Prime 2016

We’re thrilled to highlight seven revolutionary companies on PRIME’s 2016 Docket. These seven ventures made it through our inaugural run of the PRIME Investment Funnel from an original registry of more than 1,300 early-stage companies. We believe they are best-in-class opportunities for charitable investors focused on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.


Anfiro is developing high permeability and energy-efficient membranes that reduce the cost and energy of desalination and water treatment, resulting in affordable freshwater and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.


ConnectDER is developing a meter collar that enables solar and other renewable resources to connect to the grid cheaply, safely, and rapidly, which enables the replacement of fossil fuel power with renewable power.


Energy Adaptive Networks is developing grid control software, to enable the efficient management of grids and microgrids dependent on distributed renewable power and energy storage systems.


Energy Materials Corporation is developing breakthrough ultra-high-efficiency, low cost solar cell technology which would enable world-wide proliferation of zero-emission renewable energy, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing energy poverty.


OKLO is developing an affordable, distributed, carbon-free nuclear power technology, which would dramatically reduce nuclear waste (by recycling spent fuel) and replace fossil fuel power plants as a source of baseload power.


RedWave is working to convert waste heat (more than half of worldwide energy use) to electricity at low cost and high efficiency, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector.

Starting in Spring 2015, PRIME conducted an inaugural run-through of our Investment Funnel. Our goal was to have every company on the resulting docket satisfy the following requirements:

  • Fall into pre-commercial, seed, or Series A stages of development (i.e. address the “innovation valley of death”)
  • Contribute to reducing carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions by at least 1 Gigaton per year by 2050 at full-scale deployment
  • Significantly further one or more charitable purposes defined in the US Tax Code (above and beyond climate change mitigation, which is not a charitable purpose)
  • Have a high likelihood to achieve commercial success, including attractiveness to follow-on commercial investors
  • Face significant challenges to raising capital without philanthropic intervention (achieve “additionality”)

We believe that these criteria ensure that PRIME’s docket of investment opportunities will avoid three failure modes to achieving our mission of climate change mitigation:

  • crowding out traditional investors
  • supporting companies with a low likelihood of achieving commercial success in the field
  • supporting companies that will not achieve greenhouse gas reduction at sufficient scale to mitigate climate change

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