Is age an asset - and not a handicap - for climate startup founders? - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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Is age an asset – and not a handicap – for climate startup founders?

When I did my first startup – and that was during the dot com boom – venture capital firms did not even bother to return calls if you were over thirty years of age – you were too old. Luckily, I was twenty eight then, and double lucky, landed an investment for our search engine solution just before the market crashed 🙂

Fast forward about 25 years, and things have changed somewhat. You see a lot of thirty somethings and a few in their forties found high growth startups. But mind you, youth is still valued a lot in the startup ecosystem. I reckon you got to be a teenager to be convinced – and be able to convince VCs – that the whole world is dying to get their food within 10 minutes.

I do not know enough to comment about other sectors, but I can say this positively about climate tech: Age is definitely an advantage in the climate tech startups. It is the nature of the sector, stupid.

Even given this, I was plesantly surprised when I heard from Dr. Sivaram Pillai, cofounder of Proklean Technologies Pvt. Ltd. that all the founders were over fifty years of age when the startup was founded.

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Today, Proklean is considered one of the few Indian startup success stories in the challenging domain of green chemicals.

To pick his brains on the specific topic of age & climate startups, I had a discussion with Sivaram.

How did being in their fifties help them as a startup?

And what would his suggestions be for those in their forties and fifties who wish to found a startup?

Here’s the video of the interview-

This CLIMAFIX TikTalk Interview Series is done as part of the CLIMAFIX India Climate Startup Summit, organized by EAI Energy Alternatives India & Energy Consortium – IIT Madras. The summit will see 200+ climate tech startups at one place along with 100+ VC & angel investors.

CLIMAFIX Summit also welcomes Sivaram to the event, where I’m positive that he will be able to motivate many experienced professionals to give their startup dreams a real push.

See my LinkedIn post on this topic 

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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