Silicon Valley Going Green

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.

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