Fall 2020: Our Climate Tech Interns

Smart interns are a critical part of Clean Energy Ventures and our venture capital internship program. Our intern team supports our diligence process and various venture capital investment and industry projects. We had an excellent team of contributors this past semester.

This team has provided thoughtful input to our sector road mapping exercises, screening of the many climate tech startup applications we receive each week, and supporting due diligence for the startups we’re considering funding.

Interns from our fall climate tech venture capital internship program

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 venture capital internships. This program brings us highly qualified undergraduate and graduate 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 semest.

We wouldn’t be able to find, invest and mentor our current volume of companies without our intern team. Thank you for a productive fall, and even though we barely met face-to-face (read: pandemic) we’ll miss seeing you around the office.

Hear from the interns directly about their experience this semester in our venture capital internship program:

Eugene Han

University of Chicago

Interning at CEV this Fall was truly a humbling experience. I did not have a startup background nor a background in finance and yet I found myself completely immersed in the tasks I was given which ranged from hydrogen and cement roadmapping to performing due diligence. By far the most valuable takeaway from this experience was getting to see and experience decision making with imperfect information. CEV members challenged me to think critically of mainstream reports and instead encouraged me to create our own models using a bottom-up approach. I had the unique opportunity to talk to potential and current CEOs who helped adjust our models and projections and overall augmented our understanding of an industry or technology. Even without venturing far, the combined knowledge of CEV and CEVG members allows for profound conversations, many of which I learned from simply by sitting in on the meetings.

Despite a worldwide pandemic, I was amazed to see a continued stream of innovations that applied to CEV which gave me conviction that a clean economy is the answer to a more resilient future. I would also like to applaud CEV members for continuing to be at the forefront of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the VC space and beyond. It was a tightly-packed three months full of learning and engagement thanks to the entire CEV team and (especially) my fellow interns!

Audrey Shine

Harvard University

My experience at CEV was overwhelmingly positive, in no small part due to the incredible minds coordinating the internship program. It was a true privilege to learn from veterans in the venture capital/climate tech space and contribute meaningfully to the investment team. Despite the virtual setting, I was supported by a dynamic team that provided me with a perfect balance of guidance and independence to complete deliverables and understand their broader relevance.

Beyond the investment team, I relished the opportunity to work on a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) project, putting together an online playbook for CEV/G portfolio companies to reference. As a young woman diving into the VC space, immersing myself in real conversations about diversity was empowering. Over the course of the semester, I bounced ideas and shared drafts with a team who cared about DEI not just for the optics, but because it was the right thing to do. In crafting sections of the playbook, I felt like I had a voice in the direction of the industry. The most inspiring part? DEI at CEV/G is just getting started. The playbook will be a working product as the team continues to expand and diversify. 

I am incredibly grateful for my time as an intern at CEV. This experience has enriched my understanding of the cleantech ecosystem and, more importantly, equipped me with the tools and intuition needed to evaluate a company myself. What a wonderful journey it has been!

Charles Oliveira

Northeastern University

Clean Energy Ventures internship offers a life-changing experience. From the business learnings to the importance of having an impact on the society we live in. 

The internship is designed in a way where interns can take responsibility for projects from day one and have ownership of deliverables. Also, you work on the topics from your interest and are able to bring your knowledge and expertise to the table. Because of that, the team of investment partners and managing directors listens to interns closely, and everyone has the opportunity to speak up, but be ready to defend your thesis with in-depth analysis and logical thinking. 

Time is the most valuable asset, and everyone is always busy but still finds time to help and support interns. The cross-learning on companies in diligence and market research adds immeasurable value; remember the team is formed by seasoned investors and clean energy professionals who have decades of experience in this sector.  Moreover, this means that you will be working on assignments that impact the company, influencing the investment strategy for years to come. 

CEV is driven by the mission to reduce carbon emissions through investments and also bringing diversity and inclusion on the way. I was honored with the opportunity to intern here, coming from a LatinX and first-generation student in college.  I desire that CEV may grow beyond Fund I and that our paths may cross again.

Robert Baldwin

Harvard Business School

I would highly recommend the CEV internship to anyone considering a career in investing in or building companies essential to large-scale decarbonization. From day one, I was closely involved in and contributing to the firm. Every week, interns participate in weekly meetings where founders pitch their companies, CEV team members asks pointed questions, and the team finally debriefs on their thought process and further diligence items. In addition to contributing to the firm’s thesis on hydrogen and being part of multiple company scouting efforts, there were two main highlights for me.

First, I was able to play a significant role in due diligence efforts of a company in the EV supply chain space. I was able to put together a framework for valuations in the space, understand the competitive landscape, and assist the team with the unit economic profile of their solution. Second, I worked closely with one of CEV’s portfolio companies to prepare for an upcoming capital raise. The company had become even more ambitious in their business model and story to share with investors, so I liaised with the co-founders each week to hone in on their vision for the company and build a new financial model from the bottom up to share with investors.

I couldn’t have asked for a more enriching experience, and look forward to following CEV in the future!

If you’re interested in being a future intern for CEV as part of our climate tech venture capital internship program, follow us on LinkedIn and we highly recommend applying to the MassCEC Internship Program, where we often source strong interns.