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Climate Risk and Intelligence with Connecticut Innovations

CBEY Independent study exploring innovative solutions to address climate change

CT Innovations

The Yale Center for Business and Environment has partnered with Connecticut Innovations to offer an independent study for students interested in exploring innovative solutions to address climate change.  Student teams will work with the CI’s ClimateTech Fund Investment Team to develop an investment thesis on Climate Risk Modelling and Analysis. The workload on these is equivalent to a full-credit semester-long course: 3 credits YSE/4 units SOM. The independent study will comprise 3-4 students in the team. 

About CI 

Connecticut Innovations is the state’s venture capital arm and the leading source of financing and ongoing support for innovative, growing companies. CI has recently launched a $100 million ClimateTech Fund (CT Fund) that will invest in innovative early-stage companies addressing climate change.

Through the CT Fund, CI’s team will invest in innovative early-stage companies focused on energy, transportation/mobility, food/agriculture, water, climate-related software, waste/circular economy, advanced materials/manufacturing, carbon removal/sequestration, and more. The Fund offers investments of $150,000 to $2 million per company in a given financing round, plus ongoing strategic support and $5–7 million available on reserve for follow-on investment. The Fund will also invest in venture funds that are headquartered in Connecticut.

The student team will be working closely with the CT Fund investment team to undertake this independent study. 

Scope of Independent Study 

The independent study will entail creating an investment thesis for Climate Risk Modelling and Analysis for CI. The study must include:

  • Market size and landscape of the sector including key players
  • Competitive landscape
  • Technological Innovations 
  • Business Model and Revenue Mechanisms
  • List of prominent startups - Analysis of investments, valuation, exit opportunities
  • Risk analysis including regulatory impact, IP, data privacy concerns, target customer focus, etc.

The teams will also connect with 10-15 companies and customers to undertake a first-hand analysis of the sector. The team will need to reach to stakeholders to carry out a comprehensive analysis - the CI and CBEY team will provide company intros to a few stakeholders they are already connected with.

Final Deliverable 
  • Final report comprising 8-10 pages that includes a map of the sector, key stakeholders, business model and pricing mechanisms, competitive landscape, startups, etc.
  • The final deliverable must include an investment thesis on the sector with a defensible argument. 
  • Presentation of conclusions to CI’s venture team members. 

You can find an example of a final deliverable prepared by previous participants here.

Work Rhythm and Stages of Work 
  • Weekly check in with CBEY Environmental Innovation Fellow to update on progress and findings
  • Bi-weekly check-in with Investment Associate and CI team to gauge progress and two-way feedback on the study
  • Participate in an introductory session providing an overview of CI and the ClimateTech investment landscape 
  • Reach out and facilitate discussions with 10-15 companies and stakeholders of the sector 
  • Document and report on survey results from interviewing companies and other stakeholders. Include findings as case studies, if relevant
  • Synthesize research findings to 6-8 pages
  • Present to the supervising team
  • Make any final revisions to the deliverables
  • Present to CI’s Investment Team 
  • Kick-off and Overview of ClimateTech and CI: September 14th, 2023
  • Fall Break: October 17th, 2023 – October 22nd, 2023
  • Submission of report outline (Halfway check-in): October 25th, 2023
  • Thanksgiving Break: November 17th, 2023 – November 27th, 2023
  • Presentations to Supervising Team: November 27th, 2023
  • Draft Report Due: December 1st, 2023
  • Presentations to CI’s team: Week of December 4th, 2023
  • Final Exam Period Begins: December 11th, 2023
  • Final Report Due: December 14th, 2023
Faculty Advisors and Partners
  • CBEY: Stuart DeCew; Todd Cort, Aishwarya Kuruttukulam
  • Connecticut Innovations: Drew D’Alelio,  Konstantine Drakonakis, Ryan Dings
  • External partners and advisors of Connecticut Innovations 
How to apply

Interested students should apply using this form by 11:59 PM, September 1st to be considered.