The creation of Greenhouse
In 2019, Investible co-founder Creel Price formulated the idea for a new early-stage venture fund focused on technology startups that would assist the transition to a net-zero carbon future. Around the same time, the City of Sydney released a tender to find a partner to make use of three levels of a flagship building at Circular Quay known as the ‘George Street Business Innovation Space’ for a period of ten years.
Investible won this tender by pitching a climate-tech hub focused on climate-tech companies, and the idea of Greenhouse was born. Whilst developing the strategy for Greenhouse, it was decided that in addition to the 3,800 sq. metre Greenhouse Tech Hub, that there would also be some products and programs to support the climate action of corporates in Australia and beyond. These products include Greenhouse Climate Action Challenge, AMPED, a commercialisation supercharger for climate tech companies, and several ecosystem events and community programs.
Origin of the name
In 1985 participants of the Villach meeting in Austria released their ground-breaking findings on the role of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in climate variations and associated impacts. The Villach meeting led to the creation of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and then the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the subsequent Assessment Reports and the Conference of Parties (COP) events. The most famous is COP 21 in Paris, which gave us the Paris Agreement and our Net-Zero by 2050 target.
In Australia, the Villach meeting inspired the first climate change event, held at Monash University, Melbourne, on November 30, 1987. Dr Graeme Pearman of CSIRO named this very first event Greenhouse 87: Planning for Climate Change, and it went on to become the Australian Greenhouse Office in 1998 as a standalone agency focused on working with corporates, government agencies, and academia to reduce Australia’s emissions and avoid the climate crisis.
We have taken on the name Greenhouse to signal that we are supporting this work to finish what so many amazing scientists and government officials set out to accomplish and end our climate crisis through co-innovating climate action.
City of Sydney Support for the Greenhouse Tech Hub
In December 2013, the City of Sydney Council adopted the Economic Development Strategy – a ten-year strategy that aims to strengthen the city economy and support business. The Tech Startups Action Plan (endorsed by Council in June 2016) identifies how the City can support entrepreneurs with a focus on innovative, tech startups centred on technology and designed for fast growth.
The Tech Startups Action Plan focuses on creating an ecosystem that enables knowledge-based, innovation-driven businesses to flourish. It highlights the importance to Sydney’s entrepreneurs of access to entrepreneurship information, mentors and investors.
A key action of the Tech Startups Action Plan is for the City to assist in the delivery of an “entrepreneurship centre” to provide a critical mass of office and event space for entrepreneurs in tech startups and the organisations that support them. This access to space is one of the key initiatives the City can deliver in order to support technology entrepreneurs and grow the startup ecosystem.
Supported by the City of Sydney through its Accommodation Grant Program, the Greenhouse tech hub will provide affordable space for Australian scaleups and accelerate their expansion into global markets. The innovation hub is the result of planning negotiation between the City of Sydney council and Lendlease. It is located in the new 56-storey tower at 180 George Street.
Support for Greenhouse reflects the City’s commitment to accelerate the innovation economy and achieve outstanding environmental performance, including its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2035.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said creating affordable startup space would help bolster an important sector of the economy and contribute to the CBD’s post-pandemic recovery.
“Greenhouse is a wonderful opportunity for tech entrepreneurs and the scaleup economy to be located in one of the most advantageous and desirable locations in Australia, and for the City to showcase Sydney’s tech startup ecosystem to the world,” Ms Moore said.
“Technology businesses are pivotal to Sydney’s future. They create high-quality jobs, boost the local economy, strengthen our connections around the world and make Sydney a more desirable place to live, work and visit.”
Investible support for Greenhouse
Investible is a venture capital firm backing the visionaries who are advancing humanity through technology. Its mission is to connect ground-breaking companies with the capital, expertise and networks they need to realise their potential on a global scale.
With active, sector-agnostic and climate tech early-stage funds, Investible is dedicated to investing in and supporting companies that are intent on building a better future.
Investible believes that emerging technology companies will play a critical role in enabling a net-zero carbon future, but they face increasingly complex challenges and require different levels of support as they scale.
Greenhouse corporate structure
Greenhouse is owned by Innovillage Pty Ltd (ABN 86 646 047 690), a wholly owned subsidiary of Investible Group Holdings. Investible Pty Ltd, the investment arm of Investible, which has a Climate Fund, is also a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group company.
Innovillage Pty Ltd, trading as Greenhouse has applied for B Corp Certification and is also in the process of creating a not-for-profit foundation.