Each semester we bring on a thoughtful group of MBA and undergrad interns to provide critical services to our operations. Our interns drive due diligence efforts with support from CEV and CEVG leadership, they work on technology roadmaps that inform our investment thesis across clean energy sub-sectors, and they help with other special projects and true team members. We had another excellent collection of interns this summer, and with a short break in the pandemic, we actually had the opportunity to meet in person!
Each semester, Clean Energy Ventures and our sister organization Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG) have been fortunate to have the opportunity to leverage the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) internship program to source candidates for our climate tech VC internship program. This program brings us highly qualified graduate and undergraduate students who have a passion for clean energy and fixing climate change. Hiring interns from diverse backgrounds and geographies is also something that’s important to our organization as we try to diversify the talent and perspectives in this industry; the MassCEC program has helped us discover interns that can add to our own diversity each semesteer.
Hear from some of our interns directly about their experience this semester in our VC internship program:
Harvard Business School
“I had a very engaging and worthwhile summer at Clean Energy Ventures! There are so many pressing challenges start-ups are facing in trying to decarbonize our economy from the engineering, business, technology, and policy fronts.
Working with CEV gave me a front row view to these challenges and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to engage on direct portfolio support with Volexion and learn more about the challenges in improving the qualities of lithium ion storage solutions, complete due diligence on multiple start up opportunities across many industries such as cement and electric vehicles, complete a “deep dive” research assignment on carbon technologies touching on separation, sequestration, and utilization, and help lay out a strategy for helping CEV to bring more black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) into the Venture Capital world and invest in BIPOC lead start-ups.
Thanks to everyone one the CEV team for making this summer so memorable 🙂 I had blast!”
This past summer I had the pleasure of interning at Clean Energy Ventures. What I enjoyed most about the internship was the exposure I was given to the many different aspects of venture investing. At CEV, I worked on projects related to thesis development, investment diligence, and portfolio support.
- Thesis Development: Our intern group was asked to investigate the carbon market to better understand the landscape and identify companies that met CEV’s investment criteria. We spoke with leading experts across academia, government organizations, VCs, and startups, and developed a capstone report, which we presented to CEV’s Investment Committee at the end of the summer.
- Investment Diligence: During the internship period, there were several companies that had passed CEV’s screening process and were in the diligence phase. One of them was in the lithium space. As part of CEV’s diligence process, I created a competitive landscape where I analyzed ~20 companies offering similar solutions and presented my findings to the Investment Committee.
- Portfolio Support: Early-stage companies often have small teams that face several challenges on a daily basis. As an active investor, CEV helps their portfolio companies navigate these situations, adding a tremendous amount of strategic value in the process. This summer, I got first-hand experience working closely with one of their portfolio companies to create fundraising materials and helped another to construct a pro forma model.
While my core responsibilities led to amazing development opportunities, my strongest learning moments came from the everyday exposure I had to the CEV team. From my first day at the fund, every member made me feel like an integral part of the team. My exposure to each team member’s expertise molded my perspectives on the energy markets and helped refine my own investment approach. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to join such an amazing fund and would highly recommend an internship with Clean Energy Ventures to any prospective student.
Harvard Business School
Over the course of the summer, I was able to work with several companies in the diligence process, prepare and lead internal analysis meetings, and co-author and present CEV’s carbon-to-value roadmap. As part of the intern team’s research into carbon technologies, my colleagues and I had the opportunity and privilege of interviewing some of the leading scientific, policy, and industry experts. Our work culminated in a report and presentation to CEVG’s members, where we had the experience of pitching to dozens of highly knowledgeable investors.
Another highlight from my summer was being closely involved with diligencing a potential investment for CEV. I was given the responsibility of preparing and presenting SWOTs, investment memos, and other internal analysis, as well as leading meetings and communicating with third parties and the company founder. I was grateful (and a bit surprised) to be given responsibility for projects like this, and felt that I was able to learn an enormous amount because of it.
Additionally, these projects allowed me to work closely with CEV members, and build relationships and connections in the process. As an intern, I also had regular mentorship meetings: hours of one-on-one, or four-on-one conversations with members who have decades of industry experience and expertise.
As I look to pursue a career centered around creating and enabling technological solutions to climate change, I am incredibly grateful for my experience this summer at Clean Energy Ventures for the skills I was taught, the connections I developed, and the insight I gained into the climate tech space.
Yale School of the Environment
Through my internship with Clean Energy Ventures I got exposure to some of the most promising companies and technologies in the transition to a green economy. While part of my job was to provide due diligence on potential investment, I also had the chance to help startups within our portfolio build their business and navigate the many challenges new companies face.
One company I worked with was ClearFlame Engine Technologies whose engine retains the performance of diesel engines, yet eliminates the need for diesel fuel. By replacing fossil fuels with decarbonized, renewable fuels, ClearFlame significantly reduces CO2 and particulate-matter emissions from one of the hardest to decarbonize sectors. After spending several months working with BJ Johnson and the rest of the incredible team at ClearFlame, I was very sad to have to leave to return to my final year at Yale.
Fortunately, I will be able to join their team part-time while I finish my degree as the Director of Strategy! I look forward to growing with this company and working towards a meaningful solution to the climate change crisis.