Model & Strategy

Evergreen Climate Innovations (formerly Clean Energy Trust) provides catalytic capital and support to early-stage startups in the Mid-Continent region of the United States working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability. Evergreen Climate Innovations believes in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to conserve natural resources, protect the environment, and combat climate change. Moreover, entrepreneurship and innovation create jobs and stimulate economic development in underserved regions of the Mid-Continent region. To date, Evergreen Climate Innovations has invested in 31 portfolio companies.

At a Glance
Founded: 2010
Current CEO: Erik Birkerts
Environment & Climate Change
Location of work: Domestic, Midwest
Evergreen Climate Innovations
Chicago, IL
Catalyzing climate innovation
Meet Erik Birkerts

Erik Birkerts has over 25 years of operational and general management experience, including project financing and strategy development for energy efficiency and clean technology companies. Erik currently serves on the board of Milbank Manufacturing, acts as a senior advisor to Metrus Energy, and serves as a board observer for multiple Evergreen Climate Innovations portfolio companies. He also serves as a Mentor for the Obama Foundation Scholars program and as an Executive Mentor for the Baumhart Scholars MBA program at Chicago’s Loyola University. He earned an MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BA with honors in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.

IMPACT

Evergreen Climate Innovations has invested $5.3 million in 31 companies from the Midwest and has helped to create over 550 jobs since its inception in 2010.

Evergreen Climate Innovations provides catalytic capital to address Midwest capital scarcity and support to early-stage startups working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability. Evergreen Climate Innovations’ portfolio companies have raised $26 of additional investment for every $1 of Evergreen Climate Innovations investment.

More than half (55%) of Evergreen Climate Innovations’ portfolio companies have female or minority founders. The vast majority (68%) of Evergreen Climate Innovations’ portfolio companies are generating revenues, with 29% recognizing greater than $1 million in annual sales; Evergreen Climate Innovations has profitably exited four investments and reinvests the proceeds into new startups.

  • Climate tech entrepreneurs - Apply today for investment from our 501vc® Investment Fund, which invests $200k - $3… https://t.co/0NWMReOqIG
  • Apply today for the @Nicor_Gas Multicultural Innovator Award! Evergreen Climate Innovations works with Nicor Gas t… https://t.co/YfDzXLiZCx
  • Congrats to Amy and the whole @BuoyantVentures team on a great milestone! https://t.co/uCFNKRfU1C
  • RT @AmyFrancetic: It's really humbling getting so much love from the the Chicago business news community. #ChicagoProud ❤️ Thanks @bizjourn…
  • Join us for the EnergyTechUP Great Lakes Explore Event on Thursday, Feb 23rd from 2 – 5 PM CT!⚡️ After exploring b… https://t.co/W6SWI0sahI
  • In late October, we announced our investment in @HelloKadeya, a startup that has reimagined the supply chain for co… https://t.co/WH80VCtgVm
  • Apply for the @usbank Foundation Cleantech Inclusion Award! A grant will be awarded to entrepreneurs who are femal… https://t.co/hzn5ILIJFb
  • RT @cleantechopen: CTO is now accepting applications to our '23 cohort, with early bird pricing of just $30 until Feb 28! Don't miss out on…
  • Discover our novel nonprofit venture capital approach, the 501vc® Investment Fund. Our fund is structured as a rev… https://t.co/dudYiaVYWO
  • We address the capital gap that exists for early-stage climate tech companies. Our unique model allows us to be m… https://t.co/RmCwJ8jzAP
  • Apply today for the @Nicor_Gas Multicultural Innovator Award! Evergreen Climate Innovations works with Nicor Gas t… https://t.co/bV1rcIb3Xt
  • Seeking cleantech & climate tech entrepreneurs! 🌱☀️🔋⚡ Apply to the Spark Cleantech Accelerator at the UT Research… https://t.co/I48tXGWHjc
  • Apply for the @usbank Foundation Cleantech Inclusion Award! A grant will be awarded to entrepreneurs who are femal… https://t.co/zIORnW6dBj
  • Apply today for the @Nicor_Gas Multicultural Innovator Award! Evergreen Climate Innovations works with Nicor Gas t… https://t.co/uqtCTOZkJF
  • Students—don’t miss the career-building experience of @OTTatDOE #EnergyTechUP! Register your team by Jan. 26, start… https://t.co/2HUVjOO5BX
  • Curious about which technologies will help us fight climate change? 🤔 Evergreen's CEO @erikgbirkerts discusses pro… https://t.co/4KSZwccE9H
  • Step right up & join us for Climate Tech Investors Predict, our first event of the year, tomorrow (1/26) at 2 PM CT… https://t.co/5iHefAgDM3
  • Apply for the @usbank Foundation Cleantech Inclusion Award! A grant will be awarded to entrepreneurs who are femal… https://t.co/3wiaE9G2Ql
  • Evergreen Managing Director @IAdams1 shares the latest on all things climate and cleantech in this month's Cleantec… https://t.co/viPk5Z4ggM
  • RT @mediumpauly: This week last year, I hosted the inaugural edition of Climate Tech Investors Predict, a once-a-year "game show" that we a…