What are the challenges faced when financing sustainable infrastructure projects? The scale and urgency of the transformation required to fight to fight climate change has never been more clear. In this episode hosted by Silicon Valley Bank (a Division of First Citizens Bank) Climate Tech & Sustainability SVP Maggie Wong, Banyan Infrastructure Head of Product Katie Gardner speaks on her unique background in mining engineering and how it informed her approach to problem-solving as a product manager. She describes Banyan’s mission to solve challenges around financing sustainable infrastructure projects through streamlining complex processes. The conversation explores opportunities and challenges in tackling climate change through technology and mobilizing capital for climate solutions.

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Show Notes

  1. Garner’s background in mining engineering and operations informed her collaborative approach to problem-solving as a PM.
  2. Banyan aims to simplify and accelerate the project financing process for sustainable infrastructure through purpose-built software.
  3. Translating complex finance processes into intuitive software presented challenges for a mission-driven startup.
  4. Refining customer profiles and adapting to changing needs was an ongoing learning process.
  5. Diversity and inclusion were core priorities in Banyan’s hiring and decision-making from the start.
  6. Tracking both environmental and social impact metrics is important for climate solutions.
  7. Recent US legislation provides billions for climate projects but managing funds responsibly requires support.
  8. Software can help non-profits effectively deploy new climate funding at scale.
  9. Climate change requires urgent action but also passion and team growth.
  10. Anyone can contribute to climate solutions by applying interests with a climate lens.
  11. Excellent communication skills are key for translating technical topics.
  12. Curiosity and passion for learning help ask questions that find connections.
  13. Focusing on customer workflows beyond headlines improves small impacts.
  14. Infrastructure challenges need diverse perspectives for equitable solutions.
  15. Early challenges included adapting processes without losing efficiencies.
  16. Hiring quickly grew the team but also required balancing work and training.
  17. Purpose-built software addresses niche finance industry needs and regulations.
  18. Recent climate funding creates both opportunities and responsibilities to deploy responsibly.
  19. Building flexibility while simplifying complexity in product design is an ongoing balance.
  20. Diverse teams perpetuate diverse, inclusive cultures and decision-making.

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