Catalyst pitch guidelines

Catalyst is a show about climate tech. Each week, venture capitalist Shayle Kann talks with the wonks, investors, and executives doing the difficult, messy work of decarbonizing everything. What are the technologies, business models, and investments that will avoid and remove gigatons of CO2?

Shayle is a partner at Energy Impact Partners. He leads the firm’s Frontier Fund, which invests in revolutionary climate technologies. 

Our audience is made up of a wide variety of practitioners: clean energy executives, technologists, engineers, analysts, developers, and financiers. Accordingly, our coverage is more technical than many climate sites geared toward a more general audience. It is rigorous, practical, and provocative.

We’re always looking for good pitches. The best pitches explain how they hit these three guidelines:

  1. The pitch focuses on feasible, large-scale reductions in carbon emissions. 
    • There are a lot of ideas about how to avoid or remove emissions (or reduce radiative forcing). But we cover ideas that (1) have data to suggest they can (2) durably cut emissions by megatons or gigatons.
    • Climate adaptation and resilience are both important topics but not the focus of our show. We focus on mitigation.
  2. It examines technology, markets, business models, or investments.
    • Policy and politics are both important topics, but we’re interested in them only insofar as they help us understand markets, investments, and technology. 
    • We speak to a business audience, so we talk in business terms, like adoption rates, unit economics, market trends, and learning curves.
  3. It connects to a topic that is broader than a single company.
    • We would rather talk about the range of technological solutions to a problem than a single company’s solution. 
    • We’re open to talking about a single industry but especially excited about trends happening across sectors.
    • Great guests are third-party experts like academics, analysts, and investors who are deep in the data.
    • When you hear the employee of a company on the show, it’s because they can speak to a topic that is broader than their company.

Our episodes generally fall into one of several categories:

Explaining hype. This thing is getting talked about a lot in climate tech. How big of a deal is this topic, really? What’s going on here? What’s the confusion in this space and how can we make sense of it? For an episode about a single industry, this looks like:

For an episode about a solution that’s getting a lot of attention, we want to know: How does it work? Will it actually deliver on its promises? Episodes that fit the bill are:

Fixing problems. This one thing is causing a lot of problems for climate tech. What exactly is the problem? What are the range of solutions? The best pitches in this bucket cut across industries, like:

Scaling solutions. Here’s this specific solution that seems obvious, but we’re not actually doing it. Or we’re not doing it at the scale people expect. Why? And what would it take to scale it up?

Roundups. The best guests for these roundups come armed with data and talk fluently about a broad range of topics.

Send your pitches to with “PITCH” included in the subject line. 

Before you pitch, please make sure you are well-acquainted with our coverage of the topic on Catalyst.

In your pitch, please include:

  • What the topic is
  • What’s new about it
  • How it checks off all three guidelines above
  • Which bucket it fits into

Preferably with:

  • A recent event, report, article, or other news hook that a guest can help us understand 
  • Links to recordings of the guest having a conversation with others

Thank you!