Silicon Valley Going Green Series: California’s green ecosystem can inspire Denmark’s green transition
It is common knowledge that we need new technological innovation in order to truly combat global warming. So where does the world’s leading tech hub and home of innovation, Silicon Valley, currently stand on the road to a more sustainable future? Throughout the next seven weeks, Bootstrapping will be sharing a ‘Silicon Valley Going Green’ article series, containing seven insight articles written by Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley. CEO and Consul General Katrine Joensen gives her take on why the green developments in Silicon Valley is relevant for the Danish start-up ecosystem.
Silicon Valley is widely regarded as the most innovative tech hub in the world; home to some of the world’s best universities, most valuable companies and most notable venture capital firms. The mecca for ICT and high tech is known for its ability to spin out unicorns, groundbreaking technologies and transformative business models, as Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, AirBnB and numerous other innovative companies have amply demonstrated. But where is Silicon Valley when it comes to solving one of the largest crises the world has ever faced – climate change?
“Imagine the impact, if we could harness the innovative capacity of Silicon Valley and the market opportunities in California to develop, invest in and scale our green solutions globally?” – Katrine Joensen
To answer that question, Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley has taken a deep dive into the green ecosystem in California, connecting with our network of policy makers, researchers, accelerators, startups and investors. We have plugged in to what is a thriving – and growing – hub of entrepreneurial activity geared towards developing technologies that will decarbonize our societies, recognizing the commercial opportunities stemming from global demand for sustainable solutions. In doing so, we have identified drivers of change, best practices, cooperation partners and growth opportunities.
Is there anything to learn from Silicon Valley regarding sustainability?
But why is ‘Silicon Valley Going Green’ relevant for Denmark and the Danish startup ecosystem? Denmark ranks among the most sustainable countries in the world. Danish companies have cutting-edge know-how of sustainable solutions, public and private investors are increasingly investing in sustainability and Danish entrepreneurs are developing innovative tech-solutions for a greener future.
We are certainly ‘punching above our weight’ (as President Obama once said to then Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen) in the climate arena. But imagine the impact, if we could harness the innovative capacity of Silicon Valley and the market opportunities in California to develop, invest in and scale our green solutions globally?
In the following weeks, a series of insight articles will provide a peek at Silicon Valley’s green ecosystem, highlighting key policy drivers, corporate sustainability trends, university spin-out practices, climate accelerator programs, cutting-edge climate research, digital technologies for the green transition and the maturing, green investor landscape.
The articles are meant as an inspiration to change makers in the sustainability field.
The series contain seven insights article where we each week will take a deep dive into relevant parts of the green ecosystem in Silicon Valley.
- California: A Global Green Frontrunner.
This article takes a closer look at the state of California, their current work on climate legislation as well as their ambitious goals for the coming years.
- Is Corporate America Going Green?
How is Corporate America adapting to a reality where global warming has become more dominant in the minds of consumers and other key interest player? Are we seeing a slow turn away from shareholder primacy to shareholder activism? And who are some of the key players?
- How Universities Are Spinning Out Climate Solutions.
The Universities surrounding Silicon Valley have always been instrumental to the area’s success, laying the groundwork for many of the technological innovations we use today. This article looks at how universities such as Stanford and Berkeley are working to foster green innovations.
- Accelerating Climate Tech.
Accelerators focused on helping new climate tech start-ups are popping up on a regular basis in California. This article explores some of the key “green” accelerators and how they can help Danish climate tech entrepreneurs.
- Will Venture Capital Finance a Greener Future?
The investor landscape in Silicon Valley is adapting to the increased demand for climate action. This article takes a closer look at the emerging ecosystem, the role of Corporate Venture Capital and highlights some of the relevant venture funds and their investment focus.
- Digital Technologies – a Key to the Green Transition.
This article provides an overview of some of the major technological developments that are happening today – and expected to happen in the future – and how they are working to fight against climate change.
- Research and Development in California: A key Enabler for the Green Transition.
California is the state with the highest amount of research and development funding within energy and clean tech in the US. So how are the State’s top universities using their billion-dollar funding? And what are some of the most promising research area that you should look out for in the future?
Looking towards Silicon Valley may for example be relevant for startups looking for know-how, acceleration programs and access to venture capital, strategic corporate investors and off-takers to propel them onwards on their growth journey. Danish investors could potentially find new technological insights and networks of relevance in the ESG investment space. And the collaboration opportunities do not end there…
Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley works to build bridges to knowledge, networks and partners in California. You are welcome to reach out to learn more. I hope you will enjoy the series! – Katrine Paaby Joensen