In April 2020, Cervest was selected from 1,200 applicants to be just one of two UK companies joining Google’s inaugural Startup Accelerator on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

As the wider world turned its attention to the ongoing battle against the climate crisis for Climate Week, Cervest graduated as the five month programme came to a close in September. 

We’re incredibly grateful to Google for the support and wanted to take a quick look at just how transformative these past few months have been. 

Google’s programme selected 11 startups on the basis of their innovative work towards tackling at least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the U.N

Over the past few months, engineers from over 20 Google teams and other experts have helped us with everything from technical support counsel, climate modelling, data visualisation to individual mentoring. We have been introduced to notable government agencies, NGOs and impact investors, as well as receiving training on pitching, achieving goals, hiring successfully and much more. 

At its heart, the programme is closely aligned with Cervest’s own ethos—that technology, combined with collaboration between businesses, investors, governments, nonprofits and more, has the power to create powerful social change. 

This has only become even clearer in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for global cooperation on emergency issues, while the climate crisis deepens in one of the hottest years on record, dramatically underscored by the recent wildfires spreading across the West Coast of the United States. 

 

Protecting and preserving assets worldwide

Therefore, it’s more important than ever that we build planetary resilience against climate risks, by enabling everyone to make climate-informed decisions. Our work with Google has supported the development of our pioneering Earth Science AI, which answers the need for climate-informed decisions by providing insights on every physical asset we rely on. That means insights on everything from rail networks, buildings, pipelines to forests, croplands and more—anywhere on the planet. 

Such insights are essential because to date, enterprises have faced several challenges to bringing climate-based risk into their decision making. Firstly, the climate is scientifically complex and modelling it completely has been challenging. Secondly, climate risk analysis lacks standardisation, making it hard to map within broader company planning and financial frameworks. Finally, current data gathered on Environmental Sustainable Corporate Governance (ESG) matters is often incomplete or lacks the complexity to paint a valuable picture at the asset-level. 

Using our Earth Science AI—combining Machine Learning and AI, physical science insights and world-class data science we are building standardised, real-time insights on historic, forecasted and simulated risks to any asset on the planet. 

By 2021, we will have mapped 1bn assets on our platform, against events such as sea-level rises or wildfires, enabling businesses to augment decision making on climate risk, for example with regards to their supply chain’s resilience.

 

Where we go from here 

Over the past five months, Google has provided us with invaluable support across technical, product and commercial areas, helping us progress our work to provide more organisations and individuals with the climate security they need, globally. 

Joining the accelerator came at a pivotal time for us. This year we’ve also begun work with our first global enterprise customer ($10bn market cap) and strengthened our team of leading climate experts globally, all while shifting to remote-first working during the pandemic. 

As this chapter of our journey as part of the accelerator comes to a close, and we gear up toward kicking off our Series A funding, we’re incredibly excited about the future and our part in helping to build a more resilient planet for all. 

 

If you think we can help you get a better idea of where your climate risks are, or would like some independent consultation on strategies to increase your climate accountability, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Ernesta Baniulyte

Ernesta Baniulyte 
Product Designer

Ernesta has been a full-stack product designer for more than five years. She has valuable experience in the B2B, B2C and B2B2C worlds, and while working at both agencies and product/service companies, she has learned to develop UX research infrastructures to support strategy.

At Cervest, Ernesta contributes to all stages of the product development process – from initial ideation to the exacting detail of UI design – finding new ways to visualise data, and ensure our product is intuitive and user friendly.

Ernesta’s decision to join Cervest was inspired by her desire to make the world a safer, better and more aware place.

Ramani Lachyan 
Junior Research Scientist

Ramani joined Cervest after obtaining her Master’s in Physics from ETH, Zurich. She brings with her valuable experience gained through working on model building and data simulation pertaining to neutrino physics.

Ramani has joined Cervest as a Junior Research Scientist and will be working on creating algorithms that allow for the extraction of physical observables from data from a range of sources.

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Lukas Scholtes 
Statistical Scientist

Lukas completed his maths BSc at ETH Zurich, followed by an MSc in statistics at Imperial College. He wrote his MSc thesis in collaboration with Cervest, on the modelling of North American wheat yields via Bayesian parametric and non-parametric methods.

Following an internship in the NGO sector in Bangladesh and a stint in the world of fintech, Lukas comes to Cervest, excited to apply himself to the challenges that are arising as a consequence of unsustainable land-use policies and climate change.

Aidan Coyne
Junior Researcher

Aidan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Science and Engineering at University College London with a focus on computer science and data informatics.

At Cervest, Aidan is working on researching and assimilating a database of articles categorising the reasons for extreme decreases in crop yields across Europe. The information will be used to help predict the impact of weather events on crop yield and contribute to  Cervest’s ability to bring clarity to decision making around climatic and extreme events.

While studying, she also volunteers with environmental conservation groups and youth engagement programmes.

Alex Rahin
Chief Product and Technology Officer

Alex is an entrepreneurial technology leader with over 25 years of hands-on experience in developing and executing innovative product and technology strategies.

Prior to Cervest, Alex served as Chief Product & Technology Officer at Beamly, a technology and data company delivering data platforms & infrastructure, data & content management solutions, and AI-powered eCommerce analytics, leading Beamly to a successful exit in 2020.

Before working at Beamly, Alex served as Chief Data Officer at Just Eat, where he built an end-to-end data organization, leading the company’s data-driven transformation with the launch of a unified customer data platform and scalable machine learning products

Earlier in his career, Alex held prominent roles at Zalando, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard, and three technology startups achieving successful exits in all three.

Alex holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from UC Berkeley.