Neha Shivaji Naikwade

Towards climate action with a little help from data

Neha’s path started with a job at a multinational firm where she learnt how to use data and technologies to drive decisions. In her spare time though, this Forest Range Officer’s daughter who had always lived a life close to nature, was busy with tree plantation, cleanliness or awareness drives. In 2019, the Amazon forest fires instigated a strong desire for action that led to her current role with the Climate Collective Foundation. Here she leads programmes for early-stage climate-tech entrepreneurs. While she did leave a high-paying job with a multinational firm, she still uses the skills acquired there. For instance, she built the Climate Data Program which aims to support startups tackling climate change with data technologies such as AI-ML, Big Data and Advanced Climate Modeling.

She works closely with Enterprise Support Organisations, Foundations and Government agencies to run programmes that support early-stage climate-tech startups with training and mentorship on business literacy, impact assessment, financial analysis, and product validation. By combining her love for data technologies and climate entrepreneurship, she has helped more than 100 climate-tech startups working across different domains. Her work supports the growing culture of green startups in India and the SDG Goal 9 by fostering innovative solutions to combat the climate crisis. With global initiatives like COP26, she hopes that more capital will be mobilised towards climate innovation. It is her belief that technology is our most reliable wildcard in effective climate action, and we must use it.