INSEAD Emerging Markets Podcast

Climate Tech Innovation with Jamil Wyne, founder of Climate Tech Bootcamp

April 08, 2023 INSEAD Emerging Markets Podcast by Nick Lall Season 2 Episode 7
Climate Tech Innovation with Jamil Wyne, founder of Climate Tech Bootcamp
INSEAD Emerging Markets Podcast
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INSEAD Emerging Markets Podcast
Climate Tech Innovation with Jamil Wyne, founder of Climate Tech Bootcamp
Apr 08, 2023 Season 2 Episode 7
INSEAD Emerging Markets Podcast by Nick Lall

Jamil Wyne is an INSEAD 18J and advisor, investor, professor and author focusing on climate, entrepreneurship, technology and economic development around the world, including a strong concentration on climate change. Worked with World Bank, IFC, UN, Clean Energy Venture Group, Catalyst Investment Management, Schmidt Futures, Wamda, and Ashoka. INSEAD MBA, Johns Hopkins SAIS MA. Writing/research has been published/cited in SSIR, TechCrunch, World Bank, UN, Wharton, McKinsey, and Brookings publications. Based in Washington, DC.

Show Notes Transcript

Jamil Wyne is an INSEAD 18J and advisor, investor, professor and author focusing on climate, entrepreneurship, technology and economic development around the world, including a strong concentration on climate change. Worked with World Bank, IFC, UN, Clean Energy Venture Group, Catalyst Investment Management, Schmidt Futures, Wamda, and Ashoka. INSEAD MBA, Johns Hopkins SAIS MA. Writing/research has been published/cited in SSIR, TechCrunch, World Bank, UN, Wharton, McKinsey, and Brookings publications. Based in Washington, DC.

00:00:00 NICK LALL
just somehow, yeah, when you actually are ready to start recording, then it like takes you out and puts

00:00:07 JAMIL WYNE
back in. Okay. Just testing to make sure that I'm

00:00:13 NICK LALL
Welcome to the NCI at Emerging Markets Podcast. I'm here with Jamil Wein. He's an NCI ATINJ and he's an investor advisor and professor focused on emerging market development and climate technology. In 2015, the 2022, he spent seven years at the World Bank advising on entrepreneurship and innovation prior to that. He was in the Middle East in North Africa for seven years doing everything from being a full-bright

00:00:40 NICK LALL
the Wanda Research Lab, a lab in Jordan that focuses on entrepreneurial development across the Middle East North Africa region. He's currently an angel investor and advisor at UNICEF's Climate and Innovation Fund, Mattler, Clean Energy Venture Group, and Catalyst Investment Management. He's an adjunct professor at George Washington University and the co-lead of Oxford's Climate Tech Initiative.

00:01:05 NICK LALL
As creator and residence, he runs a climate tech, he runs climate tech, boot camp, which is being incubated right now at Co-Leap in London. And he's helped to build funds and technology systems in a range of countries, including Jordan Grease, Serbia, Singapore, Belman, Ukraine, Egypt, Japan, Kuwait, Iraq, and Bangladesh. His work has been featured or cited in the World Economic Forum McKenzie TechCrunch.

00:01:30 NICK LALL
The Wall Street Journal MIT's Innovations Magazine, Al Jazeera, World Bank, United Nations, Brookings, and Wharton Publications, as well as various university curriculum books. So quite an impressive intro and it sounds like you're up to so many different things. So there's a lot of ways we can go with this.

00:01:50 NICK LALL
think maybe a place to start would be just for you to tell me about what made you originally decide to leave the US. You graduated from college back in 2008, it's been a year in

00:00:48 JAMIL WYNE
He's currently an angel

00:01:01 JAMIL WYNE

00:01:16 JAMIL WYNE

00:01:31 JAMIL WYNE

00:02:02 NICK LALL
to Egypt and didn't come back for eight years. So kind of curious how that journey began and what made you go out there and what made you stay out there for the time that you

00:02:12 JAMIL WYNE
course. And Nick, thanks so much for having me on. Really glad that Emily Abrams connected us.

00:02:18 JAMIL WYNE
It's all up to thank her as well. And also just really, really glad that you're doing this. I think it's important both to think about NCH as a role in emerging markets as well as give a platform for the alumni themselves that are working on these issues.

00:02:32 JAMIL WYNE
So appreciate this larger opportunity that you give NCH. So regarding your question of why I went abroad, I think part of that was just baked into the way that I was raised. My dad is from Pakistan originally, my mom is from the US.

00:02:48 JAMIL WYNE
So from day one, I was encouraged to think from a somewhat global angle. So a lot of emphasis on international relations, international affairs, but also culture, religions, et cetera, of the world. So that was something that was was often discussed and dinner tables, et cetera, and throughout my extended family.

00:03:09 JAMIL WYNE
I think the reason why I settled on the Middle East was there was a few reasons. So on one hand, because my dad is from Pakistan, my family does have connections to the Islamic world, like the larger Islamic world. And when we talk about the Islamic world, we often think about the Middle East sometimes first and exclusively.

00:03:28 JAMIL WYNE
And so I had been thinking about Middle East for quite a while. And it's also quite hard to study any type of Islamic or Muslim history and not go into a study of the Middle East in some shape or form. And if you're not even focusing on the region, it makes itself known.

00:03:45 JAMIL WYNE
So that was one reason. The other was I was junior in high school when 9-11 happened. And just like anybody, you couldn't help but take notice, be very afraid, but also at the same time realize that there were, at a bare minimum, some very fundamental gaps in terms of how we understood and interacted with the Middle East, both as Americans, but as a global population.

00:04:08 JAMIL WYNE
So I felt that it was in some ways a responsibility, but also an amazing opportunity to not just pay attention to other narratives in the region, beyond one of conflict and uncertainty, which a lot of media would lead us to believe is the only way to view the region. But also it's one that has to be studied by being on the ground. It's very difficult to appreciate the nuances of the region.

00:04:37 JAMIL WYNE
It's also very easy to fall in the trap of thinking that the region is homogenous if you're not physically based there. And so I felt is if I wanted to be proficient in the general goings on of the region, but also wanted to start building a career for myself that focused on these big questions of economic for role interaction, interactions, excuse me, et cetera, that I needed to be physically based there.

00:05:04 JAMIL WYNE
In Egypt, it was a great starting point. It has a track record of bringing in really, really diverse expats and projects from all around the world. And it made a lot of sense to kick off my time in the

00:05:17 NICK LALL
Totally. That's really interesting. I think that you're just, you're wrestling all that's really impressive by just looking at you and realize that there's the 9.11 half and in all of that and the motivations that went into it after you got on the ground there. And I guess your first role in the Middle East was with Ashoka Arab world as a research and outreach officer. What was the progression of going there for the reasons that you went there to eventually focusing on climate and entrepreneurship?

00:05:45 JAMIL WYNE
Sure. So really good question. And I think sometimes I still have to figure out how the pieces fit together a little bit, even if it's in hindsight.

00:05:53 JAMIL WYNE
It still doesn't always make total sense. But the way I think about is that with Ashoka in particular, it's built to focus on social entrepreneurs. So you're working with early stage companies, both nonprofit and for-profit that are run by individuals that are usually very, very ambitious and very impact-driven so that they are trying to use their organization to promote gender equality, energy access, poverty alleviation, youth empowerment, innovative solutions to health care.

00:06:27 JAMIL WYNE
So you get exposed to a really wide range of just high impact solutions and efforts that go into building the solutions and scaling them. And so Ashoka by definition introduced me to this larger world of supporting emerging market entrepreneurs. And I think one of the reasons that I really dug into it was

00:06:48 JAMIL WYNE
you're working in lower income countries that sometimes we label as emerging market through developing countries or frontier markets. You usually have some common traits or characteristics where there's large unemployment levels, a lack of access to resources, even if people are enrolling in schools and universities that job

00:07:12 JAMIL WYNE
of the education is sometimes, you could say, up for grabs a bit or uncertain. And in parallel, you often have governments that have minimal, if not non-existing capacity to take care of their populations. And so because of that, you inevitably look to the private sector and say, well, the jobs, the wealth creation, the new tech and innovation that will diffuse itself to society will probably come from private companies.

00:07:39 JAMIL WYNE
But at the same time, then, you realize that oftentimes private sector growth is constrained in these countries. So you're kind of left with just looking at, well, what is the entrepreneur up to? You almost, it feels a little bit like a process of elimination game where eventually you end up with the entrepreneur. And I think that

00:07:56 JAMIL WYNE
a heightened importance when you're working in these types of markets where there is such a high demand for any type of economic activity,

00:08:08 JAMIL WYNE
They don't have the luxury of Silicon Valley. They don't even have the luxury of other metro areas that we have in the US that aren't necessarily known as hotbeds of innovation, but they are dynamic metro areas that are attracting people to come and live and go to work and raise their families, et cetera. So when you don't have that, I think there's even more of a burden, but also opportunity around entrepreneurs.

00:08:32 JAMIL WYNE
And so that's what helped me double down on that, so to speak. Ashoka was certainly the launch pad. And I think I've stayed on that course ever since.

00:08:44 JAMIL WYNE
The reason why I've added climate into the work I do, it actually started when I was in the Middle East. I was working, this is when I was in Jordan, and this is when I was, you know, become head of research at Wanda. And I had these very naive observations where the region is home to a critical mess of fossil fuels is also home to a critical mess of sunshine.

00:09:08 JAMIL WYNE
And it also has some of the most water scarce countries in the world. So the water scarcity plus the abundance of potential solar power, it also has a lot of desalination capacity. So I saw these different data points.

00:09:19 JAMIL WYNE
And as I said, kind of naively said, well, why aren't we doing more on climate? We have clearly a lot of entrepreneurial talent and interest in supporting entrepreneurs, why aren't we thinking about how to support early stage innovations around climate? Because those seem to be the needs that are most acute in the region, but also could have the most debilitating effect on the region if they go unchecked.

00:09:43 JAMIL WYNE
If we run out of water and run out of food or face significance constraints to their supplies, I don't have to tell you why that's a problem. And so I felt like it was this massive yet very attractive question mark. And I've afraid. the mentor, his name is Ennis Vermaui, who actually runs Catalyst Private Equity, who is been at the forefront of thinking about these questions for quite a long time. And so I kind of latched on to him. And with Wanda in

00:10:13 JAMIL WYNE
actually, we ended up striking a partnership with General Electric. They also had a big interest in understanding what are the big trends surrounding what we called clean tech back then. And we did a study and kind of mentorship project of clean tech entrepreneurs throughout the region. And so met probably every clean tech or now what we would call climate tech innovator, every

00:10:40 JAMIL WYNE
And there weren't that many. That's why we were, I think, able to meet all of them or get close to it. And like I said, a lot of this was born from my original set of interests in thinking, well, what is the role of an entrepreneur in general in fostering economic development?

00:10:55 JAMIL WYNE
But when I started thinking more critically about the climate dimension, I said, well, pretty much apply the exact same question and analytical lens to understanding what's the role of entrepreneurs in supporting climate related outcomes in the region. And so it felt and still does feel like a very natural extension or next chapter in the work I do. I think my great-great is that I didn't double down on it back then.

00:11:19 JAMIL WYNE
And I waited four or five years later to revisit my work on that theme. And now of course, focus on it nearly full time. But it took a little bit of a pause before I went back into it full steam ahead.

00:11:32 NICK LALL
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I think that it may not be the first thing you think of when you think of middle eastern energy. But if you think about the it's an area with ton of sunshine, lack of water and

00:11:47 NICK LALL
yeah, there definitely are the challenges and opportunities that make it the place that could benefit the most from focusing on it. And I think I want to get to why you started the climate boot camp. But before we go there, I was wondering if you have any stories of entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial ventures you've worked with in your time out there that you found to be most impactful or showed you that this is a way that you can actually make the most impact in these more developing our emerging world

00:12:15 JAMIL WYNE
Sure. So in one of the, I think the blessings of being able to work with Wanda and be based in Jordan was that we got access to entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the region. Jordan has both political and economic linkages with a lot of countries around the region.

00:12:35 JAMIL WYNE
The entrepreneurs that are in the country often start in Jordan but then scale their companies into neighboring countries. So we, just by virtue of being part of the company, we're on a daily basis meeting new entrepreneurs. And it was just really amazing to, you know, it was inspiring.

00:12:51 JAMIL WYNE
At times too, it was a little bit intimidating because you were meeting these people that were building things that were truly incredible when doing it in terms of the size that they were able to grow their enterprises to but also just the type of impact they were having. But so it was certainly that one of the big perks of being part of that team. One company that has always stuck out to me as being a great example of very intentional impact that's born from there being just a ginormous gap in the market is a company

00:13:21 JAMIL WYNE
called Altibi, which is, when it was created, it was effectively called the, or you could have called it the WebMD of the Middle East. And so if you think about it, you know, we don't, in the US, it's very difficult for us, or me to imagine a world without WebMD, right? It seems like something that's almost a public good at this standpoint, like it's just something we expect to be there.

00:13:44 JAMIL WYNE
You know, having that luxury of just looking up pretty much any ailment, condition, question you have around your personal health is just an amazing asset. And at one point that didn't exist, of course, and somebody had to build it. And so when it comes to thinking about how do you replicate that in, you know, a non-native English

00:14:06 JAMIL WYNE
again have to build it. You, you know, you don't, there's not a seamless transition, sorry, translation button that you can hit necessarily. And not just in terms of translation, but how do you customize that knowledge, right?

00:14:17 JAMIL WYNE
Because cultures perceive different questions and topics and healthcare differently. And so how do you ensure that it's localized and relevant? So Altibi was, you know, I got to meet the founder, essentially he was in his first year of doing it.

00:14:31 JAMIL WYNE
I mean, it was way back. His name is Julio Lada Badi. He founded it with his father, actually.

00:14:37 JAMIL WYNE
And I mean, they have consistently, I think, just blown me away in terms of the reach, the impact. And I think also there's a really good set of lessons that emerges from it around how you, as I said earlier, companies and entrepreneurs in these markets take on a mult Mill And so they're an endeavor entrepreneur.

00:15:02 JAMIL WYNE
like bomb, under the ISIS attack. They've gotten a lot of major funds to invest in them. There was recently a Harvard Business School case that came out on them. So really remarkable. And that's just an example of one company. Another one that I'll give a quick plug to is my friend, Zaid Frettak, is ahead of something called Sytech, Mina, Semantic Information Technology, Mina, serial entrepreneur. He started building the company, was in, he was in university. He is locally born and

00:15:29 JAMIL WYNE
brilliant mind, very humble human being as well. But his ability to bring people together, see big opportunities to actually grow his company, but then leverage the lessons and all of you see the wealth that was created through that company to launch a fund. So now they've all of the progress of that. They've launched a fund, now they're launching an adventure studio. So the fund is called Propelor, the studio is called Builder, which is run by another good friend of mine,

00:15:58 JAMIL WYNE
I thought that story was really remarkable because it goes to show, in a lot of ways, the same story that we'd like to talk about in the US, where serial entrepreneur does very well, and then they start building an ecosystem around them. I like to think that Zaid and his team have been able to do that, and it's a great example that, I think others in the region can follow, and certainly they've been having a lot of impact along

00:16:18 NICK LALL
way too. Totally, yeah, I think a lot of times it takes one's exact story, like that, to really set it country forward. I know there's the story of the Skype founder in Estonia, and the Nostoneists become like a hub for entrepreneurship. So more people like that, you can have around the world

00:16:26 JAMIL WYNE

00:16:35 NICK LALL
Absolutely. So yeah, now I think that we can get to the climate boot camp, which I guess is probably your top focus, now even though you are involved in a lot of stuff. Could you talk a little bit more about what made you decide to launch the boot camp and what you're trying to accomplish

00:16:35 JAMIL WYNE

00:16:52 JAMIL WYNE
Yeah, absolutely. So it actually came a

00:16:56 JAMIL WYNE
randomly, and there's actually an NCI connection as well. So another NCI alum is a friend of mine, Ashtab Halakha, is an investor in a company called Koli, which is an edtech platform in the UK that builds out learning communities around specific subject areas. So learning community on Fintech, or team building, or no code.

00:17:18 JAMIL WYNE
And so he introduced me to the CEO, Pablo, is a really great guy. And Pablo and I were talking about, well, does Koli have an interest in trying to build some type of course around climate and climate tech in particular? And we started talking last year about this. And at the time, I felt that one, it was very interesting. So I wanted to do it. I enjoy the academic and teaching side of

00:17:43 JAMIL WYNE
And it's something that I've tried to build out in my own career. And I also just felt that there was an opportunity, right? We're at that point, especially in the early days of really talking about climate tech seriously and across societies and economies.

00:17:56 JAMIL WYNE
We're still needing to figure out how do you find entrepreneurs? How do you support them and kind of expedite their process and their early days in particular? So I wanted to contribute to that process, but I didn't know really what model would make the most sense for doing that.

00:18:13 JAMIL WYNE
And of course, you can go to the investor route. You can obviously found a company yourself. You can build an accelerator. You can build policy, et cetera. So there's plenty of ways to interact with and support entrepreneurs. And so this one in particular was a little bit of a question mark for me. Like, where could

00:18:29 JAMIL WYNE
What really do entrepreneurs need right now? And the reason why we ended up doing it was, aside from the fact that I thought it was just an interesting opportunity, I think that there's this large need to start breaking down silos between different ecosystems around the world when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs that are focusing on climate. Right now, if you look at the climate tech hubs in the world, it's effectively the same types of hubs that you see in Standard V city.

00:18:56 JAMIL WYNE
So Silicon Valley, in Boston, in Tel Aviv, in London, in Singapore, et cetera, it's where a lot of the innovation around climate is happening. And that's also just in general where a lot of innovation full stop happens. And so as somebody that spent a lot of their time abroad in their career, I felt like if we keep going in this direction, we're going to miss out on a lot of really good opportunities, both to support entrepreneurs and more importantly, for impact, especially in countries that don't have the luxury of saying we've got an MIT or

00:19:28 JAMIL WYNE
a Stanford or University of Tel Aviv, et cetera, and therefore have a hub for supporting startups. So on one hand, I think we just got lucky. The timing was right.

00:19:42 JAMIL WYNE
We found an interesting fit. And when we brought on the learners to actually kick off the boot camp, and as a sort of application's coming through, I said, OK, there's actually demand for this. We had a person who used to be the head of Dalberg.

00:19:56 JAMIL WYNE
Sorry, the head of Africa for Dalberg. We had the Geochemistry, PhD from Columbia, who sold a company join us.

00:20:05 JAMIL WYNE
who had a Sun that had a set We had somebody who was a Forbes 30 under 30 who used to work on the climate team at the White House. So we saw that there were people that wanted to build things in climate coming from different countries and at the same time with amazing credentials.

00:20:21 JAMIL WYNE
And so it made a lot of sense for us to, at point not just do the boot camp, but then think about, well, how do we take this to the next level, something with more structure, with more of a strategy, which is, frankly, what we're still trying to figure out. I think it's going to be a process that evolves over time. But I think what we see it evolving into is a very important starting point that any entrepreneur from around the world that's working on climate can leverage when he or she is just starting down

00:20:51 JAMIL WYNE
this path. I think we probably will do our best work when we find people who are not brand new entrants into the labor market, but people that have built up an expertise, say, for five plus years in a certain area. And they're now thinking about how do I translate what I've done and learned into focusing on climate.

00:21:11 JAMIL WYNE
And I think something that's also important to note is that our goal is to support entrepreneurs here, right? So we're building out a program that brings in, or we run a program, rather that brings in mentors and investors to help run expert led sessions, former entrepreneurs are current entrepreneurs, rather, in climate as well to help run sessions. So we want to bring in as many resources and very obviously individuals that can provide tangible practical guidance to entrepreneurs.

00:21:42 JAMIL WYNE
But we're also seeing that it can be a launch pad for people that are just starting to kick off their climate careers, right? So we had one person who is very, very lucky to get him and our cohort as well. He used to be a VP of sales at LinkedIn, Slack, and Salesforce all in the IPO.

00:21:59 JAMIL WYNE
And in his case, he wasn't looking to start a company, but this person would be an extremely valuable hire to anybody. So just being able to get to know him, understand ways we could support him, he's obviously very, very talented individual. So I think he was already well in his way to doing something very interesting. And he landed a great job at a climate

00:22:18 JAMIL WYNE
But again, he's just another proof point, I think, that there's demand for this type of program and we need to keep building it out and making sure that we're reaching as wide audience as possible. But even more important as diverse an audience as possible. We had people from the US, and UK, and Germany, which are your usual suspects when you're talking about VCs and entrepreneurs in climate as well, and other.

00:22:42 JAMIL WYNE
But we also had people from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Senegal, somebody based in Japan. So just noticed that there's a global climate game and population of innovators that we want

00:22:54 NICK LALL
That's awesome. That sounds like it's got really high level people, and it definitely provides a

00:23:02 NICK LALL
Could you talk a little bit more about the, what people who joined the bootcamp could expect from it? First of all, you mentioned this a little bit, but what the selection criteria would be, how many slots are there? What is there a curriculum, or is it more, like how much, like, could people end up partnering up with each other and starting something, or could they expect investment from the investors? Just in general, what would be the general expectation out of joining this

00:23:29 JAMIL WYNE
Absolutely. So I mean, on the short answer to that, it's always evolving, I think. We're still trying to figure out what's the right ingredients and number of mentors and sessions and curriculum. That's a lot of

00:23:45 JAMIL WYNE
progress. But if somebody were to enroll today and our applications for the next cohort are going to go out in about two weeks, if somebody were to enroll in that cohort, what they would expect to find is eight live sessions, each hour and a half long, over a four week period. In each one of those, it's led by myself and one of our expert instructors.

00:24:09 JAMIL WYNE
So we have a mixture of climate investors and climate entrepreneurs that are working with me to deliver the course content. From a curriculum standpoint, you could expect to see everything from helping you walk through the process of researching business problems and opportunities in climate to actually when you're sitting down one on one with an investor focusing on climate as well, how do you structure that conversation in such a way that you maximize the chances of something meaningful coming from it? Not necessarily an investment, but meaningful can be getting tangible advice that you can then implement

00:24:47 JAMIL WYNE
and you develop a strategic relationship that can pay off down the line with that investor. We're also going to be working on storytelling with climate in particular when you're talking to investors as well as potential Storytelling plays an even more important role than I think it does in just the standard startup world And we're faced with this you know very very difficult to wrap our head around issue called climate change that any of these Companies is going to be cutting off a tiny piece of that larger problem and contributing a solution to

00:25:17 JAMIL WYNE
and partners. it So how do you tell a story to investors that let them both understand kind of the gravity of the challenge that you're taking on But at the same time be able to show them that there's a very market driven profitable solution and and the two are not necessarily always compatible And so how do you tell that story? So we want to be emphasizing that the other thing that we bring up in one to two of our sessions is this issue of impact measurement And this is where I think the field of climate

00:25:45 JAMIL WYNE
tech investment can kind of take a page out of the book of impact investment writ large Where you are going to be tasked with assessing what is the actual impact our footprint or I am having on either GHG avoidance and reductions or some climate adaptation goal and investors want to know that your team wants to know that your partners want to know that But humanity also needs it right it's something that is critical and if entrepreneurs aren't ready to Do that measurement process and put that framework in place we can help them with that and

00:26:22 JAMIL WYNE
and a lot of that entails just getting people familiar with what questions need to be asking when determining impact

00:26:29 JAMIL WYNE
that I'll say is that we I think we're going to start focusing more on teams as well a lot of the entrepreneurs that come to us are still in their idea stage so that they haven't even begun to start building out a team yet Climate is a very very technical field right I think everybody is waking up to that if they didn't know already and I still am learning what that even looks like you know what are the skill sets that are most needed right now A lot of people are trying to work on climate

00:26:57 JAMIL WYNE
and a lot of us are struggling to figure out where do we really fit in what's in most demand so when you're building a team knowing exactly not just when to hire and kind of the roles you're trying to fill out How do you assess candidates to understand if they're really experts in a field that is evolving rapidly it can be quite challenging so I think team building is another area will focus on in parallel to the sessions we're assigning exercises so getting them to work on positioning statements Research on their problems identifying the impact

00:27:30 JAMIL WYNE
domain they want to focus on so there's there's you know exercises in homework that we asked them to do I think the other thing that I'm most excited about that that we do is introduce them to mentors so I there's limitations on There's many limitations on what eyes just one individual can do of course we have amazing instructors that work with me but there's also limitations in what we can do in an hour and a half even if you attend all eight sessions there's so many questions that you're going to walk away with regardless so

00:27:59 JAMIL WYNE
if we can bring in mentors and let's we try to average like two to three mentors per entrepreneur We don't sit expectations on what they have to achieve we want them to get to know each other and enjoy knowing each other and then explore ways they can work but the mentorship is something that we put a really really high premium on and something that I hope will distinguish us over time and something that we always want to keep building out so people are listening that are interested in being mentors we always love to talk to them Sure I mean that sounds like that's a ton of

00:28:25 NICK LALL
I mean that sounds like that's a ton of value for anyone launching a startup

00:28:30 NICK LALL
impact measurements specifically related to climate team building mentor mentors I think those that's basically all you need for a startup I mean that's some of the most most important out value

00:28:36 JAMIL WYNE

00:28:40 JAMIL WYNE

00:28:43 NICK LALL
be my my next question would be you yourself have invested in several climate startups what's your criteria when evaluating an investment in a in a climate

00:28:53 JAMIL WYNE
sure sure So I feel like I've kind of a common answer across all the questions and it's evolving over time so I still

00:29:01 JAMIL WYNE
out what's the best way to to vet a company at the early stages that you you know you're not going to have a lot of data

00:29:10 JAMIL WYNE
you're probably not going to get a lot of face time with the founder you're not going to be able to talk to many customers if any right so there's not a lot of data points you can look at and so I'm always having to figure out what I know what my approach is And I hope that Jane I like to talk to you about as are to youcause there are many others I don't know are you on this but I'm just energy like that's good and really not the question that something comfortable with confusion. Like

00:29:49 JAMIL WYNE
are things that I think all demonstrate a certain level of vulnerability, but also maturity in a founder. And so that's something that I look when I'm trying to figure out if I want to work with somebody on something in general. So this particular thing may not be challenging, is the achieved uncertainty in real life. I would still apply that to thinking about an early stage company. At that point too, I realized that, you know, assessing product market fit and trying to, you know, run the numbers on market size. It's already a difficult exercise when you have data to work with. At that stage, I mean, I admire the investors that are able to do that with confidence. I'm not yet. I know it's hard

00:30:23 JAMIL WYNE
You should be important opportunities, tell how quickly and large could something grow, especially when there's a good chance that that entrepreneur in a year is going to pivot away from it. So I always feel like the diligence you're doing at that stage is going to be almost rendered obsolete kind of quickly. So I don't want to get too drawn into that process, you know, because I may lead me making a wrong decision.

00:30:46 JAMIL WYNE
It might make me want to not invest, when in fact, if I just kind of listen to my gut and got to know the person I would. The other thing which, you know, is really common in DC in VC. I don't think we say it enough.

00:30:59 JAMIL WYNE
I have no reservations if somebody a lot smarter than me comes and says, this is a really good opportunity. You should look at it. That happens all the time in VC.

00:31:08 JAMIL WYNE
People are always sharing deals. I know funds like to say that they have their own unique diligence processes and formulas for picking winners. I don't.

00:31:18 JAMIL WYNE
And so I am very open and welcome to people coming with an awesome entrepreneur that they think I should get to know and support in some way. I very rarely say no to that. I would rather do that probably more often than not and have to go source the companies on my own and have to use a process that I developed because I'm still figuring out

00:31:39 NICK LALL
this help. Sure, totally, that makes sense. I

00:31:42 NICK LALL
or if there's, yeah, it's the getting advice from from others that you try to think. Definitely

00:31:42 JAMIL WYNE
or if

00:31:46 JAMIL WYNE

00:31:51 NICK LALL
ways to go about it. I guess switching gears a little bit there was, there was an NC had another NC had a one that I met when I was doing the MBA actually who introduced me to the concept of the portfolio career where you're working on several different things at once. And that seems like that's kind of what you're doing. So I was wondering how you balance all the different projects you're working on. How do you choose what to focus on most and how do you balance your day when you have so many

00:32:18 JAMIL WYNE
Yeah, so it's something that I've gotten better at doing over the past year though I, I, as part of my New Year's resolution have, have made a point of getting better at it. Despite the fact that I feel like I'm improving, I still like, I guess what I'm saying is there I still have a ways to go before I can really be confident in it. But on one hand this year, and I think this started when I, when I launched the

00:32:44 JAMIL WYNE
on a bit of a builder's mindset, right, where I wasn't just, yes, I had a portfolio approach to my career, but I, but I had to be thinking a lot more long term than I was before, right?

00:32:56 JAMIL WYNE
yes, it generates revenue, but it's, it's not my full time focus yet. It could be at some point and, and to get it to that point, I would have to go through a lot of piloting and testing and, and, you know, making mistakes before I even knew if there was something really there that I could institutionalize and work on for the long run. So point being in that you're not going to get short term gratification out of it.

00:33:21 JAMIL WYNE
going to be something that pays off in the long run. Of course, I love doing it. So you could say that that is a form of short term gratification, but in terms of getting compensated for it. I

00:33:31 JAMIL WYNE
mean, it's something that plays out over years, I think. So part of the balancing is not just balancing tasks, but it's balancing long and short term priorities where I've had to say, this is something that I think is going to be really important for future, Jamil, right? Over the next 10 years, I want this to be something that I feel gradually with intentionality, but also just have been slowly.

00:33:57 JAMIL WYNE
So so that's been one thing that's been really helpful is just putting on that

00:34:03 JAMIL WYNE
The short term mindset has obviously it's around direct advising that I do for as a consultant for for different groups, right? And what's nice about that is that there is lots of forcing functions in that field, right? People coming to you, setting deadlines and saying that you need to deliver on a certain time.

00:34:20 JAMIL WYNE
So the more forcing functions, the better on my colleague and business partners, soon already is, you know, often talks to me about forcing functions. And I think one of the tricks is if you're doing a portfolio career, be really vigilant about what those forcing functions are. And if they're not there, try to build them in as much as you can.

00:34:40 JAMIL WYNE
last thing is that I think is important to to balancing is being very comfortable with the ambiguity that comes along with it. Because I think if you start to get too anxious about the ambiguity, it pulls away or detracts from your ability to just manage your time because you're worrying about uncertainty. And so being able to notice that all drivers wouldn't fit for having a little Assistance abstract. It's taken a while for me to become more comfortable with uncertainty. I need to, I've had to stop thinking about it as a negative and see it as something that is actually an opportunity that opened doors that I just don't know where they're, they're leading. And so if you take the uncertainty and combine it with that long term mindset, I

00:35:20 JAMIL WYNE

00:35:21 JAMIL WYNE
on the hat, I think, if somebody who was planting seeds all the time, right? Where you're saying, I don't know where these things are going to go. I'm not sure what's going to grow big, what's going to grow small, what's going to not grow at all.

00:35:34 JAMIL WYNE
And so once you realize that there is always going to be some type of long term game or long term games, you have to play. And at the same time, you don't know what those things are going to look like. It forces you to be much more of a seed planter than anything.

00:35:50 JAMIL WYNE
And so as I've, you know, quote unquote matured a little bit or this past year, I've had to become a lot more comfortable with playing that role, which means that I don't see them bare fruit right away. All right, it's a, it's a waiting game, but it's one that I've become much more amenable to over the past, you know, 10, 12 months and really happy where things are right now.

00:36:12 NICK LALL
It makes a lot of sense focusing on the long term and then having the short term forcing functions to pay the bills and keep

00:36:19 JAMIL WYNE
you going. Short term forcing functions. Yeah. Yeah. And the seeds can't forget the seeds.

00:36:25 NICK LALL
Yeah. Very good. One last question, I guess is just what advice do you have for young people who are hoping to take tackle climate change as part of their careers, but whether as an entrepreneur or more traditional

00:36:37 JAMIL WYNE
Sure. So there's a lot there, I think. And I think we're still trying to think through how do you move talent into climate, right? Like there's, you know, a lot of commendable efforts are happening across the board with guiding people to climate careers, you know, in no particular order, you know, my climate

00:37:00 JAMIL WYNE
climate draft, you know, one of a growing three of a growing pool of different platforms that people are starting. And, and I think that when people talk to me one on one, of course, sometimes I just direct them towards one of those platforms because they're mandated to help kind of answer that question that I'm usually getting asked. But I was talking to somebody yesterday about it and, and a couple of pieces of advice that, you know, we're exchanged during that, that call and it could be useful for others.

00:37:28 JAMIL WYNE
So I think on one hand, the field is moving so rapidly that I think you're, it's kind of incumbent on us to build as many relationships as possible and keep growing those relationships as possible with other people working on climate, right? Because that's where I think the bulk of the learnings are going to come.

00:37:47 JAMIL WYNE
articles, reports, etc. can be helpful, but they're only going to show you a snapshot of where the world is. At a previous time, and if the field is evolving so rapidly, then it's need to be keeping pace and you do that by speaking with people, I think as opposed to going back to the literature. So that's something that I feel like everybody's got to do, you know, build a community, be part of a community or communities.

00:38:15 JAMIL WYNE
going to find yourself falling behind and we all fall behind and it's a struggle to keep it to speed, but you will find yourself in a much more difficult position if you don't.

00:38:24 JAMIL WYNE
that I recommend is, is be really rigorous with trying to understand the type of impact that you want to contribute to. When we talk about climate, oftentimes we default to thinking purely about energy and decarbonization. Those are mission critical for the survival of humankind.

00:38:42 JAMIL WYNE
the same time, there's growing number of parallel concerns that aren't directly linked, but they are going to get exacerbated by, sorry, aren't directly linked to GHG, but they are going to get exacerbated by carbon,

00:38:59 JAMIL WYNE
of carbon and GHG and climate change. And what I mean here is just the field of climate adaptation where there is a growing concern about unpredictability of weather patterns, about stress and what we call like threat multiplier effects that are going to be placed upon society and economy. There is not, they won't show up in the form of, or the solutions for those won't show up in the form of solar and EVs and direct air capture and fusion, etc.

00:39:29 JAMIL WYNE
going to show up in the form of us just being smarter with how we collect and use data around weather.

00:39:38 JAMIL WYNE
in the world, but

00:39:41 JAMIL WYNE
in agrarian societies that rely heavily on the agriculture sector to have drought resistant seeds, or better technologies to predict when a flood is coming. So those are not necessarily your go to. examples of climate impact when you're trying to enter this field and also when you're working in it, but we're realizing that they are also mission critical because if we don't have food if we're not protecting our water systems if we're not protecting our health care systems.

00:40:15 JAMIL WYNE
We're expecting a, you know, we will and have been seeing a large uptick in food and waterborne diseases as a result of climate. So health is obviously critical here. So if we're not thinking about those issues and purely trying to decarbonize, which again, I don't want to track from that we need more people working on that. But if we're not also getting people to work on these other important domains, then we're going to realize that even if we get to the point where we decarbonized or making a meaningful dent in that

00:40:44 JAMIL WYNE
a lot of ill-event-sephal decades and countries will have disappeared by then, right? And people have had to migrate from their homes permanently and there's going to be a whole slew of other issues that we're not even probably aware of yet that are going to be on our front doors or in our living rooms at that point. So people that are trying to enter this space, I'd encourage them to be really, really critical when thinking about, or really rigorous and think critically about the type of impact that they're trying to achieve.

00:41:14 JAMIL WYNE
And I think also it's a really important, less thing I'd say is that it's really important to keep this a tree planter or a seed planter mentality, right? There's still a lot of question marks around which technology is really going to be scaling and what's going to have the biggest impact. Like I think we're already sure that there's a very bright and exciting future around the renewable energy space, but there's a lot of other technologies that are trying to get into the market that we're still trying to figure out, like what is the longevity here?

00:41:43 JAMIL WYNE
So if you're going to be working on those, you're going to have to embrace the uncertainty and also be comfortable with the fact that you're kind of a drop in the ocean or a grain of sand and a larger pile of sand that's just contributing. So the more you can be like an enabler and planting of these seeds, helping elders as much as possible. I think you maximize your chances of not just making a move into climate, but doing something meaningful within

00:42:08 NICK LALL
those are all really great points. I guess climate impact everything or I guess climate is everything really so that there's definitely talent needed across the board. And it's

00:42:09 JAMIL WYNE

00:42:20 NICK LALL
to need a lot of long-term thinking as well. So anyway, really appreciate you joining. Jamila was super valuable information and really interesting to hear more about your journey and the impact you're having. Again, I guess yeah, where can people find climate boot camp if they're interested

00:42:35 JAMIL WYNE
or becoming a mentor or anything? Yeah, absolutely. So they can

00:42:41 JAMIL WYNE
it's Jamila at climate And then if they wanted to just visit the site for the boot camp, it's just climate boot as well. So we actually just launched our new site. I'm excited to show it off to

00:42:54 JAMIL WYNE
we haven't made any errors on the on the back end and everything's working properly. So if people go, we'll find out soon enough if the website's working or going on. Sure,

00:43:02 NICK LALL
Sure, amazing. Thanks so much. Really appreciate you

00:43:05 JAMIL WYNE
Thanks a lot, Nick,