From Climate VC to Exploring the Climate Capital Stack

Daniel Kriozere
6 min readFeb 6, 2024


Warming Stripes for GLOBE from 1850–2022 (Image:

I’m looking for opportunities to learn more about debt (investment banking, project finance, equipment finance, etc.). I’d love your help — reach out if you have any recommendations.

For context, I’ve spent the last five years exploring the intersection of climate and capital. Back then, I wanted to do something impactful with my life, so I thought I’d pursue an MBA to go into investment or finance. Initially, I wanted to break into venture capital to fund as many “shots on goal” to address climate change.

However, after exploring this ecosystem for over five years, my interest has shifted from venture capital to underwriting debt to accelerate the deployment of technologies.

I love what I’m doing today, but I’ve learned that venture capital is not always the best option for hardware startups. Debt financing is better suited for hardware startups, and I’ve realized that climate tech financing needs to focus more on hardware.

To continue to serve the ecosystem, I want to understand the inner workings of how debt is structured, so I can help businesses build correctly and leverage debt at the right point in time, and even unlock debt earlier, if possible.

Roughly two years ago, I wrote and published my story of breaking into climate. It’s now been 5+ years on my journey, and it’s just getting started. This is the continuation of my journey.

Starting Where I Left Off

2021 was the turning point. After a year of running newsletters, I gained an audience and a network. Along with that came opportunities to get my foot in the door.

In the winter of 2021, I was recruited to assist (Venture) For ClimateTech to source startups for their first cohort of companies to go through their accelerator program. This was a great experience to help startups get access to non-dilutive grant funding, as well as additional resources.

During the spring of 2021, the Climate Capital team recognized my hustle and gave me the opportunity to join the team. This was my first investor role, where I learned more about venture capital. Climate Capital, being a well-known and active investor, saw countless numbers of deals every week. I realized that venture capital and early-stage investments only made sense for certain business models, as most LPs and funds operate on a 10-year return period.

Around the same time, I serendipitously connected with Anthropocene Ventures (Anthro). Fast forwarding to 2022, I started working with Anthro part-time. What set Anthro apart for me and motivated me to join the team was their investment strategy. Because of the amount of grant funding entering the climate sector, Anthro is investing in de-risked DeepTech climate solutions that can grow and scale within ten years. This widens the scope of potential investments, as it goes beyond the business model.

The Ramp Up

2022 was a year of continuing momentum. On top of my work with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), I was working with For ClimateTech, Climate Capital, and Anthropocene Ventures. I centralized my climate activities on talking with startups and investors and making connections between the two. As such, I easily picked up contracts with Wefunder, Republic, and Enduring Planet, and a few more organizations. My mission has been and continues to be helping founders connect with the right resources, especially the right capital partners) in the ecosystem.

In anticipation of eventually leaving LLNL, I decided to take exams through FINRA to unlock the door of being paid to help startups raise capital. For six months, I woke up at 5am every day to study for the SIE, Series 63, and Series 82. In December, I passed my Series 82 and officially became a registered representative with a broker-dealer (I like to market myself as a private placement agent).

Side Bar: Applying to Business School

After studying chemical engineering in college, I was interested in getting an MBA. In 2019 and 2020, I applied to full-time programs, hoping to easily pivot into ClimateTech VC. However, I was not accepted to any full-time programs. At the time, I shrugged it off and was determined to get into ClimateTech VC, regardless of what happened.

In the Fall of 2022, I decided to (re)apply to UC Berkeley, Haas’ EWMBA (part-time) program. I saw the program as a way to help me transition to a role at the intersection of innovation and investment, as well as a way to continue exploring exactly where in the investment landscape I wanted to focus my career.

Going Full Send into Climate

November 2022. I was nervous. Breaking free of golden handcuffs was tough. I had great work-life balance, benefits, and compensation. However, my calling was climate. Four years of exploration and community building led to this point. November 9, 2022 was my last day at LLNL.

Luckily, I somewhat de-risked what was next. I was self-employed and had contracts with a few groups for part-time work. Weeks later, I passed the Series 82 and took on my first client.

2023, The First Year 100% Focused on Climate

2023 was pivotal — it marked my full immersion into climate work, balancing strategic roles across various organizations. My focus sharpened on climate finance and investment, areas ripe with opportunities yet fraught with challenges. It’s through this lens that I recognized the pivotal role of debt and financial structuring.

A few weeks into the year, I received an admissions letter from UC Berkeley, Haas. Having wanted to attend business school for several years, I confirmed my enrollment. My year was off to a great start, and it only got better.

In June, the management at For ClimateTech recognized my value from previous years of working together and brought me on part-time to help the portfolio with fundraise and finance strategy and preparedness.

When the MBA started in August, I cut down my commitments. The contracts/roles I kept were Venture Partner with Anthropocene Ventures, Investor and Partner Manager with For ClimateTech, and Managing Partner of Climate Finance Partners (the entity I use when I take on clients for capital raising).


I reflect every week on where I am and where I am going. I spent years breaking into and establishing myself within the climate ecosystem. I’ve connected with 1,000+ investors and 1,000+ startups. And I’m in a top MBA program. The question I keep asking myself is: What does the climate ecosystem need?

The answer I keep coming back to is: 1) education surrounding the capital stack (equity and debt), and 2) access to more non-dilutive capital (grants and debt).

As a result, I’ve been working on Climate Capital Stack for a bit over a year now. The goal of this resource is to: 1) educate entrepreneurs about alternatives to VC money, 2) provide visibility to capital providers who spend the time to explain their capital, and 3) continue to build my network and figure out where I am going.

My Ask

I’ve realized that raising equity is not always the best option for hardware startups. Grants are great but take time and have strings attached. Meanwhile, most debt is only available for more mature businesses.

I am seeking expertise and guidance in debt structuring and finance. My interest in this area stems from a keen awareness of its critical role in leveraging business growth, particularly within the climate sector. Understanding and navigating the nuances of debt could significantly enhance the impact of my current initiatives and future ventures.

My journey, punctuated by continuous learning and strategic engagements, reflects more than a career trajectory — it embodies a relentless pursuit to drive meaningful change in the climate sector. Understanding debt is not just an academic interest; it’s a crucial piece in the puzzle of fostering sustainable growth and innovation. I am eager to connect with individuals, groups, or resources that can illuminate this path, catalyzing not only my growth but also the broader impact I aspire to achieve.

I’m in a prime spot to optimize learning and growth. If you or someone you know may have something in mind, feel free to reach out.



Daniel Kriozere

Impact Investment Analyst at One World | Startup Weekend Facilitator | Climate Tech Enthusiast