BASF CVC workshop

BASF Advises Circularity Challenge Startups on Navigating Corporate Venture Capital Arm

Jacob Grose, investment manager for BASF Venture Capital, said the words that are magic to startup entrepreneurs’ ears: “Here are the things that accelerate the investment process.”

Five startups had an unparalleled look into the inner workings of BASF’s venture capital arm at the third Circularity Challenge workshop. The Circularity Challenge, run with BASF and supported by Stanley Black & Decker, is a six-month accelerator focused on disrupting the plastics, energy storage, and recycling value chains. Startups Corumat, Nexus Fuels, Circularise, Interface Polymers, and American Battery Metals Corporation were chosen as program participants from almost 100 applicants.

Cleantech startups often struggle to scale through venture capital due to technology risk and long investment horizons, yet corporate venture capital offers a significant opportunity for startups to partner with large companies and move toward commercialization. Knowing how to navigate a corporate’s venture capital arm, then, is invaluable.

Grose answered questions covering areas ranging from investment timeline, size, and frequency to navigating risk profiles to what BASF Venture Capital looks for in potential investments. Grose also explained the group’s dual mandate of considering both strategy and financial targets when considering investments.

Want to learn more about the Circularity Challenge? Join us at the Final Showcase on Feb. 6!

Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating solutions for today’s biggest climate and environmental challenges. Located in Somerville, Mass., the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is the largest cleantech incubator in North America, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus comprised of prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, electronics lab, and a curated suite of programs and resources. Greentown Labs is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 230 since its inception.