Navigating the World of Climate Tech: My Summer Internship Journey

Giovanni Colombi

This summer, I embarked on a transformative journey as an intern, supporting former INSEAD alumni on a mission to make a significant impact in the world of climate technology. In this blog post, I will share the challenges I overcame, the invaluable lessons I learned, and the memorable moments that defined my summer internship experience.

Venture capital for climate tech: A bold vision

One of the primary activities of my internship was to assist in realising the pitch for a venture capital fund focused exclusively on climate tech in the Middle East. The vision was clear - to be the first VC fund in the region dedicated to combating climate change. This endeavour presented numerous challenges and learning opportunities.

Challenge 1: Navigating cncharted territory

Coming from a background in the pharmaceutical industry, the world of climate tech was entirely new to me. I had to quickly get up to speed with the intricacies of this sector, from understanding renewable energy technologies to climate policy and sustainability metrics.

It was a steep learning curve, but it opened doors to a world of possibilities.

Challenge 2: Building a network

Building a network of experts and influencers in the climate tech space was crucial for the success of our venture. During this process, I had the privilege of interviewing prominent speakers with knowledge in both the local context and the global VC sphere. These interactions not only expanded my knowledge but also allowed me to forge meaningful connections in the industry.

Challenge 3: Balancing local and global investment

Another significant challenge was finding the right balance between investing in local entrepreneurs within a geographic location that historically hadn't been a perfect nest for such profiles and investing in worldwide startups with the potential to expand into the Middle East, thereby positioning the fund as a gateway to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

Empowering climate tech startups worldwide

Another significant aspect of my internship was the development of a climate tech accelerator / bootcamp in Mexico and Eastern Africa. Collaborating with partners, we aimed to create an environment where climate tech startups could thrive and receive mentorship from leaders in the field.

Coordinating efforts across different regions presented its own set of challenges. From understanding the unique needs for climate mitigation and adaptation technologies in Mexico and Eastern Africa to aligning the programme with global standards, it required meticulous planning and adaptability.

Conclusion: A summer of growth and impact

My summer internship was not just a professional experience; it was a personal journey of growth and impact.

I overcame challenges, expanded my knowledge base, and developed a solid network in the climate tech landscape. This internship has not only equipped me with valuable skills but has also ignited a passion for sustainability that will shape my future career.

I am excited to continue my journey in the climate tech world, contributing to a sustainable future, and I am grateful for the incredible opportunity this internship provided.

This internship experience was supported by the INSEAD Hoffmann Institute Impact Internship Stipend and gifts from alumni.