The ultimate goal of the Climate Impact Fund Fellowship is to develop the necessary skills and experience to be a climate impact investor, to bring fresh thinking to VertueLab and diversity to the field of climate impact investing, and to accelerate the Fellow along their career path in catalytic capital.
VertueLab is a nonprofit fighting the climate crisis by providing funding and holistic entrepreneurial support to cleantech startups. Through a decade of work, we have proven that our model can accelerate climate solutions that are key to reversing the climate crisis. We were the first in the nation to utilize patient, risk-tolerant, concessionary, and flexible capital to invest in early stage cleantech startups. This form of investment, known as “catalytic capital,” is the future of impact investing for climate technologies, and is a challenging field to break into.
Why we need you
Though VertueLab is a leader in the cleantech field and understands the complexities of evaluating and supporting cleantech innovators, we are limited by our own lack of diversity. Our makeup unfortunately reflects that of the venture capital and cleantech sectors. And we want that to change. Evidence shows that lack of diversity in investment teams corresponds with lack of diversity and poorer performance of portfolios. We are fighting the climate crisis. We cannot afford to overlook promising innovations from startup companies led by diverse leaders, including women and people of color, and risk them not having a fair shot to achieve scale. In an effort to grow a more diverse pool of climate fund managers, we are establishing the Climate Impact Fund Fellowship as a specialized career accelerator and educational experience. We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing the latest thinking on fund management from academia and/or industry to augment our on-the-ground experience providing funding and support to climate solutions innovators.
The Climate Impact Fund Fellowship is structured as a two-year paid fellowship. If selected, you will work with VertueLab’s Director of Impact Investments and fund management team. You will assist in finding and evaluating a pipeline of startup companies that are developing climate solutions based in science and technology.
In addition to this hands-on experience, the fellowship will provide you with opportunities for education, network development, and personal professional growth. Once on board, you will work with VertueLab to create an individual development plan, identifying the technical and leadership skills and key network connections that are most needed to accelerate you on your career trajectory. The Fellowship dedicates two hours per week on average to activities furthering your education, developing your network, or investing in your professional development.
As the Climate Impact Fund Fellow, you will gain the opportunity to work as part of a team of trailblazers in early-stage cleantech innovation. You will assist in startup pipeline development, initial screening, business/financial/climate impact due diligence, and facilitating and tracking investment transactions and impact. You will have exposure to the key elements of operating an early-stage impact-first cleantech innovation fund, and will have the opportunity to influence how our Fund is operated based on your previous education and experience.
Education and Network Development
You will represent VertueLab at national impact investing and clean technology conferences and events. And you’ll have the opportunity to participate in trainings and screening committee conversations with partner organizations such as the E8/Decarbon8 Fund, Keiretsu Forum, and the NREL Industry Growth Forum.
VertueLab will offer warm introductions to our wide-ranging network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and other venture capital investors to grow a robust network in the investing industry. As part of the individual development plan, we will prioritize introductions to individuals, mentors, and organizations that meet your particular interests and needs for added education in specialty areas beyond VertueLab’s expertise in cleantech investing.
You will also have the opportunity to learn about technology’s role in solving the climate crisis. In this role, you’ll collaborate with our Impact Measurement and Management team using data from Project Drawdown and other sources to help forecast the potential climate impact of technologies.
Ideal Candidate Profile
VertueLab is an equal opportunity employer. In the case of this fellowship, the position is intended for emerging investors who are focused on increasing access and opportunity for cleantech innovators and startup founders who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. Successful applicants for this role will have:
- Alignment with VertueLab’s mission to unleash innovation and entrepreneurship that will solve environmental challenges and catalyze shared economic prosperity.
- A background or strong interest in science or technology innovation as it relates to cleantech, climate change, or climate justice.
- A demonstrated understanding of financial analysis and investing. We are open to individuals with either a combination of education and work experience or who have completed an MBA or are in the process of completing their MBA program.
- Experience working directly within communities of color.
- A growth-mindset,
- The adaptability required to thrive in a dynamic environment.
- The ability to work independently, as the VertueLab team is all working remotely for the time being.
- A desire to engage and communicate regularly with a variety of stakeholders such as investors, startup founders, and BIPOC-led partner organizations.
- The ability to commit to a full-time schedule that is conducive to working with a team that works regular business hours in the Pacific time zone. Oregon residence is preferred but not required.
Your online application to the Climate Impact Fund Fellowship includes a few basic, voluntary demographic questions included as part of our commitment to ensuring that we have a diverse pool of applicants for this fellowship, plus two fields for uploading supporting materials including a cover letter and resume. Feel free to preview a pdf of the application prior to submission here.
We ask that in your cover letter you address the following:
- What interests you in climate impact investing as a career path
- What you would hope to get out of this Fellowship
- What you think you would bring to this Fellowship and to VertueLab
In your resume, please identify two references. We will notify you prior to our contacting any reference.APPLY HERE
Please feel free to contact VertueLab’s Finance and Operations Manager, Felicia Kang at email@example.com.