Janelle has held numerous leadership positions as a startup CEO and Founder, Mayor of Sausalito, and trusted advisor to startups across a range of technologies. Janelle’s current work focuses on innovation, public service, and climate change leadership. Her organization, The Center for Sea Rise Solutions (CSRS), is a global nonprofit focused on empowering local decision makers to take action around sea level rise and coastal resilience. She is currently bringing opportunities around the new blue economy to Sausalito with a focus on decarbonization through the electrification of transportation. She leads Sausalito's sea level rise task force, and is championing a proactive approach to coastal resilience through infrastructure planning and nature-based solutions.
We May Speak Different Languages, But We All Have The Same Goal Of Saving Our Planet
Vijay Chatta: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of climb, where we bring in experts, founders, investors and company builders that are on the forefront of battling climate change through innovation, and very excited today to have one of our newest friends in the space, Janelle Kellman. She wears multiple hats. She's a startup co founder and Mayor of Sausalito and she has been an advisor to many startups across different technologies. Her organization "the Center for sea rise Solutions" is a global nonprofit focused on empowering local decision makers to take action around sea level rise and coastal resilience. So really excited to have you on Janelle. I don't think we've had somebody on yet that has such diverse roles and responsibilities and in this sort of world and changing climate that we have. So thank you for joining.
Janelle Kellman: Thanks Vijay, Thanks to the whole team. I met you guys at an event where I was on a panel and I'm really excited to enter into this group and learn from you all so you know, hats off I listened to a bunch of your other podcasts on my runs. This week in prep so appreciate you having me on.
VC: All right, this will be the best one. That's the goal. So alright, well, let's talk about your background. You know, let's talk about how you started sort of environmental lawyer and what sort of taking you from that path to where you are now.
JK: Yeah, I actually don't even need to go a little deeper because I think the one thing that really carves out who I am as a person is I'm a lifelong team athlete. I played 14 sports in high school to division one college, and everything about the way I approach a problem is oriented towards a team. Part of that has to do with the fact that I played defense. So I could make you not lose the game but I couldn't make you win the game. And so that really teaches you to collaborate and rely on other people. I also am sort of intellectually oriented towards intellectual buffet, which means I like a lot of different ideas and I like meeting a lot of different people and hearing their thoughts or didn't know what I think so if I can have someone else come to me and educate me and teach me and expand my point of view, I always appreciate it. So yeah, I went to law school. I grew up on the East Coast came out to Stanford for law school, wanted to be an environmental lawyer practice for 15 years I was in private practice.
I was at federal government, EPA Region nine I worked for a utility, but ultimately I realized that I wanted to work in an area where I could have vision and I could execute on that vision. And so I had a concept around an ecommerce company and I launched that ecommerce company, and very quickly got into technology and tech advising, and did my requisite rabbit hole on cryptocurrency and blockchain. I really enjoyed that space for a long time. But I had always been involved. I've been in Sausalito for 21 years. And of that 21 years, I'd spent 10 years on and off our planning commission, and that's the quasi governmental body where if you want to do something to your house, you want to build something new your new business and you want to launch the new site, you come before us and so I got to see it on the on the ground happening in Sausalito. And I got involved with a long range planning process called the General Plan, and that's supposed to plan out for 25 years, and I was blown away that we had no sustainability element.
We had no resilience element, and we could talk about and why those two things are different and important. And we also didn't have a plan of attack for sea level rise and coastal resilience. And so if you know Sausalito, California, we're right around the Golden Gate Bridge the first city you encounter when you come across the Golden Gate Bridge. We are a waterfront community, one on one side called a Gate National Recreation Area on the other side, one main thoroughfare in and out with a couple of roads that go back up to the freeway. So I couldn't believe we didn't have a plan. And so I started to ask questions about that plan. And everybody seemed positive towards wanting one but no one had taken the steps to make it happen yet. And the more questions I asked, the more frustrated I got. And the more questions I asked the more I had people look at me and start saying well, why don't you do something about it? So oftentimes, no good deed goes unpunished. So here I am. I got elected and now in the mayor of Sausalito, and I couldn't be prouder and happier to be able to serve my community.
VC: That's awesome. And so let's talk about that nitty gritty right, so you're in there. So you need a plan. Everyone's like cool, go make it happen. Now, what does that look like? Is the plan been made? If so, how long would it take? If not, when's it going to be done?
JK: Yeah, really great question. So Sausalito, you may know, has a historic working waterfront called the marine ship. And during World War Two, we made 93 ships for the Pacific Theater. It's basically us and Long Beach. In order to build out this waterfront Bechtel came in and they built out the land on Phil. And Phil, as you know, liquefies very easily when you have a seismic event, and if you have the experience of something called subsidence, so much of our waterfront is sinking, while at the same time the waters are rising. We also have a significant amount of aging infrastructure and so you may find that a storm drain is below sea level, and so the water will pond instead of draining as it would have 20 years ago. We're seeing this significantly off highway 101 The Manzanita park and ride and rain county floods regularly, you get what's called sunny day flooding, which is when you have floods from a king tide even though it's bright sunshine out, so you don't need a storm event necessarily.
And so I put together a group we call it the sea level rise Task Force for Sausalito. I am blessed to have incredible people in this community who are experts in GIS mapping, estuaries, wetlands, nature conservation planning, and we looked at each other and said, man, there's so much information out here. Where do we start? What models rely on what predictions are relevant to us? And it took us about three or four months to really sort through all the information and I thought goodness, if we're having this problem, and I'm an environmental lawyer, and my team is the best and the brightest of volunteers, of course, what happens around the country in smaller communities where they don't have this expertise, where they have competing interests where they have to worry about putting food on the table perhaps first and foremost in rising waters is impacting that.
And so I had launched the Center for CRI solutions to be a nonprofit to look nationally around this area. But I quickly realized was a global issue. And we've been off and running, trying to empower not just the local Sausalito and searches for Bay Area communities, but also communities around the country to figure out how do you support local decision makers who have the political willpower, but may not be able to overcome a number of different roadblocks due to competing priorities.
VC: Yeah, that makes total sense, right, if you're grinding away at it in Sausalito, among the smartest minds in the world, right, and how can you scale that impact? I'm just curious. Like, just to step back for one second. I think you're the first elected official that I've had on this and we've we've had a couple of for VSC before but is there any concerns like conflict of interest? I mean, it sounds like it's a value add to everybody that have this some political control here, but you also have all this expertise. Do you have to like, deal with that or is it out as I work out, basically,
JK: You know, my whole goal is to empower local decision makers. And so whether I do that with my mayor's hat on or whether I do it representing an NGO, first and foremost, it's about serving others, right? It's not a benefit to me. Five of the NGO is a 501 C three, it's a nonprofit. It's not a money making venture. And so my opportunity actually being the mayor gives me the opportunity to reach more people. And that's an opportunity I'm really trying to leverage so that I can get to the table with folks who otherwise might not have the opportunity to return my call If I was the mayor.
VC: That's right. Okay, awesome. So like, one thing you mentioned to me when we talked earlier was this idea that a lot of climate tech companies, startups pitch you as sort of somebody that could do a trial, do a demo fot you to see how this works. Like, what's that experience been like? And secondly, like, what could you give us advice to founders seeking to do these kinds of partnerships?
JK: Yeah, I actually think we're going to the public sector is a completely untapped and important aspect of climate tech. We know that there's tons of technology coming out that can be deployed in the private sector was wonderful innovations around that, but you really need to get communities and individuals to adopt some of these new ways of being because a lot of them are behavioral changes. And so over the past election cycle, I was really excited because I was able to sort of develop kind of what I call connecting of the dots between local districts, state and federal decision makers. So I got heavily involved on two campaigns, one for Moran Municipal Water District, another for California State Assembly. And both of those campaigns were supported by our congressman Jared Huffman.
And all four of us were deep, deep climate activists who wanted to make a change, but we can pull and push levers at different stages of that deal flow if you will. And if you can see I just made air quotes as to deal flow. I play a lot of sort of entrepreneurial expectations around how to make this happen and how to prove product market fit. But one of the things that we were able to do is to say, okay, who's in charge of the decision making, at what level and who's in charge of the flow of funds and at what level? And what is the power and efficiency of uniting our efforts and our vision?
VC: Well, who is in charge of those things? I mean, if I'm a startup, that's a complicated question. Did you figure that out? Is that still to be figured out?
JK: I think that is still to be figured out. I think that's one of the big problems is that you know, you hear about all the green infrastructure monies. And you hear about the surplus and $9 billion surplus in state of California, and I here's what I'm thinking, I'm never gonna see $1 of that. And why is that because there's so many different layers. It's like a game of telephone. And so one of the things that I think we really need to improve as policymakers and as constituents is to improve the flow of funds to the individuals that companies and municipalities who are supposed to be the intended recipients of those funds.
And so as an example, I had some really wonderful mentoring from some friends in San Mateo, around sea level rise, they had gotten $8 million from the state for developing a joint Power Authority and for developing some additional resilience measures around SFO. And I didn't even really realize that I could just go directly to the state and ask for money and so they helped me craft a request for $4 million. And then I kind of had a campaign a six week campaign of haranguing my state senator and my State Assemblyman, because I wanted to access those funds. And I was so so proud and delighted to say Senator Levine and Senator McGuire helped us get a million dollars for sea level rise planning and mitigation.
And so finally, sort of see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the reason that that's so important is because the grants that you see that municipalities and even individuals can apply for require that projects are shovel ready. In order for somebody to be shovel ready, you have to plan for it, you need resources to plan for it. So if I don't have quarter million dollars to do the planning, and the engineer and the engineering and the environmental review, then I actually don't have something that I can, you know, put into a grid application. And therefore I never apply for a grant.
VC: Unfortunately you need money to get money,
JK: Yes, you need money to get money, right.
VC: So how do you do it? Where do you get that 250k from?
JK: Right, well, so that's part of what I'm trying to do nationally through my NGO is to figure out how do you develop that technical capacity? How do you inspire one another to say, hey, you know what, maybe this isn't the way to do it, but just pick up the phone call and ask for it. And if you don't get the right person on the line, call again, and keep going for it. And I have your back. And that again, you know, sort of harkens back to that team environment that somebody could call me and said, you know, how did you do it in Sausalito? And I'll go through it with them. And if they get a million dollars for their community, you know, that's a victory for me as well.
VC: I love that. I love that jumping around a little bit on this connection between the startups and government the only way to succeed in climate change is to work with governments in many cases. So when you when you look at the timeline it took right there even you to get the million dollars. Like how do you think that plays a role as as startups think about doing deals with states of California or Nevada? It sounds like it's a longer sales cycle. But are we talking multiple years to close deals? Is anything going faster? Is it slower like how do they I feel like they project things way too quickly, when they take a lot longer.
JK: So there's there's two ways to look at it. One is if you're going to like the California Energy Commission, you're applying for grant that could be almost a year process until you apply you get picked and you get the product or the money is dispersed but the other side of it reminds me of what Sandeep on your prior podcast said about founder market fit. And I think the analogy for government is finding a local champion who can help move things forward, because it shouldn't be that hard. So I'll give an example. We have a company here in Sausalito that develops unique EV chargers, that is called inner tie. They have sub trading and battery storage. They have generation and then they have the Evie charger itself. I'm developing and about to release a concept around the new blue economy for Sausalito.
That evolves our historic working waterfront and focuses on electrification of transportation. Because we know how to make shifts, why shouldn't we electrify literally everything. And so these guys who are working on renewable energy apply for a grant figured out how to do an Eevee charger for maritime vessel. So now we have an Eevee charger on the waterfront for an electric vessel that might come off the water as opposed to just something coming on the land. Right. And so we were able to do that because I understand the benefit of that it fits into a policy. And it's something that from a parenting perspective was not a heavy lift.
VC: Yeah, that's awesome. There's a lot of electric boat companies that I've seen out there and some of them are coming to market.
JK: Yeah, they should call Sausalito. Yeah, they should call me because I want nothing more than to develop a hub of that type of technology. Right in Sonoma. They have a telecom hub. In Nevada, they have a biotech hub. Sausalito 100% is focused on decarbonisation, let's electrify every aspect, inter modality, every aspect of transportation.
VC: Amazing. If you are governor, okay, I'm just thinking out loud. You're literally in it. You're seeing how things get done. You're seeing how much money the state has. You're seeing the demands. of you. We're like to go where tomorrow? What would be the top three things you would do to move forward this vision?
JK: Yeah, that's crazy. I actually think about this exact thing about what I want from others is a trifecta is climate shocks, its housing. How do we account for all three of those things? It not just a sustainable way better, regenerative and equitable way? Because a lot of times capitalism can take over and we forget, is this regenerative? Is it sustainable? Is it resilient? These are all really important words that have their own unique meanings. And as we talked about earlier, I'm a little bit obsessed with the meaning of words and the subtext within those words, right. And so I think those three things really connect with one another. You can't create new jobs without thinking about climate and about where to house those workers. You can't think about putting in new housing and the state of California has a really high housing mandate without also looking at the environmental impacts and whatever jobs will be created. And so you have to look at those three things together.
VC: So does that mean you would have like, let's talk about specifics, right? Let's say your governor tomorrow, I think it totally agree with you. Those are three great frameworks. Would you do anything differently tactically? Is there like a phone line for climate tech innovation? Would you have like a you know, sort of a listening tour across things? Would you just instantly unlock money per county that could be accessed at half the speed? Like, is there anything tactically that could be done better?
JK: I would probably take those three. There's three bullet points and do a SWOT analysis on them in major communities to figure out how do you create each of those in a meaningful, sustainable fashion, and not every community is able to sustain and integrate large amounts of housing or large number of new jobs? Right, so how do you look at that? From a local level and then also from a regional level? The other thing I joke about that I would do, because, you know, I know what I know, but I don't know what everybody else is thinking. I would love to travel through California, playing as many sports as possible. You know, a little a little one on one, you know, get a little game of horse going and maybe try to hit a couple of baseballs in Central Valley you know, play some soccer with some kids like get to it, you really just be on the ground and there's conversations that happen when you're in motion with people can be really important.
VC: I love it. You're a gamer. Okay, so where does California rank in terms of sense of urgency on climate? Vis a vis other US states?
JK: I mean, Sausalito is just one aspect of this but the state of California's leadership in sort of full speed ahead on climate, but it comes back to how do you intertwine this with jobs and housing. How do you make this happen for the entire community, right? And so we look at things like the desalination plants that are being proposed. They create jobs. How do you have new housing without more water sources? Conservation is one thing but to be have to be thinking ahead. So I think California is at the forefront. There's some really amazing projects coming out of San Francisco coming out of the Port of Los Angeles, San Diego has really stepped up particularly around coastal resiliency, and so we're able to see a lot of leadership talking to one another in that sense. And in some ways, I'm really grateful that I get to travel around the country and around the world because it's a really wonderful place to be. But I recognize not every community, not every state gets to have this type of leadership. And so how can I be part of a conversation where maybe the topic is a little crunch here, where you can't say climate change, you have to say changing climate.
VC: That brings me to a sort of a hot take we were discussing earlier, but you were mentioning to me that you're surprised, at least according to sort of media perception, that Florida has been taking some strong strides under DeSantis. So can you tell me a little bit more about that?
JK: Right? Yeah, I was, uh, I was lamenting, I hate to give it any light. But I was lamenting the DeSantis recent ad about God needed a protector and he reached down and identified this individual. I find that hard to believe but I will say this there's a significant amount of funding that the state of Florida has given to its communities to be more resilient in the face of impacts from a changing climate. I don't know that they would say it's climate change, but it changing climate and I will also say this there are two things happening around the world that often get intertwined but are different. With disasters such as a hurricane, the way we respond as policymakers the way the insurance companies respond is very different than the incremental changes that you're seeing from greenhouse gas emissions, which translate into rising waters melting glaciers, changing temperatures, but they all come together, right one of the reasons the scientists from NOAA and nymphs have said one of the reasons we came in was so illustrious, is because the average temperature of the Gulf has risen three degrees in the last 20 years and that was sort of unexpected, but when you have the cold air hitting now, warmer water, it creates higher wind impacts. And so yeah, Florida is surprisingly doing a lot of really great work. I have some colleagues in Florida, particularly Dr. Jennifer Harada, in southeast Florida, CJ Reynolds in Tampa, Whitmer in Tampa. They're doing amazing, amazing work around resilience, and looking forward towards how they can be more sustainable.
VC: Make sense. That's great to hear. Talk about other countries. So I mean, look I'm sure like Denmark's doing great. I saw some presentations recently. It's a small country, but like, how about sort of big countries? Are you seeing innovation? Where are you seeing things that we can learn here in the States?
JK: I think the two biggest ones for me would be Portugal and France. So Sausalito has a number of Sister Cities. One of them is Cascais, Portugal, which is just south of Lisbon. So this summer, I got invited to be on a panel at the UN ocean conference in Lisbon, and while I was there, I was able to travel down to Cascais and meet my counterparts in their civil government there. And they have really forward thinking plans around sustainable tourism, a blue economy, ocean cleanup, coastal erosion and ocean health. They are they're putting together a plan that is phased that is well researched and has a lot of support from the government, both locally, internationally. And in France. I think I told you this earlier.
I've been invited on Saturday. I'm actually heading to Paris, invited to speak at the AUMF which is the Association of French mayors. And with the US ambassador to France Ambassador Denise power and then I'll go over to the Congress and be on a panel about how do you finance the protection of nature, and that's this idea of the blue economy. And then I'll be on another panel with the mayor of St. De France and he heads up 14 municipalities that have come together in aggregate to have a regional approach to climate issues. But all this travel has shown me that we may speak different languages in different parts of the world. But while we are truly in it together, we have to be and so many of the issues are the same.
VC: Thank you for that and I want to come back a little bit to sort of the founders and sort of company building I guess in the space. So what are what are some of the lessons that you would share if somebody wants to work with the city of Sausalito? Somebody has a particular startup that fits in with your sort of narrative, what would be the steps they should go through?
JK: Yeah, I think there's a lot of public funding and so oftentimes, an entity can identify public funding that would be useful for them, but they need a 501 C three or municipality to be a partner. So figure out that funding source and then find your municipality and make that pitch to them based on what their priorities might be. When another company "Ran Ions" came and said, We want to help with mitigating air pollution and work with your inventors and your maritime experts around exhaust and mitigating those impacts, that made sense. We've had some folks approached us recently around DSL dissemination, doing small scale as an experiment since we are waterfront. So I think it's having again it's like a product market fit.
What does that community need? And then the other side of it is who's the champion in that community? Do you have someone that you can, can talk to does the community have a policy around blue economy around smart cities? And for the record I there that concentric circle between smart cities and blue economy is so great to me. It's hard for me to separate them sometimes. In my head. In fact, we were looking at applying for a grant to repave our street with rubberized asphalt because department transportation had started to do some studies around the ability rubberized asphalt to sequester carbon and to mitigate the impacts from flooding. So if I can lay down infrastructure that's going to sequester carbon and I know a startup that's working on that. I want to see it that fits into my my investment thesis.
VC: How what's the information distribution right now? Is this just a situate? Just Google it? Is it go to the website to see what projects you're interested in? Like, how do people find that that fit?
JK: So that's a great question. You do have to roll up your sleeves and do a little legwork. I think it's not that difficult to figure out parts of the country parts of the world where it's applicable. So I do a lot of mentoring for the German accelerator. And one of my companies is a biochar company and in California, our utilities are trimming vegetation, in large amounts rights for wildfire prevention. That means we have biomass that can be put through the biochar process. Well, that's a great market. That's a great product market fit. We have a need. We have ongoing biomass into the biochar. Right. And so I think there's sort of regulatory drivers that helped impact that. So that's what I tell a lot of my startups look for regulatory drivers. Did a state or a country pass a particular type of law outlawing something, regulating something mandating something and then look for some of the you know, National Science fund grants that are out there? The inflation Reduction Act, the infrastructure bill, some of the energy Commission's in your states, they all have funding and research mechanisms, but those are, I think, often forgotten when we think about product market fit. We think about is there a consumer who will buy it, but if you have a regulatory driver, you know, think about like data when GDPR came to light. And then California had a commensurate data protection law that made California very advantageous for those who want to get into data production.
VC: Great analogy. What startups would you be building right now? If you weren't doing what you're doing? Like now that you know what's out there now you know, the problems and the gaps? What should founders be building right now?
JK: So, your full disclosure, I don't always go towards the quickest dollar signs, but for largest climate impact, I would be all in on ocean health. decarbonisation so two ways, right. So the oceans are our largest carbon sink. We can create all sorts of ways to sequester carbon and develop them, bring them to market, get people to buy them, or we can clean up our oceans. They're right here. They want to help us and so we need to really start respecting our oceans and recognize that this interplay, that if we help our oceans, they also can help us. And then I guess from a product if I was developing a natural product around that, whether it's something that reduces acidification, plastic cleanup, helps species, that would be the direction I'd go in. I'd also look as I've said, a couple of times now around products that aid in decarbonisation. So if you think about those large shifts that we see coming through the mouth of the Golden Gate, the marriage, the Costco musanze, they put out the equivalent of 3 million cars of greenhouse gas emissions every year, one ship, 30 million vehicles. So I want to worship right. So how do we decarbonize our shipping industry? How do we decarbonize our ports?
When I was campaigning to run for council, I had a concept to floating micro grid and the idea because we've just had these massive fires out employee arrays and the firefighters had trouble getting to some of those areas, but they could have maybe floated in and so the idea was that we will take a barge, we will load the barge up with solar panels for generation we would use a startups technology that we had here Sausalito, that was a coolant that would increase the efficiency while reducing the energy costs. And then we will be able to have that ready to deploy. If somebody needed an energy source. And you're seeing this in Amsterdam. They I think they're going to electrify all canal vessels by 2025. And they're also working towards electrifying their port so that they don't have these ships idling and so the idea is is flooding micro grid could float out to a ship to a smaller type of vessel. And instead of idling with a dirty noisy diesel generator, you can use green energy.
VC: Wow, awesome. All right, great. Well, by the way, I noticed your pin on your jacket. What is that pin?
JK: Yes, sir. I'm proudly wearing two pins today. I'm extremely, extremely honored to be a member of this awesome city council and so I have my city council pin but I also today's reminders is my get shit done club pin. So if you would like to be a part of my get shit done club, let me know. Let me know how you get stuff done and we will. We'll get you an honorary membership.
VC: I would like a membership. I don't know quite why but--
JK: You should have like a hat and a jacket you should have a whole little outfit.
VC: Let's go let's do it I need to get stuff done like you know Yeti cup. I'm ready. Awesome. But tell me about like some just some other thoughts you have on some big things happening in the world. So the input I was gonna say the inflammation Reduction Act because that probably speaks more to politics being inflamed, but the inflation Reduction Act. What are your thoughts on it?
JK: Yeah, I think this is such an interesting important. I think the inflation Reduction Act is the single most significant congressional contribution in our lifetime. Because as the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% or more by 2030. The issue will be how do we distribute those funds? Do we get caught up in these green banks? Do we not know how to put them money in the hands of the inventors and the entrepreneurs? But the other really interesting thing about the inflation Reduction Act is I actually think it's a national security measure. A long time ago before law school, I actually worked at the Woodrow Wilson Center at the Smithsonian on the Mall in DC on a small research project that looked at the links between environmental degradation and national security issues. And nobody at that time, late 90s It wasn't really a hot topic. And now, I believe it's really come full circle because if we don't bring the ability to manufacture, alternate sources of energy and renewable energy if we don't take that out of the hands of Russia and China, then we won't be able to have that type of energy independence that we know we so desperately need, right? And so we need a green industrial revolution. But we need it in order to preserve democracy for long term so that we're not beholden to another country for our energy production.
VC: Make sense. And tell me a little bit about that sort of like tapping into those funds and how it gets distributed. Like, what is the best way for startups to think about approaching that like, is it lobbyists? Is it are there consulting firms like is it just straight up, go to websites and apply?
JK: I think ship go to websites and apply? So what they have right now is 29 I think is 29 or $27 billion is going into a Green Bank. They're trying to figure out how that Green Bank will be allocated, how those funds will come out of the green banks. It's being administered by the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. And so the idea is that there'll be this bucket of money for entrepreneurs to come and be able to access and it's amazing things. It's like innovations around low carbon cement and seal innovations around low carbon production of primary materials like products and paper, things that really get to the basic infrastructure of our everyday lives. What you're writing on what you're driving on. If we can make those things low, low carbon and also sequester carbon, then we really can start to meet some of these ambitious goals. And so these green funds were really important. Several states like Connecticut and New York already have green funds. So what I'm hearing from my DC friends is that some of the money's made, get distributed into these existing entities, because they're up and running already. And that way, we won't have to wait two years to see this come to fruition.
VC: That's awesome. All right. So just kind of to wrap up a little bit. Were there any particular thoughts that we didn't discuss around sort of scaling climate startups right now and we talked a little bit about how to access funds. We talked a little bit about how to sort of coordinate with governments. What What else could you share in terms of what founders should be thinking about in terms of best practices, to sort of achieve these goals that you set up?
JK: So what is practical and one is more existential right, so the practical one, this is sort of untapped? Well, is insurance companies Munich Re Swiss Re AXA guy Carpenter, they are all massively reinventing insurance. products around parametric insurance be the predictability of weather events and weather patterns. This means if you're a data scientist, if you're working on AI or working on VR, you want to be able to do something around climate tech that has a real life impact. You know, I met someone from Munich Re ventures couple weeks ago and the type of work they're doing in the energy space is really, really important. But a lot of folks don't think about the insurance sector as being innovative. And so I would just say they very much are my friends in that space really want to see new products come to market, and they want to be inspired by entrepreneurs.
So think about next time you're looking at some type of accelerator, think about some of those companies are not really on the radar, but they really can help you with financing with product market fit. It was really making a difference. So that's a sort of a practical hint that I've seen recently that I think is really important. The other is my existential that. I think you're giving me a chance to talk about Yukie guy because I have a lot of people in my network who who want to do something big, but they're not quite sure because they make good money, not crazy money.
They like their job but they don't love it. They're good at some things. But not really quite sure. And so I've been very much inspired by the Japanese philosophy around Iki Gai, which is this idea that you should find the things that you love, and that you are, what the world needs, what you can be paid for. And then what you're good at and then throughout that thread, you find your passion, your mission, your profession, and your vocation, when they come together in this philosophy called Iki Gai and if you can find this sense of purpose, and I gotta tell you, I mean, there's a time in my life where I didn't have a sense of purpose. I had a great job. I had a great education. I good money, but in an absence of purpose of finding it has really, really been motivating.
VC: Amazing. Janelle, you make me so proud to be a Marin County resident. Yes. Thank you. Thank you for everything you're doing. Thank you for sharing these insights. With this next generation of entrepreneurs and company builders and, and government officials and people that want to get involved their community. It's been amazing. So looking forward to more interaction together collaboration. And thank you again for the time today.