TechCrunch Live recap: Building founder/investor relationships and using grants to fund startups


Listen to the podcast right here!

Did you miss this week's TechCrunch Live event? That's okay. You can watch the event here. The show is on break next week due to TechCrunch's climate event in Berkeley, but we'll return on June 22 with Mike Ghaffary of Canvas Ventures and Walker Drewett of NuBrakes.

Libby Wayman, partner at Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Bill Gate's climate investment firm) and Gia Schneider co-founder and CEO of Natel Energy join me on this episode of TechCrunch Live.

Gia Schneider brought along a pitch deck that won over investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures. As she explains during the episode, the company was far from an overnight success. The project started in 2005 and the company was founded in 2009. Natel Energy looked to government grants in the early days as a way to fund the development without diluting the company's cap table.

Libby Wayman explained in detail how startups can apply for and use grants. This is a process she recommends for companies like Natel Energy.

Eventually, as Natel Energy developed its technology and business, the company sought venture capital and won over Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Hear how Natel Energy fits within Breakthrough's investment thesis and what the firm looks for when investing in companies.

TechCrunch Live records weekly on Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. PDT.