Investment to impact underrepresented founders seeking a clean energy future
Amazon announced the launch of the Amazon Catalytic Capital initiative that will invest $150 million into venture capital funds benefitting entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. The Elevate Future Fund, a sub-fund of Energy Impact Partners (EIP), is one of four recipients of the investment.
The Elevate Future Fund, colloquially known as “Elevate,” is a global, sustainable energy investment platform that strives for a more diverse and inclusive venture capital ecosystem. Elevate makes direct investments in early-stage companies in the energy transition industry that are often neglected by conventional venture capital sources. Southern Company, a founding partner of EIP and a leader in in the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, made a founding investment in Elevate in July 2021 and believes the investment from Amazon is a positive step toward a more equitable representation in the industry.
“Investing in diverse entrepreneurs is crucial to a successful, sustainable and inclusive energy transition,” said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president, chief commercial officer and customer solutions officer at Southern Company. “We’re thrilled Amazon is joining the Elevate fund as they bring deep technical expertise, an innovative culture and strong business leadership to the table.”
Elevate focuses on companies that empower diverse talent, create opportunities for disadvantaged communities or are led by entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. The fund has made initial investments in various innovative companies that are driving the EIP’s core mission of advancing the low-carbon economy.
“We feel very strongly about the mission of Elevate and already see value in the work we’re doing with the Elevate portfolio companies,” said Jim Heath, managing director of new ventures for Southern Company. “Amazon will be an excellent partner and we look forward to collaborating with them where we can to help grow the Elevate portfolio companies."