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Building the Future With How Women Invest

First in the series of portfolio company CEOs

Written by Virginia Irwin Klausmeier, Chief Executive Officer, Sylvatex

At Sylvatex (SVX), we are building the future of clean energy the way that we want it to be in 50 or 100 years. We want to get it right the first time, not create something that will need to be fixed later. So, when it came time to seek investment, we needed a partner who shared our vision. How Women Invest was a natural fit to invest in our latest round of financing because they believe climate-tech companies will create more value and make a bigger positive impact on our planet and our economy than any other business sector in the next 30 years.

The goal with our latest round of funding is to build a stellar team that can scale and deliver. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are at the core of how we're making decisions. We don’t see DEI as a nice-to-have, but rather as table stakes for building an organization. Having funders with the same mindset is invaluable in this process because building a diverse team takes time. Investors don’t just infuse capital into a company; they infuse ethos too. How Women Invest cares about the same things we do, and we are confident they can help us build and establish a great team to move very quickly towards commercializing our technology.

How Women Invest brings a lot of acumen in high growth investable opportunities. They also have relationships in different parts of the financial community that we haven't had as much exposure to up until now, so they’re increasing our capacity by expanding our network. Through How Women Invest, I am also connected to other CEOs in their network. I’ve learned about their investment process, their investment community, and everyone in their network challenges the status quo.

Perhaps even more importantly, the team at How Women Invest are stewards of economic wealth and that’s more important than the relationships they provide. Data shows that bringing more economic wealth into the hands of women allows for a broader community investment than the original investment. That’s a big positive. It is really valuable to have women at the table of a climate tech company who understand how we're building a version of the future and why it’s important. Take climate change for example: generally, climate change does not affect everyone the same on the planet. It most disproportionately affects socially and economically deprived individuals, and a lot of those individuals are women and children. With How Women Invest as investors, we can propel and accelerate change based on where the money is going and where wealth ends up.

Women investing in women is all upside. Women, generally speaking, have a natural tendency toward collaboration - and that's pretty powerful. It feels less about any one person and more about how we support the collective. And anytime you can get a boost of happiness, it completely changes the way you maneuver and the opportunities that can come out of that. When you're happy, you are 30 percent more effective and that further accelerates that growth.

The data shows that women are also able to produce a lot more with far less resources. That comes from a really productive thought process of, “How can I do more with less? Or, how can I get creative?” That leads to big ideas and even bigger results. It leads to community building, resource collaboration, big thinking, positive energy and positive reinforcement. The more of that we can bring into the business world, especially in areas that are going to be creating foundations for the future in significant ways, the more positive and equitable impact we can create for generations to come. To realize our planet-changing vision, we seek investors that share our values. We believe that when we have common values, like we have with How women Invest, there is natural alignment that will manifest in great positive energy for the company. Together, we are investing to positively impact people and the

planet at scale.


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