Energy is an important driver behind a number of environmental and social pressures, including climate change, land and water use, social inclusion and economic prosperity. Energy is used to collect, purify and transport water; to haul waste and goods; to transport people; and to bring energy itself to consumers. Roughly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States emanate from fuel combustion in transportation systems. And not only does transportation represent the second-largest cost for the average American household and the largest cost for households that earn $50,000 and less, but also an exorbitant cost embedded in the price of energy, food, water and other goods. For example, the average meal in the United States travels over 1,500 miles from the farm to tables in trucks, trains, and airplanes.
Village Capital, in partnership with the Autodesk Foundation, will support ventures solving challenges in the transportation-energy nexus. We seek early stage ventures from across the United States presenting disruptive innovations to improve energy efficiency in transportation, including in aviation, shipping, long-haul trucking, rail, and personal mobility.
In this 2017-2018 program, we also seek companies that have incorporated sustainability into their supply chain and manufacturing processes. Hardware solutions that limit carbon emissions and environmental impact in product development will therefore be given special attention.
Examples of solutions include, but are not limited to:
- Hardware and software innovations that improve energy efficiency in personal vehicles and commercial fleets
- Tools in the sharing economy that promote low carbon mobility for people and goods
- Solutions that promote the interconnection and communication between the grid and electric vehicle charging
- Battery technologies that enable greater energy density, lighter weight, better safety, etc.
- Products and services that enable the electrification of transportation systems (vehicles, trucks, airplanes, ships)
- Interventions that reduce water friction and improve the fuel economy of ships
Eligible enterprises must have at least one full-time team member, have a minimum viable product, and have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships).
2018 Program Dates and Locations:
Workshop 1: January in Atlanta, GA
Workshop 2: March in Los Angeles, CA
Workshop 3: April in Boston, MA
Workshops consist of 4-day engagements with companies, investors, and partners.