Southern Company, a leading U.S. energy company serving 9 million customers, announced today that it has made the founding investment in Elevate Future Fund (“Elevate”), a sub-fund of Energy Impact Partners (EIP), a global investment platform leading the transition to a sustainable energy future. Elevate aims to create a more diverse founder community and inclusive venture capital ecosystem within the broader energy transition.
Southern Company became the Founding Partner of EIP in 2015 and already serves as the Chair of its flagship funds. A role model among companies forging change on issues regarding racial equity and racial justice, Southern Company’s collective commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion aims to ensure all groups, and especially historically underrepresented and marginalized groups, are well represented, included and fairly treated and that everyone feels welcomed, valued and respected. Through Elevate, Southern will work to identify companies founded or run by diverse talent, that are driving innovation within EIP’s core mission of advancing the low carbon economy.
“We’re excited to apply EIP’s model and leadership in climate impact to take a more proactive role in fostering diversity in the venture and energy tech space,” said Chris Cummiskey, Chief Commercial & Customer Solutions Officer for Southern Company. “Southern Company has committed $200M through 2025 to advance racial equity and social justice in our communities. We also made the founding investment in the Propel Center, a new global innovation headquarters in Atlanta for HBCU students that will serve as a digital learning hub, and business incubator to grow Black entrepreneurship. Elevate provides another dynamic vehicle for us to proactively support the development of diverse businesses in our industry and the communities we serve.”
Elevate already has made three investments in diverse companies focused on the energy transition. This includes the Los Angeles-based company, ChargerHelp!, a Black women-owned startup that has developed a mobile application and web-based platform for rapid, on-demand repair of electric vehicle charging stations. The Elevate investment will help ChargerHelp! expand its service and improve its technology. Elevate also has invested in Project Canary, an international environmental standards company based in Denver, and HopSkipDrive, the innovative, safe, and dependable youth transportation solutions for schools, districts, government agencies and families.
“I look forward to working with Southern Company on creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive energy transition through the Elevate Future Fund,” said Anthony Oni, Managing Partner of the Elevate Future Fund at Energy Impact Partners. “With the creation of the Elevate Future Fund we are addressing the need for the venture capital community to come together to provide better opportunities for underserved communities in our industry, and Southern Company’s commitment will help us do that.”