Surf Club is investing in the Solar Punk future we want to live in.
Making the world better with computers that work with nature and communities.
We started Surf Club to address the issues of climate change directly, by investing in deep tech companies that are changing this extra bad outcome and fostering connections around surfing to keep us close to nature and local communities.
Reversing course on inhabitability requires us to replace every industrial system with an alluvial system; processes that work with natural systems and communities, something made possible with the maturation of machine learning and perception. The mechanical endeavor to remove carbon is not enough, we need to re-work the products and systems that run our daily lives, which is something much more of us can be a part of.
Solar Punk Future; this guy is actually just mowing the lawn for fun, he doesn’t have too.
Vision for Vision
Most technology in the world is blind, it is unable to understand the context in which it operates. Something even as simple as an air conditioner, could be a lot more efficient if it knew where you or it was in a any given space, however today machines like this operate indiscriminately and end up contributing to a third of global emissions.
Computers can now see, act and learn in physical space and are maturing much quicker than we originally thought. Machine Perception and learning for the first time gives us tools that can adapt to the incredible complexity of evolving natural systems and communities.
Bumblebee Spaces is using this revolution in machine perception to change our relationship with the built environment (40% to global emissions). Computational Architecture where “programs” can be physically “executed” changes thousands of years of assumptions of what a building can do. We also immediately need more home offices.
The Mississippi river used to not be a river at all, it was actually classified as an alluvial plain, a flow of water that would alter itself over an incredibly large expanse, depositing necessary nutrients so that the natural environment could flourish. It is through decades of civil engineering that we have made the Mississippi river something that is possessively predictable.
This consequences have struck back hard at us in the destitution of the soil that we originally arrived there for, resulting in tragic depletion of nutrition (It took less than a century for us to deplete wheat to 50% of it’s original protein content).
Kunlun to Atlun Alluvial Plain
Our inheritance is the generational debt of industrial systems that created plenty at the time but were inconsiderate of the consequences. Machines that can learn imbued into physical space and biological processes have the opportunity to reflect the resiliency and flexibility of natural systems. They not only allow us to meet the magnitude of the problem today but in a manner that creates compounding positive network effects for us all.
Spira is genetically engineering Algae to produce industrial product traditionally made with petro-chemical process, also sequesters carbon in the algae production. Petroleum is actually just earth fermented algae with a little dinosaur mixed in, you don’t need the dinosaur or to dig for many of the products that we could make via engineering algae to produce dyes, plastics and ceramics, and much more!
Our cities need to change, they support us by extracting ravenously from natural systems, while we need immediate action on carbon emissions at an industrial level, we also need to make investments from farm to factory to city to invest in an alluvial relationship with natural systems in order to not only not repeat this mistake, but to leverage the power of natural systems in order to meet the grand scale of the problem.
Farmy is building net-zero communities that integrate agriculture and water re-capture systems.
A little bit on who we are and how we invest
We invest in early stage companies we can be helpful in especially in technical and product design areas. After being involved early as personal investors in several successful 1B+ companies (Airtable, Boom, Robinhood) the core of Surf Club Ventures was formed around a technical partnership of former founders.
Vu Tran - Snap, YCS12 | specializes in Drones, Aerospace, Vision systems, Web3.
Josh Leong - Google, Airbnb, YCS12, Microsoft Excel | Machine perception, computational architecture and biology.
Zack Kim - Zaarly CTO, YCS21 | Neuroscience Engineering, Equitable Finance.
We build conviction around technical feasibility and vision quickly, and those we do vet, we use our technical experience to set them up for escape velocity. Any massive technological wave is tricky to catch, but you won’t catch a wave without going out everyday and practicing.
Craft Aerospace has been creating mass array of electric propellor powered flight (impossible without computational power). We believe they have a real opportunity above pure electric flight to address the carbon usage of mid-range flight as soon as possible.
Surf Club Community
The sport, art and practice of surfing connects us with nature and our local communities, it is a powerful regular exercise in what we want to preserve, the tangible consequences of our actions and the beauty of being close with nature. There is no conscious surfer that has also not internalized a respect & hope for the preservation of natural environments.
Essentially no venture fund provides a better application of social time; a little exercise, some socialization, better than a shower thinking space-time, and catching a wave is a completely plausibly deniable way to exit a conversation.
Our “board meetings” have helped us build a community with many different entrepreneurs, limited partners and other venture firms collaborating on big problems and building the solar punk future.
Surf Club Summary
Surf Club is built on three things; deep tech, community and a positive vision of the future. If you have any thoughts on how we could better address our mission we would love to chat with you. Thanks for your time and please join us for a board meeting sometime🏄.
Thank you Josh Elman, Andrew Parker, Alex Schleifer, Georg Petschnigg, Susan Su, Hector Ouilhet and many more for your thoughts on this.
Converting this bus to electric with Tesla parts with the help of some ex-Tesla founders. The story I enjoy the most recounting that which makes Tesla as a company possible is less thinking from first principles and more firing anyone who reasons from sunk costs.
Out here surfing real and abstract waves
Josh, Vu & Zack