MCJ Collective’s Cody Simms on How Tech Is Addressing Climate Change

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
MCJ Collective's Cody Simms
Courtesy of Cody Simms

MCJ Collective's Cody Simms joins this episode of the LA Venture podcast to talk about investing in the Earth's future and what he sees ahead for climate change technologies.

"If you were an entrepreneur, and you open the financial model of the Earth, you would say, ‘this doesn't work, I'm not going to invest in this thing. Because we are basically living off of venture capital dollars and haven't figured out how to sustain ourselves’," he said.

Simms built his reputation in the tech community as the first managing director of TechStars in Los Angeles. There, he set up the company's Disney accelerator and became head of its climate and sustainability initiative. He later joined MCJ as a partner.

As he sought out potential investments, Simms said he realized that climate change technologies go far beyond just energy solutions, including those that are addressing the significant emission footprints in the food production, manufacturing and transportation industries.

"I think every one of those types of innovations requires new infrastructure to be built that requires not just new hardware, infrastructure, but new software management tools, and all of that," he said.

Simms said MCJ has been able to bring in new funding that will allow them to make about 10 to 12 investments per quarter.

He said he's seen a good deal of progress in Europe, and some promising developments in climate technologies in states like California, New York and Vermont.

“The federal legislation has just been–as it is with most things in the United States unfortunately–just completely deadlocked in terms of actually pushing incentives for utility companies to switch over to less fossil fuel intensive infrastructure,” he said.

While voting for legislation has been important, Simms also believes it's in our hands to do more.

"I do think voting is clearly important, but I think one thing everyone can do is be more active from a civic perspective.”

Hear the full episode by clicking on the playhead above, and listen to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA Engagement Fellow Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

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