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New Raise Green Tech Platform Automates Process For Starting And Financing A Solar Business

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Raise Green — the impact investment marketplace for green infrastructure and clean energy projects announced the launch of its Originator Engine, a first-of-its-kind SaaS solution developed in partnership with IBM to help drive entrepreneurship and community resilience by empowering nearly anyone to start their own solar energy business. The new, easy-to-use platform automates the process of creating a solar energy project, templatizing and aggregating what would be hundreds of pages of documentation. Last month, Raise Green launched as the first crowdfunding platform for investment in clean energy projects nationwide with its first offering of 50+ projects in the pipeline. The Greentown Labs-based company is the first to offer equity crowdfunding focused on investments for climate solutions nationwide since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) finalization of equity crowdfunding regulations.

“The 20th Century was built on gas stations at every corner. The 21st Century will be built on solar arrays at every corner,” said Matthew Moroney, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Raise Green. “Raise Green is stripping away the barriers that often come with starting a business with an easy-to-use platform that automates the process of building local solar energy projects and funding them.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has left 50 million Americans unemployed and put local communities at high risk. These communities are also impacted by the effects of climate change. As part of this new service, Raise Green is also announcing a new loan program, now accepting applications, with additional financial assistance to anyone looking to start their own climate action project. It is no secret that low-income communities and communities of color bear the brunt of the ill effects of climate change, and of the economic fallout from the pandemic. Raise Green is committed to meeting this moment with an eye toward environmental justice, removing barriers to green energy for those who stand to benefit the most.

“This has been a fantastic combination of market knowledge, business understanding and technology development, leveraging the combined skills of IBM and Raise Green to rapidly make a difference in solving one of the key issues facing us in the world today,” said Keric Morris, Digital Strategy Global Energy Lead at IBM.

Raise Green's Originator Engine was born out of the complexity of a solar project with Columbus House, a non-profit providing homelessness solutions, during which they realized many of the documents being processed were similar. The Originator Engine also contributes toward the United Nations' 13th Sustainable Development Goal, among others, by strengthening adaptive capabilities against climate-related hazards, integrating climate change measures into planning, improving education on climate change mitigation, and more.

"Solutions to climate demand rapid scalability of existing technology. This can be achieved with replicable and templatized project finance using verifiable impact to empower large institutions to invest confidently in locally created projects. When dealing with a problem as daunting as climate change, we need to tap technology to give people the means to participate in the fight at the local level,” said David Thomson, Director of Integration at Verses. “Raise Green's easy-to-use SaaS Originator Engine empowers anyone to take charge of their own climate movement and innovate a sustainable infrastructure project where they have identified a need.”

While most models used to set up clean energy businesses are cumbersome and fundamentally inequitable, Raise Green's cost-effective solution fills the need for a common platform that provides innovators with real-world knowledge to develop and run their own solar business from start to finish in four phases:

  1. Create: The Originator Engine guides a project creator through complex corporate obstacles to help them turn their project idea into a real business that's ready for funding.
  2. Fund: An originator gets access to Raise Green's crowdfunding platform to finance their project, allowing anyone to invest.
  3. Build: With the funds raised, an originator continues to develop and manage the project with guidance from Raise Green. This can include construction, permitting applications, etc.
  4. Run: An originator sees the ongoing, direct impact of their project, gathering invaluable knowledge and experience along the way.

Raise Green's marketplace offers a wide variety of replicable, templatized investment opportunities for solar power, affordable housing, electric vehicle charging stations, agriculture, water projects, and microgrids. Each investment vertical is designed to have an immediate impact on the resilience of local communities with a chance to earn returns while building sustainable infrastructure. Whether investing $100 or as much as $100,000, everyone can be directly involved in owning a part of a climate action project to support sustainable infrastructure.

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