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Meet the Judge Andrew Smith Greenbackers Investment Capital

Meet the Judge: Andrew Smith, Greenbackers Investment Capital

Welcome to our Meet the Judge interview series, where we speak with the 2023 edition of the Super Connect for Good Competition’s most experienced, influential and passionate judges.

In this interview, we’ll be talking to Andrew Smith, the executive director of Greenbackers Investment Capital, VC specialists for Climate technology globally.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your organisation and your role?

Renewables entered my working life when, as a lawyer, I was approached by landowning clients who were developing wind farms on their holdings. I loved the work and quickly decided I wanted to do more in the sector.

Then, in 2013 I saw and applied for the role of Head of the Scottish Investment Bank’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) and was fortunate enough to be appointed.

At SIB I led a team of eight, investing in innovative renewable energies and technology, including ground-breaking and still world-leading investments into the wave and tidal sector.

I was headhunted out of that role into DP Energy, a private-sector developer of onshore wind and solar in Australia, Ireland and North America.

My awareness of the vital role new, clean technology could play in the decarbonisation of the world’s economy was growing.

At the same time, however, so was my understanding of the fundamentally broken way in which these technologies find first markets, go-to-market partners, pilots, demos and secure investment.

As such, Greenbackers Investment Capital is working to address the broken infrastructure preventing clean tech businesses from securing funding, investment, go-to-market partners, and so on.

How does your organisation support startups and scaleups?

We primarily support startups and scaleups through an online platform that includes events and specialist support.

In my work, I am intimately involved, on a daily basis, with cleantech entrepreneurs across multiple sectors including the blue economy, the marine energy sector, offshore fixed and floating wind, aquaculture and oil and gas, as each of these sectors seeks to find ways of decarbonising and electrifying.

Greenbackers delivered the largest technology showcase at COP26 and are currently delivering their 2023 program taking clean, climate technologies to investment hotspots around the world.

Why do you support Super Connect for Good 2023 as a Partner and Judge, what tips would you give the applicants?

We have a strong drive to help address the climate crisis through technology, and initiatives like SCFG 2023 which have inspiring stories and great teams and a willingness to acknowledge weaknesses as well as trumpet strengths.

First, applicants must have a strong drive to help address the climate crisis through technology. They must have inspiring stories and great teams and a willingness to acknowledge weaknesses as well as trumpet strengths.

My advice would be to define and write down your mission and stick to it. Maintain your passion and ensure it is always part of your pitch. Develop and continually refine your narrative and have it available in a range of formats and lengths so that you can take maximum advantage of every opportunity.

Andrew Smith is a board member of the UK Marine Energy Council, a registered Expert with the European Commission, a member of the expert panel advising the EU on its new Innovation Fund, the FTech2Zero Working Group, the United Nations’ Sustainable Blue Finance Initiative of the World Ocean Council, Ocean Energy Europe, and an assessor for the Solar Impulse Foundation’s 1000 Solutions program and a Global Scot.

Greenbackers Investment Capital is the ClimateTech co-partner of the Super Connect for Good Competition 2023 powered by Empact Ventures and Hays supported by Global Good. The global Tech for Good initiative is now open for applications here to tech startups and scaleups in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand

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