 100, Dyson vacuums in a building. Yeah, they have a few in the lobby, that you can use and share between tenants. They have chips and snacks, they have a print machine, right, they have scooters, and helmets and things like that. So it’s shared services within an apartment building to rapidly diminish the amount of virgin products needed to cover that building, to also partner and work with brands to help them create products that are built to last and be utilised more. So VR goggles or a cleaner of a mop auto mop cleaner that’s being used once a week or once a month is very different than one that’s been used multiple times a day. How do you service that? How do they build to make things that lasts longer? Really interesting conversations, and I think Yael would be a great guest for you to talk about. And

Catherine Weetman  37:07

yeah, thank you. And I think I’d come across to Lou a few months ago, and thought that looked really interesting. So thanks, I’ll, I’ll follow up on that. And, Michael, if you could wave a magic wand and create and change just one thing to create a better world? What would that be?

Michael Smith  37:23

You said it a minute ago, and I alluded to it. So it’s, it’s all about behaviour change, because we have all of the technologies we need right now to deal with the climate emergency that we’re all facing that we all live through this summer will live through again, you know, the rest of the year and ongoing. We have we need the will we need the regulatory well, we need the business well, we need to step up at the time and the scale that is required to to deal with this. And again, it Regeneration, we focus that around consumer industries, but it’s all industries working together on these really complex challenges. And it’s just that at will to, to prioritise to make the sometimes very tough decisions and, and work together to accomplish it.

Catherine Weetman  38:13

Yeah, thank you. That’s. Yeah, I absolutely agree. You know, we all need to be the change. And we all can be the change, starting in all sorts of small ways and growing from there. So Michael, how can people find out more and get in touch with you and regeneration, VC.

Michael Smith  38:32

So please go to our website for entrepreneurs that want to reach us and have us consider their companies for investment, we have a link to do so on our on our site, we update news and awesome podcasts like this one that come up on there as well and portfolio companies. That’s the best way. We’re @regenerationVC, on our on Twitter, as well. And LinkedIn is a very active page for us for updating and sharing information. So please join and follow us at all these different places.

Catherine Weetman  39:10

Thank you. And I’ll put all those links in the show notes so people can check them out afterwards. And Michael, thanks very much. That’s been really insightful. It’s really exciting to hear about the different themes and some of the game changing investments in each of those themes. And I think it’s just so inspiring, and, hopeful to see what’s happening with the entrepreneurs, but also what’s happening with the growing interest from investors. brilliant. Thank you very much. And good luck with the next phase and look forward to say more about the next investments.

Michael Smith  39:52

Absolutely. And thanks so much for the awesome work you do with rethink. We’re excited to participate.

Want to dig deeper?

Why not buy Catherine’s award-winning book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy.  Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable. 

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