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Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Omar Abou-Sayed, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Vaulted Deep, a carbon removal company that has raised $8 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Early Career at BP: Omar’s career began in 1998 at BP, where he was immediately involved in projects aiming for compliance with the Kyoto protocol, showcasing BP’s early commitment to environmental standards.
  • Diverse Experience: Before his entrepreneurial journey, Omar worked across various sectors within BP, including deepwater operations and international business development, and played a pivotal role in spinning off BP’s chemical division into a standalone company.
  • Transition to Entrepreneurship: After an MBA from Harvard Business School and a stint as an entrepreneur in residence at TPG, Omar ventured into the clean tech and energy services sectors, eventually founding Vaulted Deep based on technology developed by his father.
  • The Birth of Vaulted Deep: Vaulted Deep emerged from the realization that carbon could be effectively sequestered in organic matter using a technology initially invented for environmental remediation in the oil industry. This idea, however, had to wait for the carbon credit market to mature.
  • Market Evolution and Strategy: Omar discusses the bifurcation of the carbon market into emissions reduction and carbon removal, highlighting Vaulted Deep’s position in the latter as it aims to become the largest, high-quality carbon removal company.
  • Future Vision and Impact: Looking ahead, Omar envisions Vaulted Deep expanding significantly, driven by the urgency of climate change and the necessity for scalable, durable carbon removal solutions.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Transitioning from Traditional Industries to Cleantech:

Omar's journey from the oil and gas sector to cleantech showcases a valuable blueprint for entrepreneurs aiming to pivot their expertise from traditional industries to sustainable technologies. His transition underlines the importance of leveraging one's background to address modern challenges, emphasizing that experience in conventional fields can offer unique insights and innovations in sustainability efforts.

The Importance of Early Market Engagement for Cleantech Startups:

Omar's story highlights the critical role of engaging with policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders early in the process. For cleantech startups, early engagement is not just about gaining operational approval but also about educating and creating a supportive ecosystem that understands and champions the technology. This approach can significantly accelerate market acceptance and growth.

Building on Existing Technologies for Rapid Impact:

Vaulted Deep's use of proven technologies from the oil and gas industry for carbon removal illustrates the potential of repurposing existing solutions to address climate change swiftly. Entrepreneurs should consider how existing technologies can be adapted or enhanced to contribute to sustainability, potentially speeding up the path to market and impact.

The Significance of Science and Transparency in Marketing:

Emphasizing a science-first approach in communications can build credibility and address public and stakeholder concerns effectively, particularly in industries like cleantech where public opinion and regulatory support are crucial. Transparency about the technology, its impacts, and mitigation strategies for potential risks can foster trust and facilitate smoother operations and market entry.

Navigating the Volatility of Environmental Policy and Incentives:

Omar's experience underscores the necessity for cleantech companies to remain adaptable in the face of changing environmental policies and incentives. Companies should plan for potential policy shifts and consider diversifying their market strategies to mitigate risks associated with policy volatility. This may involve engaging with policy discussions to advocate for stable and supportive regulatory environments.

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