Foresight announces Canada’s 50 most investable cleantech companies

Nearly one-third of the companies are based in Metro Vancouver, and are building solutions to help adapt to or mitigate climate change.

Last night, a packed house at the Shangri-La was host to Canada’s future cleantech leaders and investors. Nearly 50 ventures from across the country were selected as the country’s most investable cleantech companies for 2022, as chosen by a judging panel of industry experts and investors curated by Foresight Canada. Across the list are a range of solutions tackling waste, energy, and carbon dioxide removal that will help the world not only reduce its carbon emissions, but also provide alternatives to current industry practices that may be harmful to our environment.

Left, the Shangri-La in Vancouver was host to cleantech founders, investors, and enthusiasts. Centre, Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada, introduces the Foresight 50, ten of whom are pictured at right.

“Foresight’s audacious goal is to see Canada become the first G7 country to reach net zero,” said Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada. “To do this, we need to aggressively commercialize and scale Canadian solutions through progressive support and access to capital. It is truly inspiring to see the innovative cleantech solutions the 2022 Foresight 50 list represents to push us towards this ambitious target.”

On the list for the second year in a row is Delta’s Hydra Energy. “We're one of the 12 companies that made it twice,” said Jessica Verhagen, CEO of Hydra. Last night, she told Vancouver Tech Journal what being listed as among Canada’s 50 most investable cleantech companies means to her venture. “First, it’s just an acknowledgement that we're on the right track for investor relations. We're hitting all the marks that Foresight considers to be investable: when you have customer traction, having a technology that has a fit with the market, and a business model that works.”

Nonetheless, the capital available for cleantech is still dwarfed by other sectors, with only five percent of national venture capital dollars going into the space. The macroeconomic environment isn’t helping, with investment into cleantech notably declining from $232 million in Q1 to only $66 million in Q3 this year, according to the Canadian Venture Capital Association. Despite the fact that our planet is on track to exceed 1.5 degrees celsius warming — with impacts most severely harming marginalized communities — for investors required to deliver short-term returns, putting money in climate solutions still seems risky.

Thankfully, Vancouver is no stranger to venture capital interested in climate tech, with firms such as Pangaea Ventures and Active Impact Investments historically playing a role as some of the first investors in the space. And the past few months alone have seen an influx of financial support for the sector: Vancouver Economic Commission’s Angels for Climate Solutions embarked on its second year of supporting pre-seed ventures, while the Business Development Bank of Canada announced its $400 million Climate Tech Fund II.

Surprisingly, there seems to be both not enough money and too much of it. Globally, Climate Tech VC estimates that there is $37 billion in dry powder, or funds that are available to invest in climate tech solutions that have not yet been deployed. So if investors want to support Canada’s entrepreneurs interested in solving climate change, perhaps they can take a look below at the list of Vancouver companies noted as Canada’s most investable cleantech ventures.

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