Energy Impact Partners launches Elevate Future Fund

Energy Impact Partners (EIP), a global investment platform leading the transition to a sustainable energy future, has launched the Elevate Future Fund (Elevate), which aims to create a more diverse founder community and inclusive venture capital ecosystem within the broader energy transition. 

Elevate is targeting USD120 million in commitments and has already closed on more than half of this goal through strong support from its existing corporate investor network. Elevate has made three investments in companies led or founded by diverse talent and has a strong pipeline of additional opportunities.

The Fund will be focused on investing in companies founded or run by diverse talent that are driving innovation within EIP’s core mission of advancing the low carbon economy, including supply decarbonisation, electrification, tech enabled infrastructure, reliability and resilience, and intelligent demand. In addition to its direct investments, the Elevate team will form partnerships with technology accelerators, and universities, including historically black colleges to nurture talent, promote infrastructure and support systems to retain talent from underrepresented groups. The Fund will work closely with its strategic corporate investors to leverage their considerable resources to jointly advance this important mission.

“As we reshape the low carbon economy of the future, it is important that this future is equitable, diverse and inclusive. We have a lot to improve upon and formed Elevate to help advance this important cause,” says Hans Kobler, Founder and CEO of EIP.

“With the creation of the Elevate Future Fund we are addressing the need for the venture capital community to come together to provide better opportunities for underserved communities in our industry,” says Anthony Oni, Managing Partner of the Elevate Future Fund. “We look forward to working closely with our incredible corporate partners to help advance a more equitable ecosystem and provide better opportunities for underrepresented people.”

“We’re excited to apply EIP’s model and leadership in climate impact to take a more proactive role in fostering diversity in the venture and energy tech space. Elevate provides another dynamic vehicle for us to proactively support the development of diverse businesses in our industry and the communities we serve,” says Chris Cummiskey, Chief Commercial & Customer Solutions Officer for Southern Company.

“Xcel Energy is deeply committed to building an energy future that reflects the rich diversity of the communities that we serve. As a long-time investor in Energy Impact Partners, we are pleased and proud to have the opportunity to both invest in and co-chair the Elevate Fund,” says Ben Fowke, CEO and chairman of Xcel Energy. “The goals of this fund align with our own and we are excited to support both the development of clean energy technologies and the diverse founders of the companies doing this critical work.”

The Fund has already made three investments in diverse companies focused on the energy transition. This includes the Los Angeles-based company, ChargerHelp! a Black women-owned startup that has developed a mobile application and web-based platform for rapid, on-demand repair of electric vehicle charging stations. The Elevate investment will help ChargerHelp! expand its service and improve its technology. Elevate has also invested in Project Canary, an international environmental standards company based in Denver, and HopSkipDrive, the innovative, safe, and dependable youth transportation solutions for schools, districts, government agencies and families.

“Our partnership supports the bright minds and diverse entrepreneurs who are key as our industry transitions to a cleaner energy future. Through the Elevate Future Fund, Fortis is taking purposeful action to support the up-and-coming innovators and underrepresented talent in our industry. Fortis is proud to be a partner,” says David G Hutchens, President and CEO, Fortis Inc.

“We look forward to partnering with EIP to advance the clean energy transition and foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Vincent Sorgi, PPL President and Chief Executive Officer. “We recognise that it will take new ideas, technology and systems to achieve a net-zero emissions future that preserves energy reliability and affordability. PPL believes cultivating diversity will help to fuel that innovation and deliver positive outcomes for the people and communities we serve.”

“Microsoft is investing in EIP’s Elevate Future Fund through our Climate Innovation Fund because of their support for climate solutions driven by a diverse talent base. Our Climate Innovation Fund aims to accelerate technology development and the deployment of new climate innovations that demonstrate impact and equity to help deliver a more sustainable, just, and prosperous future for everyone,” said Brandon Middaugh, Director of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund.

“We are proud to be an investor in Energy Impact Partners,” says Diane Cooke, VP of Human Resources at Alliant Energy. “We are excited about the promising opportunities this partnership creates for inclusiveness, locally and nationally. We especially appreciate the chance to work together on innovative ways to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce that advances our collective efforts for creating a carbon free future. Through partnership, we’ll continue advancing our efforts to generate a healthier, more sustainable environment, which truly benefits our customers and the communities we proudly serve.”

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