GreenPortfolio, a Rising Climate Fintech Startup, Awarded Funding from IBM and Columbia University

GreenPortfolio, a climate fintech startup was founded by Bonnie Gurry and Elizabeth Landau with the idea to invest in renewable energy. The platform offers climate-conscious consumers a way to invest in climate  solutions by recommending financial products (investments, bank accounts, etc.) focused on  funding renewable energy. GreenPortfolio delivers transparency and guidance so consumers  can build a clean energy future without having to sacrifice convenience or potential profit.

After recently completing the Columbia | IBM Launch Accelerator, a customized program for startups that includes workshops with leading industry experts and curated mentorship opportunities, they have been awarded funding to continue their initiative.  

This prestigious program, run by Columbia University and tech giant IBM, boasts a competitive  acceptance rate. Only 27 out of the 119 teams that applied over the past three years have been  selected to participate. “As first-time founders, the Columbia | IBM Launch Accelerator was  very beneficial,” explains Landau. “The content was useful, our mentors were extremely  engaged, and the sessions were always productive. It’s clear that the leaders of the program,  Dmytro Pokhylko and Jack Steele, put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure the  program was tailored to the founders.”

With the recent news in the United Nations Climate Report confirming that we’re reaching a  point of no return if we don’t immediately and dramatically act to mitigate climate change, this  is a timely launch for a company looking to connect people to meaningful ways to support  climate solutions. 

GreenPortfolio’s mission is to get everyone invested in a clean energy future. Gurry explains  that they’re using the term “invest” more broadly. “Traditional investment assets are of course  included in what GreenPortfolio reviews, but there are other types of financial products that  utilize your money to fund renewable energy projects.” Gurry mentions Clean Energy Credit Union’s checking and savings accounts as examples. The CECU doesn’t have your deposits sit  idle – your money is used for clean energy loans. The CECU has loaned over $71.4M since their  formation.  

Jack Steele, Marketing Manager for Columbia’s Lab-to-Market Accelerator Network, believes  Gurry and Landau are building a company that is going to alter the climate finance landscape.  “GreenPortfolio is quickly gaining traction and is poised to change the conversation surrounding  investment in sustainability for years to come.”

GreenPortfolio plans to use the funds received from Columbia and IBM for product  development and shift its focus to developing a SaaS product for consumers. Gurry mentions  that GreenPortfolio’s goal is to become more than a reviews site. “We want to help climate conscious individuals assess their climate impact and meet their personal environmental goals while growing their financial assets. Developing a platform that helps users visualize their goals  and take climate action is what we’re striving for.” 

A huge aspect of GreenPortfolio’s model relies on educating young investors about the truths  and myths of climate finance. “There are a lot of misleading claims when it comes to what is  truly supporting climate solutions,” explains Landau. “For example, ESG (Environmental, Social,  Governance) funds often contain companies that fund fossil fuel projects or may even include  oil and gas companies. We founded GreenPortfolio to deliver the transparency that consumers  deserve.”  

As the only all-female founded team in this recent cohort, Gurry and Landau break boundaries  as leaders in the traditionally male-dominated energy and finance industries. Gurry and Landau  met ten years ago while working together at BASF. Gurry has focused her career on clean  energy, having worked at BASF and the New York Power Authority as the North American Clean  Energy Lead and a Renewable Energy Resources and Technology Engineer, respectively. She  received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, an M.S. in Mechanical  Engineering from Caltech, and an M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business. Landau has  over ten years of brand management experience in both B2B and B2C industries at BASF,  Anheuser Busch, and a high-growth CPG startup. She received a B.S. in Chemical and  Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the NYU  Stern School of Business. Their combined expertise seems to be a recipe for success. 

Dmytro Pokhylko, the Director of Columbia’s Lab-to-Market Accelerator Network, speaks to the  talents of GreenPortfolio’s founders: “It’s clear that Bonnie and Elizabeth not only have a  passion for enabling climate solutions but also the drive and resourcefulness to achieve their  vision for GreenPortfolio.” 

Young Woo Shin

Young Woo is a blockchain and finance expert and writer who has a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence's future impact on every aspect of our lives.