The Pope Wants Vatican Startups to Fix Climate Change

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

By Chiara Albanese and John Follain, Bloomberg Technology

It’s quite a cocktail: throw in some profit-seeking techies, mix in the age-old Roman Catholic Church and add a twist of anti-globalism. What you get is a startup hub.

 A year ago, venture capitalists Stephen Forte of Fresco Capital Fund and Eric Harr of Imagine Ventures — both based in California — asked the Vatican to back a technology competition among startups addressing climate change, energy and managing resources.
Surprisingly for a Church that can trace its history back some 2,000 years, and that only four years ago decided to ditch Latin as the official language for the major meetings of its bishops, the Vatican was keen.

The result — where nine startups out of about 300 entrants have each received $100,000 in equity investments — marks another shift in the Vatican reaching out to the tech sector. Investors include Ibrahim AlHusseini, founder and managing partner of the FullCycle Energy Fund, which funds companies focusing on turning waste into clean energy, Emirati social entrepreneur Badr Jafar, and early Google engineer Chade-Meng Tan.


Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

Energy, Technology
climate change