06:07 - How Swiss investment markets have changed
9:16 - Why Tim chose forests
15:59 - How startups can operate better in the climate space
20:46 - Explaining ‘Green’ terms
29:27 - Who are Xilva’s competitors?
This episode was sponsored by quitt.business.
Tim Duehrkoop is the co-founder and CEO of Xilva, a cleantech startup building the digital infrastructure for forestry investments with a focus on enabling funding through holistic project assessments. He received a PhD from HSG in Business Administration and attended Stanford for an executive program for growing companies. Once he completed his studies, he joined a startup called Namics, where he worked for 24 years. During this time he witnessed the growth of this small venture into a corporate powerhouse with 500 employees, as well as its successful exit, which left him pondering his next move within the Swiss entrepreneur ecosystem. Driven by a profound passion for addressing climate issues rather than solely pursuing profits, he is set out to make a meaningful impact.
His path converged with a co-founder specializing in forestry, leading them to tackle climate change by addressing market inefficiencies within the Swiss startup network. Their action was motivated by increased feelings of climate grief, and by wanting to actively do something about it. They recognized reforestation as a highly scalable, proven solution for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. During his episode with us, Tim discussed the evolution of the Swiss investment market and the challenges faced by startups within the Swiss startup network seeking funding, particularly in Series A and Series B rounds. Despite the current funding climate presenting difficulties, he has remained optimistic, anticipating improved conditions in the near future for Swiss entrepreneurs.
Startups can play a pivotal role in the climate tech sector, and while acknowledging that startups alone cannot solve the climate crisis, Tim argues that they serve as crucial laboratories for discovering effective solutions within the Swiss entrepreneur landscape. Additionally, he discussed strategies for enhancing startup operations in this space, such as creating favorable tax environments, establishing grant programs, engaging with governmental support and how they target angel investors.
“Startups can do many things but they can’t solve climate change. However they are important elements to find out what works in order to make an impact, and they help to facilitate and further develop new solutions.”
“Green washing is committing to something but then it’s not really helping the environment. Green hushing means you don’t commit to anything and hope nobody notices, and Green waiting is waiting for an initiative to come along but then not spending anything in the meantime.”