Hardware to Save a Planet
Nurturing Companies that Have a Net Positive Impact on Nature: Insights from Tom Chi of At One Ventures
May 23, 2024
Welcome to this episode of Hardware to Save a Planet. Our guest today is Tom Chi, Founding Partner of At One Ventures, a VC with the mission to invest in companies that work towards a world where humanity has a positive impact on nature. Tom's background includes being an astrophysicist and electrical engineer, developing products at Microsoft and Yahoo, and working as a founding member of Google X. Tom's background in technology and his personal experience witnessing the death of a coral reef in Hawaii have instilled in him a deep sense of urgency to address climate change. We discuss the slow pace of progress, the challenges of scaling companies, and the need for innovative solutions in venture capital. Tom not only highlights the importance of mass transfer in carbon sequestration and the limitations of closed-loop plastics recycling but also stresses the power of collaboration and utilizing diverse skills to accelerate progress. He is optimistic about the future, and his optimism is contagious.
Welcome to this episode of Hardware to Save a Planet. Our guest today is Tom Chi, Founding Partner of At One Ventures, a VC with the mission to invest in companies that work towards a world where humanity has a positive impact on nature. Tom's background includes being an astrophysicist and electrical engineer, developing products at Microsoft and Yahoo, and working as a founding member of Google X.

Tom's background in technology and his personal experience witnessing the death of a coral reef in Hawaii have instilled in him a deep sense of urgency to address climate change. We discuss the slow pace of progress, the challenges of scaling companies, and the need for innovative solutions in venture capital. 

Tom not only highlights the importance of mass transfer in carbon sequestration and the limitations of closed-loop plastics recycling but also stresses the power of collaboration and utilizing diverse skills to accelerate progress. He is optimistic about the future, and his optimism is contagious.

Tom has worked in a wide range of roles, from astrophysical researcher to designer to corporate executive, developing new hardware/software products and services. He's played a significant role in establishing projects with global reach (Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Search, Google) and scaling new projects from conception to significance (Yahoo Answers from 0 to 90 million users). Tom wears multiple hats, including that of an inventor, coach, leader, and keynote speaker. He is also a Board Member at Cuby and a Partner at Hack VC. Tom is inspired by Ayana Young’s podcast series For the Wild. 

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Previous guests include: Peter Reinhardt of Charm Industrial, Carlos Araque of Quaise, Noah McQueen of Heirloom, Areeb Malik of Glacier, Jeff Satwicz of Bigbelly, Abe Schneider of Natel Energy, Insiya Jafferjee of Shellworks, Paul Gross of Remora, Erika Boeing of Accelerate Wind and Daniel Betts of Blue Frontier.

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