Our Thesis.

Our Impact, Investment and Portfolio Strategy.

Fostering a Sustainable Planet.

Accelerating Solutions for Nature, Systems Transformation & Community Resilience.

Overview

Today’s environmental challenges must be addressed with immediate and thoughtful action. In the past few years, it seems like the evolving climate crisis has been playing at double speed. This was particularly true for 2023, which was the hottest year ever recorded. Powerful tropical storms, fast moving wildfires and severe flooding took tens of thousands of lives around the world. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were more climate disasters in the U.S. than there ever had been in the past, with a cost of $92.9 billion.

The escalating concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity is resulting in drastic effects for life across our planet. The environmental consequences of our actions are reshaping the present and threatening the future for generations to come. What’s more, communities around the world, particularly those that are least equipped to respond, are being confronted by the relentless pressures of environmental and ecological upheaval.

In this era of immense change, we believe that science and technology, guided by human ingenuity and connected to the capacity, knowledge and innovative spirit of the communities who are most affected by environmental challenges, provide potential solutions. In our efforts, we have committed to a strategy of providing startups access to programs, our ecosystem and funding to foster resilience and adaptation solutions in response to climate change.

Our thesis pertains to three strategic impact areas that are deeply interconnected: preservation and repair of nature, reinvention of food, water and energy systems, and nurturing of equitable and healthy communities.

Our strategic impact areas are designed to support specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted globally in 2015 alongside the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, in the effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Aligning our efforts to the SDGs provides a structured framework and ties our initiatives to a massive global effort to bring about a more sustainable planet.

Unfortunately, the 1.5 C target may already be out of reach. The World Meteorological Organization determined that the global mean near-surface temperature in 2023 was already 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

And yet, not meeting the 1.5 C goal gives us even more reason to invest in innovations that can mitigate damage that hasn’t yet occurred and make our communities more resilient and adaptable to a changing climate.

With decades of experience supporting thousands of innovators, we are well positioned to guide and mentor pioneers of change who are committed to science, technology and community-based innovations. We are not interested in mere profit-making business ventures, but in supporting impact-centric enterprises that are focused on the triple bottom line of planet, people and prosperity for all.

As we chart the course of our investment journey, three principles guide our work.

We will identify local and global problems and find innovators who are working to address these challenges, supporting early-stage ventures and connecting them with opportunities that can demonstrate their impact.

We will nurture early-stage innovations to increase their chance of success and surround entrepreneurs and startups with partners, experts, programs, tools and funding to help grow ideas into sustainable enterprises.

We will scale new innovations so that they can positively impact the world, building collaborative innovation ecosystems with governments, industry and investors to transform ideas into enterprises that combine purpose and profit for impact.

Together our principles prioritize both innovation and implementation, creating solutions and embedding them into communities to maximize their impact.

We are confident that the startups we identify, nurture and scale will evolve from early-stage concepts into broad-reaching solutions. These innovations will become drivers of a sustainable planet, enabling communities around the world to become more resilient, adapt and prosper in a rapidly changing world.

“In this era of immense change, we believe that science and technology, guided by human ingenuity and connected to the capacity, knowledge and innovative spirit of the communities who are most affected by environmental challenges, provide potential solutions. In our efforts, we have committed to a strategy of providing startups access to programs, our ecosystem and funding to foster resilience and adaptation solutions in response to climate change.”

What is Sustainability?

Our understanding of sustainability is largely defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which are a set of 17 interconnected global objectives designed to serve as a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. SDGs address the global challenges faced by communities around the world, including poverty, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation. Many of the goals are interrelated in that interventions in one area affect outcomes in others.

The goals range from eradicating poverty and hunger to ensuring access to quality education, clean water and sanitation. They promote gender equality, affordable and clean energy and decent work for all. There’s a strong emphasis on economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure development, with a view towards reducing inequalities. They encourage the development of sustainable cities and action to conserve marine resources and protect and restore life on land through sustainable management of forests, combating desertification and halting and reversing biodiversity loss.

The SDGs are an urgent plea for cooperation and commitment from all countries and stakeholders to unite in a global partnership to meet ambitious targets. These targets include the 1.5 C threshold mentioned above and the “net zero” goal of balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into and removed from the atmosphere by the year 2050.

We realize that these goals may not be achievable, particularly in light of the dramatic changes we have seen in our climate in the last few years. And yet that does not absolve us of the responsibility to use science and technology to mitigate the effects of climate change and help communities become more resilient and adaptable.

Our understanding of sustainability is influenced by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which are a set of 17 interconnected global objectives designed to serve as a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.

Our Strategic Impact Areas

We have identified three strategic impact areas for our efforts which are based on U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. These strategic impact areas are strongly interconnected and our efforts across them must work in concert to bring about change in communities, in the systems we use to manage our resources and across the natural planet as a whole. Structuring our efforts in this way provides a clear framework and defined metrics that can be used to measure our impact.  

1.

Nature Preservation & Repair

A healthy natural environment in the oceans and on land.

Recognizing that the health of our planet is foundational to all life on earth, we leverage our portfolio of ventures in science and technology to combat the twin emergencies of biodiversity loss and climate change. As we progress through this decisive decade towards 2030, it is an economic necessity to halt the degradation of our natural world.

We also want to actively engage in its restoration of ecosystems that have been damaged. Our proactive approach is supported by the belief that with targeted intervention and technological advancements, we can reverse some of the damages inflicted upon our environment and secure a sustainable future for coming generations.

Our strategic impact area of Nature Preservation and Repair is tied to Sustainable Development Goals #13 Climate Action, #14 Life Below Water and #15 Life on Land. To support these goals we need deep, rapid and sustained efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050. We need to significantly reduce marine pollution and overfishing to support healthy and productive oceans. And we also must halt the loss of forests, land degradation and species extinction by protecting and restoring biodiversity.

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Solution Areas

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #13 Climate Action relate to emissions monitoring and data, emissions removal and storage, and climate education.

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #14 Life Below Water relate to ocean health monitoring and data, marine habitats and conservation, fish and biodiversity regeneration.

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #15 Life on Land include protection of threatened wildlife, freshwater ecosystem conservation, reforestation, soil and land restoration.

2.

Food, Water & Energy Systems

Transforming production of clean, renewable resources.

Our second strategic impact area addresses core issues at the heart of the climate crisis: the growing need for sustainable food sources, clean water and renewable energy solutions. As climate patterns become ever more erratic, populations in many countries continue to grow, and economic systems face instability, the demand for consistent and sustainable food, water and energy will correspondingly increase.

We are working to establish smart agriculture and sustainable farming practices that resonate with the needs of local communities while being scalable at a national level. These contemporary practices are crucial not only for ensuring food security but also for reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint.

Moreover, our commitment extends to reshaping the landscape of energy production. By supporting the innovation of infrastructure and systems, we are at the forefront of facilitating access to energy that is not only clean and renewable but also reliable and economically accessible. These initiatives are vital steps toward a resilient food and energy system that can withstand the pressures of climate change and serve as a model for global sustainability efforts.

Our strategic impact area of Food, Water and Energy Systems is tied to Sustainable Development Goals #2 Zero Hunger, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation and #7 Affordable Clean Energy. To achieve zero hunger by 2030, we need immediate and intensified efforts to transform food systems, ensure food security and invest in sustainable agricultural practices. To ensure the availability of clean water and sanitation for all we must boost infrastructure investment, and improve coordination across sectors. To provide access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all, we must accelerate electrification, increase investments in renewable energy and improve energy grids.

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Solution Areas

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #2 Zero Hunger relate to regenerative and smart agriculture, food productivity, production and supply, and food waste reduction.

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #6 Clean Water and Sanitation relate to water-use efficiency and management, clean water production, pollution and wastewater reduction.

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #7 Affordable Clean Energy relate to renewable energy production, green infrastructure and distribution, clean energy access and affordability.

3.

Equitable, Healthy & Resilient Communities

Inclusive societies to improve the wellbeing of all humans.

Our third strategic impact area is based on the idea that true resilience in the face of climate change transcends the mere capacity to recover from emergencies — it requires the creation of inclusive communities that foster well-being for all.

Our approach is to incorporate elements of resilience into the daily lives of individuals, ensuring that the essentials — clean water, nutritious food, secure housing, reliable energy, accessible education and comprehensive healthcare — are not just available, but equitably distributed. By supporting innovators who are developing solutions that can foster resilience, we will empower communities to not only withstand economic and climate shocks but to thrive, cultivating a strength that is broad in scope and deep in impact.

This commitment to democratizing innovation embodies a shift from top-down imposition of solutions to a more participatory, grassroots model of development. Our initiatives aim to enable communities to voice their unique needs and participate in the development of solutions that will sustain their well-being and resilience in the face of an ever-changing world.

Our Equitable and Healthy Communities impact area aligns with Sustainable Development Goals #3 Good Health and Well-Being, #5 Gender Equality and #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. To support good health and well-being, we must deal with longstanding shortcomings in providing affordable holistic healthcare to underinvested neighborhoods. In the efforts to achieve gender equality, we must reform discriminatory policies and dismantle systemic barriers. To create sustainable cities and communities, we must strengthen capacities for green urban development, improve access to public transportation and enhance waste management.

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Solution Areas

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #3 Good Health and Well-Being relate to access to care and financial equity, disease screening, prevention and treatment, and holistic well-being, including nutritious foods and mental health.

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #5 Gender Equality relate to education access and platforms, professional development, equality monitoring and reporting.

The innovations we fund in support of SDG #11 Sustainable Cities relate to affordable and safe housing, urban farming and resilience to extreme weather.

Challenges and Opportunities

The cascading effects of human-induced climate change have escalated the need for resilience in every sphere of life. Biodiversity loss, extreme weather events and resource scarcity are not just isolated phenomena — they are widespread symptoms of a planet in distress that impact rural and urban communities alike.

Amidst these challenges lies the promise of opportunity to bring about a transformation. By fostering solutions that enhance resilience and adaptation, we can engender a world in which sustainable innovation and economic growth bolsters ecological health.

Our vision transcends traditional business metrics, embracing a triple bottom line that prioritizes not only prosperity, but also people and the planet.

Macroeconomic Context

The current macroeconomic landscape, which has been significantly shaped by the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, is marked by a level of volatility and uncertainty that has not been seen for generations. Recent macroeconomic and geopolitical developments will affect how new ideas will be funded and determine the domains in which they will have the greatest impact.

Four years after lockdowns began, we are still dealing with the impact that economic interventions by governments and central banks had on the world’s economies. Today, central banks are faced with the delicate task of tightening monetary policy to control inflation without hindering economic growth. An era of historically low interest rates that for years benefited innovators in search of financing to fund their ideas seems to be over.

The pandemic impacted sectors unevenly. Technology, e-commerce and healthcare sectors have seen substantial growth, while industries such as biotechnology have suffered for the past two years following a boom early in the pandemic. Covid-19 also initiated a dramatic change in the way people work, with a massive initial shift towards remote work in many sectors. Yet even as more people return to their places of business, there have been fundamental changes to labor markets that will have lasting effects on work culture, urban planning and transportation.

The disruption in global supply chains was another significant consequence of the pandemic. The resultant supply-chain challenges have sparked discussions about “reshoring” manufacturing — in the U.S. and elsewhere — and diversifying sources of materials and products to reduce future risks. What’s more, all of this is taking place in the larger geopolitical context of increased tensions between the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China.

The pandemic also exacerbated global economic inequality. The uneven impact of the pandemic is evident, with some economies and social groups showing robust recovery while others continue to struggle.

In short, we live in a much different world in 2024 than we did at the beginning of 2020, yet the major challenges of addressing climate change and economic inequality have become even more pronounced and pressing.

Within this global context, we recognize the potential of innovations in science and technology to catalyze transformative solutions. While the rapid pace of innovation holds the promise of progress, it demands careful guidance to yield tangible benefits. Our impact investment philosophy is anchored in translating promising breakthroughs into pragmatic solutions that bolster resilient communities in the face of climate change.

“We recognize the potential of innovations in science and technology to catalyze transformative solutions. While the rapid pace of innovation holds the promise of progress, it demands careful guidance to yield tangible benefits. Our impact investment philosophy is anchored in translating promising breakthroughs into pragmatic solutions that bolster resilient communities in the face of climate change.”

Portfolio Strategy

Our portfolio strategy is attuned to both the systemic challenges of our era and the opportunities we have to improve the lives of millions of people. We advocate for sustainable long-term growth and impact models to be embedded within the startups we fund, enabling enterprises to flourish while also contributing to broader sustainability objectives. Our portfolio companies do well by doing good.

Our goal is to increase communities’ resilience and ability to adapt to climate change. To us, resilience entails not only the capacity to withstand crises but also to emerge more robust and self-reliant. Similarly, adaptation is a commitment to learning from loss and recalibrating strategies to navigate and overcome emergent challenges effectively.

Environmental degradation, climate change, political instability, global pandemics and economic stressors touch every human on the planet, and those who live in poorer communities are most negatively impacted.

While new science and technology breakthroughs will continue to advance at an unprecedented pace across the globe, these innovations need to be translated and implemented into practical solutions. And we must develop methods to monitor, study and validate their impact on local communities and populations.

Our portfolio of solutions addresses both the challenges and opportunities created by the accelerating pace of innovation. We recognize the need to make innovations more sustainable in that they will continue to grow and thrive while addressing sustainability as the overarching goal.

Resilience and adaptation are not just words to be thrown around without context and meaning. We consider resilience to encompass approaches and individual innovations that enable communities writ large to thrive during unprecedented challenges. For us, adaptation means recognizing what we have lost, and changing our actions to meet these challenges.

Our goal is to increase communities’ resilience and ability to adapt to climate change. To us, resilience entails not only the capacity to withstand crises but also to emerge more robust and self-reliant. Similarly, adaptation is a commitment to learning from loss and recalibrating strategies to navigate and overcome emergent challenges effectively.

Our Role & Guiding Principles

Larta Institute is an important force in fostering sustainable innovation, guiding startups that aim to feed, fuel and heal our planet, and strengthen community resilience. We support startups according to our three guiding principles — Identify, Nurture and Scale.

Identify.​

Larta understands that the foundation of impactful innovation begins with recognizing global and local challenges. By identifying these challenges, Larta positions itself to connect groundbreaking innovators with the problems they aim to solve in relevant communities, ensuring a targeted approach to demonstrate the potential of innovation. 

Nurture.

Beyond identification, Larta commits to nurturing early-stage innovations. This involves providing startups with a supportive ecosystem, that offer not just funding, but also the expertise, tools, and programs that are essential for growth. This crucial support accelerates the evolution of ideas into viable solutions that are capable of making a significant impact.

Scale.

The ultimate goal for Larta is to scale these solutions, amplifying their impact from initial proof of concept within local communities to the global stage. By building collaborative networks that include governments, industry, and investors, Larta facilitates the transformation of innovations into sustainable enterprises that not only serve a purpose but also maintain profitability.

Our Innovation Platform

We provide innovators with access to our programs, ecosystem and funding which all play a vital role in supporting the development and implementation of their solutions.

Together, these three pillars comprise a robust entrepreneurial support platform that empowers innovators and startup ventures to address the multifaceted challenges of climate change effectively.

Programs.

Through our programs, the pipeline of early-stage ideas we identify and select receive the nurturing they need, with access to specialized expertise, tools, and guidance, ensuring these concepts evolve from ideas into practical, impactful solutions.

Ecosystem.

Our ecosystem provides innovators with a supportive network that includes government bodies, industry leaders and academic institutions. This network not only offers resources but also valuable connections and partnerships, fostering an environment where innovative solutions can thrive and gain traction.

Funding.

Funding is the lifeblood of nascent innovation. A diverse mix of financial support, encompassing non-dilutive funds, grants, debt, and equity, offered by Larta and its partners, ensures that first-of-a-kind climate change solutions have the financial backing necessary to be developed, scaled and make a tangible impact on the world.

Our Commitment

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are uniquely positioned to support and fund high-potential areas that are often overlooked by conventional investors. These strategic investments fill a critical gap, supporting innovations that promise measurable and tangible benefits in the support of a sustainable planet. Through strategic and operational support, we aid companies as they grow, ensuring their solutions are not one-off experiments but scalable enterprises designed to create lasting change.

This commitment to innovation, deeply embedded in community needs and sustainable development, underscores our role in guiding startups towards creating a more resilient and sustainable planet.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are uniquely positioned to support and fund high-potential areas that are often overlooked by conventional investors.

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We’re fostering science & technology innovation for a sustainable planet.

About Larta Institute

Each year, we select over 500 founders and ventures to join our startup accelerators. We provide innovators with access to our programs, ecosystem, and funding, which all play a vital role in supporting the development and implementation of their solutions.

Programs Overview

Community Labs

Publicly-Funded Government Programs

Funding & Investment

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