Nov 11 2021

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By Tito Jankowski

Working in an emerging industry is a paradox: the amount of open space can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. As the carbon removal industry takes flight, this moment offers opportunities for startup leaders to create new solutions to remove gigatonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

AirMiners mission is to launch 1,000 shots on goal in carbon removal by 2030. In partnership with XPRIZE and Creative Destruction Lab, we created AirMiners Launchpad to support early start-ups and individuals creating new carbon removal solutions and competing for the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal. The quarterly program enables new carbon removal teams to develop their business model, connect to customers, and more fully understand the carbon removal impact..

Things are moving fast! We announced Launchpad alongside the XPRIZE Carbon Removal in April, accepted the first batch of startups June, finished batch #2 in October, and are accepting applications for batch #3 which starts in January.

Here’s my insights from working hands-on with people building new carbon removal solutions as part of AirMiners Launchpad.

If you’re starting a carbon removal company today, here's 3 things you need to know:

1. Product vs carbon removal credit?

Building a business to make products out of carbon from the air is different from building a business that makes carbon removal credits only. Picking one path to start will save you a lot of time. I wrote more about this here.

2. Your startup doesn't need to do everything

The carbon removal industry will be like a baseball team: we need catchers, pitchers, and batters. It can be tempting to try to do it all yourself, but the reality is we need a diversity of solutions to create an entire industry. And also the trainers, coaches, and facilitators to support these activities. Read more about how to build an industry here.

3. If you want to go far, go together

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is tough to do alone. Luckily with rising interest in carbon removal, there are few thousand passionate people working on carbon removal solutions and dozens of companies. For those interested in starting a company, AirMiners Slack is a great place to meet future co-founders, teammates, investors, and advisors. Apply here to join AirMiners Slack.

Those are my tips for founders getting started today. When you’re ready to take your startup to the next level and work alongside other passionate founders, apply to AirMiners Launchpad. For those interested in investing in carbon removal, AirMiners is raising an investment fund focused on carbon removal startups, get in touch here.

That said, we need more than startup founders to get to gigaton scale carbon removal. Founders need people to support that vision to make it real. Getting to 1,000 shots on goal means we need more leaders.

Here’s tips for how to get here wherever you are in your journey. 

Want to find a job, advise teams, or grow your carbon removal career? AirMiners is a great place to accelerate your progress: Hear from scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers and more at AirMiners Events with leaders in carbon removal, including an upcoming session on CDR startup investment in Europe this Thursday. Find a job in carbon removal on the AirMiners #job_postings channel. Women working on carbon removal solutions should check out WAM (#Women-AirMiners) to meet other women leading the way.

Scouring the web to learn about carbon removal? Come learn alongside other people like you at the AirMiners Boot Up or check out the AirMiners YouTube channel to hear from leaders in the field about what they’re seeing.

Interested in going deeper on this topic? I talk about this every week in my weekly newsletter. Sign up here to get updates like this every week: https://tito.co/carbon