xDeck

Gain insights into the Eco-Tech startup scene with Climate Founders.

CEO & Founder of Climate Founders GmbH, Markus Sudhoff, joins xdeck for an interview to share his knowledge and experience of the ClimateTech startup scene. Markus is also an Entrepreneur in Residence on xdeck, based in The SHIP, Cologne.

Please share some information about yourself Markus.

During the last 10 years I co-founded, mentored and invested in many startups. After writing the Founders Foundation Playbook and challenging some company builder, accelerator and talent investor concepts I created the Climate Founders concept.

What is Climate Founders mission?

With climate change we face the biggest challenge in human history and I believe that technology and entrepreneurial culture is the best way to encounter this challenge. Therefore, we need the world’s brightest minds and most ambitious people. But unfortunately most of them are locked in slow and encrusted systems in the academic or corporate world — our mission is to free these outlier individuals and empower them to become successful climate founders.

How do you solve potential conflicts between economic aspirations and environmental sustainability (authenticity), e.g. green-washing?

I believe that there is no conflict between economy and ecology anymore. To be economically successful means being resilient, finding the best employees, attracting many customers, being aligned with investors interests, fulfilling regulations and being cost efficient. All of these success factors go hand in hand with sustainability, especially in this decade.

Eco-Tech startups need high amounts of money to grow. How do you convince investors to support mission-driven startups, where financial aspirations may play a smaller role?

We are especially looking for founders and investors with very high economic aspirations. My goal is to prove that investments in ClimateTech will be the best performing asset class of the future. Many climate solutions are hardware based and need a lot of money, for sure. But I also see a lot of business opportunities for software and data driven business models which help to build, distribute and manage these climate solutions. This wave of new businesses will leverage the impact of hardware solutions by factor 10, at least.

How do you see the future of ecological startups? Will environmental sustainability become a “natural” part of every startups (like “digitalisation”) or do we need many specialised startups?

We will see both. We are witnessing a world-wide paradigm shift: Every company will be pushed towards sustainability and especially to co2-neutrality by their customers and investors. So it is a natural transition for all companies. On the other hand we need a lot of ClimateTech companies to help these “normal” companies to fulfil their sustainability goals.

Climate Founders is the world’s first talent investor for climate change related topics, who is building a high-performance ecosystem for climate founders.

xdeck is pleased to have such an environmentally focused startup by its side as Entrepreneur in Residence on xdeck and is excited to see where the future takes them.

About xdeck. xdeck is Germany’s first startup accelerator from founders for founders. It focuses on early-stage tech and digital startups shaping the future of the consumer and commerce industries. xdeck is seed-funded by the founders of FOND OF and made possible through strong partners: Capnamic Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Deutsche Bank, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Kienbaum Consultants International, Köln Business, McKinsey & Company, Volksbank Köln Bonn. Thank you!