A 2022 Climate Recap: A year of moving the world 4WARD!

Matt Ward
4 min readDec 23, 2022

It has been a whirlwind year for me and 4WARD.VC and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of it.

As many of you know, I started 4WARD.VC out of desperation, out of frustration on years of helping countless DTC & B2B SaaS companies sell more pointless SH*T. I was burned out by conventional capitalism’s endless desire to feed the money printing machine — societal and environmental implications be damned.

Was the purpose of business REALLY just sell more pointless sh*t or was it time to reinvent the definition of success and prosperity? That’s the question I asked myself at the beginning of 2022.

What did I want to be “remembered” for? What was my “legacy?”

Was it merely a few modest ecommerce and media exits or was I capable of more?

Which is why I launched 4WARD.VC’s climate syndicate and The Startup Tank Climate Investor Pitch Show — because I wanted my work to make a difference and nothing trumped climate in my opinion. And thanks to my experience with The Syndicate podcast (plus knowledge of exponential impacts), I decided investing was how I wanted to make my mark on the world — because I’m great at strategy, growth & go-to-market and ADHD enough to not be satisfied with simply building a single startup.

Fast forward through dozens of sessions of The Startup Tank, networking, cold outreach and calls with 1300+ climate funds, incubators, accelerators & CVCs (which led to our climate investor database here) and 100s more corporates (to help our portfolio companies with warm intros), investing in incredible companies like EExion, Mycocycle and Applied Bioplastics with our climate syndicate and realizing that running a syndicate is like herding cats to cat food or donkeys to water — ie. a gargantuan, painful task even to deploy a measly $25–50k…

It wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t fair to the incredible companies we were working with. And it sure as heck wasn’t paying the bills…

Yet at the same time, our deal flow was exploding — thanks to the karma we’d built from sharing 100s of deals with other investors, the growth of The Startup Tank Climate Investor Pitch Show and our massive climate investor and climate founder slack communities.

Which isn’t only INCREDIBLY frustrating (ie. not having reliable capital to invest in said companies), it also showed me a MAJOR flaw in the climate tech & venture ecosystem — namely, that SO MANY of the companies had been through 2, 3, 4+ accelerators and incubators and were STILL struggling with fundraising.

Why? How could that be?

If these companies were going through the “upper echelon” accelerator programs, shouldn’t there be oodles of money chasing after them?

You’d think so, but one thing was MAJORLY lacking — customers, traction and pilots… It’s like said accelerators were perfecting their pitch decks and pitching abilities without actually emphasizing building the business.

But when it comes to startups (especially in terms of attracting investors), nothing’s more important than traction.

And that’s how 4WARD.VC’s “Partner in Crime” Climate Accelerator program was born — the world’s most hands-on, networked growth hacking climate accelerator focused on getting companies 2–5+ MAJOR new customers/pilots/traction etc… through a combination of strategic warm intros from our network of 100+ ultra-connected high level mentors (more details here), access to our sales & cold outreach templates and corporate databases and refined go-to-market strategies to deliver serious results in record time…

Because nothing trumps traction…

Nothing beats warm intros…

And we have built the network, systems and databases to unlock both for any CRAZY ASS climate companies looking for a real Partner in Crime.

Because being “founder friendly” and “helpful” are just meaningless catch phrases.

If you’re looking for an accelerator that truly CRUSHES IT for its founders and out hustles EVERYONE else, consider checking out 4WARD.VC’s “Partner in Crime” Climate Accelerator — but only if you’re up to the challenge and willing to give as much as we are, because a) we’re ALL running out of time and b) we REALLY like winning :)

And if you’re interested in more information about 4WARD.VC, why we believe evergreen is the future of tech investing and why our model will ultimately outperform all of venture, please send me an email and we can chat.

And if not, have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year :)

Cheers and happy holidays!


PS. Subscribe to our Substack newsletter to get our growth, fundraising and climate VC guides, our 850+ Climate VC database and much more :)



Matt Ward

Climate Syndicate Lead @ 4WARD.VC | Startup Strategy & Growth Advisor @ mattward.io | Serial Founder: 3 Exits | Looking to join top Climate/Impact VC Fund