Sandeep Nijhawan brought four business ideas, each addressing rising global temperatures, to his March 2020 meeting with an investor at Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Freshly departed from founding two startups — one on hydrogen, another on batteries — Nijhawan had just seven slides to show. The first pitch in his deck was to make iron without coal, intense heat or emissions, powered by only renewable electricity.
“Let me stop you right there,” BEV investor Dave Danielson told him. “If you could do this thing, then that’s what I would do. I don’t want to hear the next three ideas.”