Interview with Leeor Groen, Venture Manager, Blockchain Valley Ventures

The EIT Climate-KIC community comprises a rich diversity of expertise, skills and perspectives across our alumni, start-ups, innovation partners, advisors and associates, all of whom contribute to our innovation capacity. 

This week, we speak to Leeor Groen, a Venture Manager at Blockchain Valley Ventures. He spoke at the Climate Innovation Summit 2018  on the session entitled “Start-up funding: Challenges from various perspectives.”

What’s your role?

I am a Venture Manager at Blockchain Valley Ventures, a Swiss venture capital firm investing in and supporting blockchain enabled businesses. In addition to this, I am also a Leader with the Climate Reality Project, Al Gore’s advocacy initiative, where I am actively engaged in raising awareness for the challenges the world faces in mitigating and adapting to climate change as well as sustainable development more broadly.

What are you working on with EIT Climate-KIC?

As someone committed to leveraging technology and finance to help solve some of society’s biggest challenges, I naturally find myself at home with the European Institute of Technology, and Climate-KIC, which specifically aims to address key sustainability problems through innovation. I have been actively involved in the Climate-KIC community for almost three years now and was engaged in the Greenhouse incubator programme, together with my two co-founders Roman Haas and Christophe Mortier, for our project to facilitate peer-to-peer energy sharing in the Alpine region. I have also participated in EIT Alumni Connect in Budapest, The Journey programme in Paris and Valencia, and supported the annual Climathon in Zurich.

What are you working on generally?

I am focused on shaping the future of venture financing which I believe is a process that is ripe for change and needs to adjust to better support entrepreneurs and R&D intensive projects. The venture capital industry itself is undergoing considerable developments and with new approaches to fundraising, we see more and more companies looking to alternative fundraising methods such as equity crowdfunding and token offerings. I am therefore working with entrepreneurs and innovative companies who are looking to redefine their industries and am supporting them in scaling their activities.

What are three implications of this work?

There is much to take away from the tech industry, and blockchain specifically, which is shaping the traditional finance and venture capital industries. People are now being given the opportunity to support and invest in projects and initiatives that matter to them. Not just ‘customers’ or ‘investors,’ but truly ‘partners’ (who are potentially a combination of the two). Societally, we are transitioning towards many more ‘for purpose’ projects, a great example of which is The Timekeeper, based in Australia, and we see the momentum behind this in the rise of B Corps which are companies set up to balance purpose and profit. Blockchain enables the most efficient and effective way of managing this and is a catalyst for future growth in the social sector. With a fragmented, yet deeply passionate community behind sustainability, climate and environmental topics, there is a huge opportunity to now draw on best practices from the tech community and apply this to how we approach sustainable finance.

What or who gives you hope or inspiration in the fight against climate change?

With so many revolutionary technologies at our fingertips, innovation is increasing exponentially and our society needs to take advantage of these opportunities. Through the combination of these exponential technological developments, the awareness of the need for sustainable development itself, and having people and companies who are empowered to act, I believe we will be able to overcome the challenges of climate change, because, in reality, there is only one option. One of the greatest developments to come from blockchain is the fundamental belief that we can do things differently. We now need to bring this mindset to sustainability and empower more stakeholders to get involved and actually act.

 
Location
Ireland
Related Goal
Goal 10: Mainstream climate in financial markets
Articles you may be interested in
In Detail
Municipality-led circular economy case studies from EIT Climate-KIC and part...

How can cities create prosperity for expanding populations whose rates of consumption are increasing, while strengthening the systemic change that supports waste and resource management?...

Municipality-led circular economy case studies from EIT Climate-KIC and partners
In Detail
Transformative change through innovation: An analysis of the role of innovat...

One of the areas with significant potential to reduce carbon emissions is the energy sector, including the transition away from coal. It is, and...

Transformative change through innovation: An analysis of the role of innovation in five transition regions
In The News
COP24 report: The vital role of land use in climate mitigation

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24 report: The vital role of land use in climate mitigation
In The News
COP24: Distributed ledger technology could help enact Paris Agreement

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24: Distributed ledger technology could help enact Paris Agreement
Opinion
System innovation is needed to help regions shift to a low-carbon economy
System innovation is needed to help regions shift to a low-carbon economy
In The News
COP24: Social innovation to drive just transition of coal regions

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24: Social innovation to drive just transition of coal regions
In Detail
DLT for climate action assessment

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a myriad of milestones that have put the vision of a prosperous, climate-resilient society on...

DLT for climate action assessment
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters launches at EUROCITIES

EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters project—which aims to accelerate innovation clusters...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters launches at EUROCITIES
Opinion
St. Patrick is on a Mission – #MissionFinance 1.5 C
Sandra Vlašić, Partnerships, Resources and Stories Terra Hub
St. Patrick is on a Mission – #MissionFinance 1.5 C
In our community
EIT Climate-KIC to showcase its top 30 cleantech startups during Slush 2018
EIT Climate-KIC to showcase its top 30 cleantech startups during Slush 2018
In The News
How to unlock the finance needed for integrated landscape approaches

Why integrated landscape approaches matter and how to unlock...

How to unlock the finance needed for integrated landscape approaches
In The News
Regional Innovation Scheme start-ups showcase cleantech achievements supported...

Last month (October 2018) in Vienna, Austria, 32 start-ups...

Regional Innovation Scheme start-ups showcase cleantech achievements supported by EIT Climate-KIC
In The News
City Finance Lab explores new advisory services to catalyse investment in sust...

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

City Finance Lab explores new advisory services to catalyse investment in sustainable cities
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC responds to consultation on Long-Term Strategy for EU GHG emis...

As an active member of the community working to...

EIT Climate-KIC responds to consultation on Long-Term Strategy for EU GHG emissions reduction
Opinion
Distributed ledger technologies are here to stay
Dr. Harald Rauter Regional Innovation Lead, Climate-KIC
Distributed ledger technologies are here to stay
In The News
Search for 100 1.5C-compatible investments launched

The EU-backed Mission Innovation initiative has launched a framework...

Search for 100 1.5C-compatible investments launched
In The News
Can self-reporting be effective for investors?

Most climate and ESG data is self-reported – can...

Can self-reporting be effective for investors?
In The News
Risky business: Why 1.5C-aligned strategies are key to preserving capital

Decision-makers with responsibility for capital need to make bold,...

Risky business: Why 1.5C-aligned strategies are key to preserving capital
In The News
No alternative: Making sustainable infrastructure the only option

Only a fraction of global climate finance is reaching...

No alternative: Making sustainable infrastructure the only option
In The News
Could ambitious financial regulation be a key driver of climate action?

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

Could ambitious financial regulation be a key driver of climate action?
In The News
Bridging the climate adaptation investment gap

Financing climate adaptation took centre-stage at Day 2 of...

Bridging the climate adaptation investment gap
In Detail
Techno-economic assessment and life cycle assessment guidelines for CO2 util...

CO2 utilisation technologies, also known as carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) or CO2 re-use, capture CO2 and convert it into new products or services....

Techno-economic assessment and life cycle assessment guidelines for CO2 utilisation
In The News
Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions

EIT Climate-KIC and partners recently launched the Re-Industrialise programme,...

Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions
In Detail
Reframing our current approach to urban transformations

EIT Climate-KIC gathered the outputs and lessons-learned from an urban transformations community workshop in Malaga, which saw more than 100 city leaders and teams...

Reframing our current approach to urban transformations
Opinion
Reframing perspectives on climate change
Reframing perspectives on climate change
Opinion
Only 20 companies in the world provide 100 per cent greenhouse gas emissions disclosure – Are ...
Only 20 companies in the world provide 100 per cent greenhouse gas emissions disclosure – Are investors in the dark on climate risks?
In The News
Gaining a better understanding of climate risk

The roadblocks that stand in the way of companies...

Gaining a better understanding of climate risk
In The News
The power of persuasion: Great Debate changes audience’s mind on self-re...

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

The power of persuasion: Great Debate changes audience’s mind on self-reporting
In The News
A masterclass on climate-related financial disclosure

If we want to keep on track with the...

A masterclass on climate-related financial disclosure
In The News
Transforming financial sector’s core value system may be essential to 1.5C

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

Transforming financial sector’s core value system may be essential to 1.5C