Furthering climate resilience
Striking out and starting one’s own business can be risky, but Maximillian Evans says he and fellow student Himanshu Gupta were successful because they identified a “market need and a social need.”
While in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), Evans and Gupta came up with the idea to found ClimateAI, a company that uses artificial intelligence to predict the physical risks of climate change on infrastructure, and helps investors, insurers, and governments develop climate-resilient strategies.
“If people are able to use climate information, then we can create a more climate-responsible and climate-aware industry, and not just through goodwill but instead through capital,” Evans said.
The two decided to start the company when they realized the gravity of the climate problem and found a way to ease the issue by working with businesses. They received their first round of funding from Stanford’s TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and were able to pick up other sources of funding from there.
“The perception of the risk was way higher than the actuality of the risk in my experience,” referring to the gamble of entrepreneurship. “I feel that we’ve been successful because we were pretty early to the climate tech space and we were able to recruit an amazing team – humanity is realizing this is meaningful work that needs to be done.”