Let’s be honest; money makes the world go round. That’s why we shouldn’t be too hard on those who put theirs to good use, like Nico Civelli. “Some people consider venture capitalists and angel investors to be vultures, but they have no understanding of the risks we undertake,” he laments. “New concepts and ideas that bring the world forward need supporters who will believe, help, and fund.”
For Civelli, the sector currently most worthy of his attention (and cash) is renewable energy. He is the director and investor of a number of companies, including Pelleton Renewables, a start-up that works with a proprietary technology to convert biomass into combustion or fertiliser pellets. “We developed the process over several years. When we finally tested it on a commercial scale and it worked, it was a very satisfying experience,” he describes.
When he isn’t getting a kick out of making high-risk decisions in the office, you’ll find Civelli taking risks at sea. “Boating and marine life are my passions,” he reveals. “I have a yacht called Moana. As an avid boater, I have been to some rather remote places with no cell coverage in Southeast Asia with very unreliable charts. I’ve had several dangerous moments, both with uncharted reefs as well as unexpected bad weather.”
It’s these trips that have reinforced his determination to put his money where it is good for the Earth. “Having been to many remote islands in the region, the amount of rubbish we have found on the beaches and in the water is devastating,” he says. “If I could, I would reduce the disposal of plastic into the environment.”