(Almost) free money to develop climate jackpots

“CarbonFix supports CO2e projects that would scare off normal investors. Spraying up the Arctic? Are you kidding? Cooling the ocean with volcanic material? Seriously?” Pepijn van Dijk is co-founder and Executive Board Member of CarbonFix. “We pursue climate profitability and provide virtually free money for so-called climate jackpots. We operate in a neglected, yet pivotal niche. The idea is: providing people with the support to develop pioneering ideas in CO2e reduction, capture and storage. Thus structurally reducing 125 megaton CO2e in 2030. Quite ambitious, but absolutely necessary.”

Pepijn van Dijk
From a young age, Pepijn has been driven to understand the world and make a social impact. Among other things, it led him to the VVD, the liberal party in the Netherlands: “When asked if I wanted to help modernise and innovate the organisation, I was interested. There's tremendous potential to effect change in politics. It was a great opportunity to leverage my ideas and experience around innovation and impact in a new setting. We worked on digitalization, and ran experiments with new ways of communicating and how to organize political participation. However, the political arena is a complex system and like most systems resistant to change. With Carbonfix I have the opportunity once again to work on accelerating the sustainable transition, the biggest adventure of our generation. In the end, politics will have to follow.”

When Pepijn co-founded CarbonFix three years ago with, among others, Siemon van den Berg, he came from a start-up that worked on improving the way we give to people in need: more direct, without hassle and with local impact. "My experiences in international NGOs, in building coalitions, in politics and as an entrepreneur, as well as my drive for social impact, all fell into place with Carbonfix.”

Venture philanthropy
CarbonFix looks for the boldest and the best in their field. Pepijn: “There is a new generation of scientists and entrepreneurs coming up with exciting solutions. Often working from their living rooms, self-funding their research, with minimal income. It takes balls, you know. It's a shame to waste these talents and opportunities, especially when they're crucial. I've witnessed how easily nascent ideas can be quashed. So for us it’s vital to recognise the radical ideas with the potential to reduce several megatons of CO2e within 10 years from now. Our support provides a clear milestone path, supporting them to launch a pilot, filing patents and testing the waters. We bridge the gap between the risky idea and the serious interest of impact investors. We like to call it ‘venture philanthropy

Awards from Bezos, Musk and ….
For Pepijn, the essence of a meaningful life lies in making a difference to others. "Ordinary people who contribute to others emotionally move me. I don't find superheroes particularly interesting. Yet, we need super ideas to tackle climate change. To uncover these great ideas, we collaborate with partners such as universities, institutional investors, accelerators and climate platforms. We also sponsor events and awards. For example, there are brilliant ideas and ditto minds that just fall short of winning the great awards sponsored by the likes of Bezos or Musk, but have the potential to change their fields. They are more than welcome with us. Every year, we carefully review 60 qualified leads from our selected channels in order to support at least 10 deals. We are committed to do so for several years to come. We need to go faster

Another transition
Building coalitions, fostering communities, Pepijn thrives on it: “The Netherlands still maintains a healthy entrepreneurial climate. But we can’t take it for granted. It would be a shame if growing populism leads to a closed-off society. That rarely provides fertile ground for innovations. Ideas need to have sex. We’re now hearing radical voices, especially through social media. How to deal with it? Instead of trying to hold on to what feels good, let’s make sure we lead the change.” Pepijn believes the concept of left- or right-wing in politics is losing its relevance. “In this, too, we are going through a transition. The new distinction is along the lines of openness - or trying to close-off. It goes without saying that openness - without being naive about the world out there - and cooperation are the best basis of growth and flourishing for everyone. It’s our human superpower.”

Want to pitch your moonshot idea?

Contact Pepijn now by emailing hello@carbonfix.org or use the apply form on our website.

Our criteria for moonshot climate solutions

  • a new (scientific) innovation in reducing or capturing CO2e
  • a founder/team that is dedicated to make it work
  • no prior investments other than:
    - own funds
    - “friends & family” money
    - a limited amount in subsidies/grants (<250k EUR)
  • the potential to reduce several megatons (Mt) of CO2e annually within 10 years from now