In this episode, I interview Matthew Nordan, the Managing Director at Prime Impact Fund and the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of MNL Partners. Matthew also sits on numerous boards including Greentown Labs, Sense, and Quidnet Energy.
As you may know from listening to Sarah Kearney’s episode, Prime Impact Fund is an early-stage venture capital fund focused on breakthrough climate innovation.
Before Prime, Matthew was a venture capital investor at Venrock, one of the world’s oldest and most successful VC firms, where he and colleagues drove the firm’s investment in Nest Labs (acquired by Google for $3.2 billion). Prior to Venrock, Matthew was President of Lux Research (acquired by private equity firm Bregal Sagemount), an advisory services firm for science-driven innovation that he co-founded in 2004. Under Matthew’s leadership, the Lux Research analyst team became a globally recognized authority on the business impact of emerging technologies. Earlier, Matthew held a variety of senior management roles at emerging technology advisor Forrester Research (NASDAQ:FORR) in the U.S. and Europe.
In addition to Prime, Matthew is co-founder and Managing Partner at MNL Partners, which develops energy and environmental projects in China. Matthew also co-founded and serves on the board of Prime Coalition, Prime Impact Fund’s non-profit parent organization.
Matthew has testified before the U.S. Congress four times on emerging technology issues, was a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, and is a widely sought-after speaker and commentator. He serves on the boards of MicroByre, Lilac Solutions, Sense Labs, Quidnet Energy, and Greentown Labs (the world’s largest incubator for energy and environmental companies). Matthew graduated from Yale, where he conducted cognitive neuroscience research on emotion and memory.
In this episode we discuss:
The a-ha moment Matthew experienced at a conference that sparked his climate journey.
The differences between traditional VC and the investments Matthew makes through Prime Impact Fund specifically as it relates to moon shot ideas and climate focused companies.
How Matthew and Prime balance the return of capital vs impact along with the differences between catalytic capital and market based capital.
Matthew’s view on the role and importance of policy in the climate fight.
I hope you enjoy the show!
You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 and email at email@example.com, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and provide suggestions for future guests or topics you'd like to see covered on the show.
Links for topics discussed in this episode:
Prime Coalition: https://primecoalition.org/
Life Alive in Cambridge: https://www.lifealive.com/
Lux Research: https://luxresearchinc.com/
Richard Smalley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Smalley
Ray Rothrock: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ray-rothrock-75b9403/
Nest Labs: https://nest.com/
Lucid Motors: https://lucidmotors.com/
Kyoto Protocol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol
Sarah Kearney: https://www.myclimatejourney.co/episodes/sarah-kearney
Program Related Investments: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/private-foundations/program-related-investments
Genocea Biosciences: https://www.genocea.com/
Gates Foundation: https://www.gatesfoundation.org/
Breakthrough Energy Ventures: http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/
Evok Innovations: https://www.evokinnovations.com/
Nicholas Flanders: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-flanders-378a6044/