Home > Archives

3 struggles for carbon removal founders - can you help?

April 15, 2021

I've seen a lot of the common challenges facing founders in carbon removal. At AirMiners, I get to see innovators meet, start companies, and through the Apollo Projects I got to review startups pitching for millions of dollars of investment.

Here's 3 of the common struggles I see (and here's a video version I made with more details). I wanted to highlight this primarly to do some recon to find out how to overcome them. How can we help identify shortcuts? If you've been through this, what do you wish you knew?

1. Going Alone

When you're working by yourself, you have a piece of the puzzle, but you don't have the whole thing. Getting a partner can be a game changer. I found this 2012 "hail mary" call for a co-founder by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong inspirational. From watching companies in AirMiners, it takes 6 months to a year to overcome...and that's still with a fairly determined process. It's a tough position to be in, let me know if you have tips to share.

2. Telling the big picture (for investors or co-founders)

This struggle usually sounds like an imbalance. Either pitching a big vision but weak on how to get there....or having that damn magic solution nailed down but weak on what it's for or the economics. The sense I get is that teams generally actually have both pieces, but it's the communication aspect that needs the most help. Would appreciate thoughts on this.

3. Simplify (for customers or partners)

You painted a big picture, your cofounders and investors are psyched. But your first big customer doesn't really care, they're trying to figure out how it's useful for them. This can be a good problem to have, but across many different types customers it can get confusing. Solutions welcome!

Going alone, telling the big picture, and simplifying are 3 of the problems I see founders face all the time. If you're facing these, let me know (or any other problems like legal advice, company formation, work/lab space). And if you've tackled these before, reply with your tips and help give carbon removal entrepreneurs a shortcut! 


I write a weekly newsletter highlighting the AirMiners community and carbon removal industry.

Every week you’ll get insider perspective and community stories from the cutting edge of carbon removal.

The purpose of this newsletter is to accelerate the carbontech industry by speeding up connections, progress, and coordination. It's ideal for people working in carbon removal already, or beginners who want one individual's perspective. People curious about carbon removal are encouraged to sign up and see what sticks.

Subscribe here to get the next weekly update as soon it comes out.

Subscribe | Archive of 100+ Newsletters