Carla Glassl, their co-founder and CTO, dropped by recently and gave us a good look into their world. Ucaneo is working on some truly novel tech: the world's first cell-free Direct Air Capture technology reversing climate change with synthetic biology. They're dead-set on giving our planet the breather it needs. But this is not all sunshine and rainbow.
In this fun and enlightening conversation, we talk about the intricate world of climate tech and the challenges of bringing a hardware product to market.
Carla shares a ton of advice and anecdotes about:
And she doesn't shy away from sharing some of the mistakes she's made.
We conclude with a deep dive into the investor landscape for climate tech and the expected timeline for Ucaneo's product development. Plus, Carla shares her outlook on climate tech, why putting a value on CO2 is critical, and stresses the need for multiple solutions to tackle the climate crisis.
00:00:00 - Exploring Carbon Removal in Climate Tech
00:01:34 - Understanding Carbon Removal
00:02:22 - Ucaneo's company and tech developments stage
00:03:19 - VCs on Hardware Technology's Scaling Factors
00:05:17- What Ucaneo does with the CO2 it captures
00:07:58 - How Carla builds a new technology and runs a business
00:10:58 - The customers who can buy CO2 from Ucaneo
00:12:28 - Transitioning from Academia to the Startup Life
00:14:06 - How to Build a World-Cup Level Team When You're Developing a Brand New Technology
00:16:51 - Hacks to run fast experiment for hardware startups
00:19:18 - Is it easier to raise money for climate tech companies than before?
00:21:19 - When Is Ucaneo Going Live
00:23:22 - How to build a production line to drive revenue and allow for changes
00:24:25 - How does Ucanoe's magic carbon removal machine work
00:26:30 - The advantages of Ucaneo's container approach
00:27:18 - What industries are interested in buying pure CO2?
00:28:30 - The obstacles that still need to be overcome
00:30:08 - Carla's outlook and the important step that could completely change the game
00:33:27 - What Carla would do differently if she could start again
00:35:21 - One of Carla's biggest learnings
00:37:19 - The Mistake to Avoid When Working with Partners
00:38:25 - Why you should dig deeper if your gut is telling you not to follow someone's advice