Make Sunsets Monthly: Starting Up

Make Sunsets Monthly: Starting Up

[We originally sent the following to our mailing list subscribers 10/31/22. Added to website 3/22/23.]

Welcome to your monthly update on Make Sunsets. I'll be sending these at the end of every month. If I don't, I owe you a balloon launch;)

Cash In Bank: $699,001

Burn: $21,079

Runway: 33 months

This month, we got started. Literally: we incorporated 10/1. Also: 

  • Raised Capital: 500k from Boost at 5M, 200k from Pioneer Fund at 8M, and 20k from an angel at 10M. All on standard SAFEs. Thank you: it means a lot to me. This will definitely not be boring!

  • Found Cofounder: I've known Andrew Song since 2015, when he worked at Indiegogo and helped several Y Combinator hardware startups get *a lot* of preorders. He then went through YC with his own hardware company before becoming first sales hire at several other YC companies. The climate is lucky to have Andrew working on its behalf, and so am I. 

From left to right, Luke Iseman, Susan Hobbs, Andrew Song, and Brandon Moak

YC W16 Post Demo Day Celebration: From left to right, Luke Iseman, Susan Hobbs, Andrew Song, and Brandon Moak

  • Decided to focus on sales: there are so many fascinating questions about the exact efficacy of modifying the stratosphere. While tempting to dive into, we're going to ignore most of them and focus on making something people want. This means selling before refining technology, just like the best founders I've met. Technology development not driven by customers produces expensive corpses.

  • Started selling: A friend is customer #1, Boost is customer #2, and Pioneer Fund #3. We'll be offsetting the warming from 20 tons of their emissions every month. Many more to come.

    • Meetings with sustainability leaders at McDonalds, Shopify, InBev, Micron, Niagara Bottling LLC, NRG,, Eli Lilly, Rivian, and Meta


In November:

  • Website live

  • Outreach to 250+ target customers

  • Meetings with 25+ prospects

  • Finalize sensing and balloon architecture for next 50kg of launches. This will offset the yearly warming from 50,000 tons of co2, equivalent to yearly co2 offsets from ~2500 acres of forests consisting of 312,000 trees. These are not typos.

How you can help:

  • Introduce us to potential customers. If a company is buying carbon credits and/or has set a net zero goal, they could use our help. Job title will be C-level in sustainability if a larger company or CEO if <100 employees. Below is an email you can send them.

  • Read our FAQ and add questions you want answered (it's editable).

  • Stretch goal: do you know a high-level government official in a country threatened by climate change? I want to pay them to launch balloons with me. Please introduce them to me; we're gonna become real good friends:)

Get ready for a very exciting journey. We're going to Cool Earth.

-Luke and Andrew

Email you can forward:

My friends Luke and Andrew have started a company to cool the world. Sounds crazy, but they're legit and the science is real.

They're placing reflective clouds in the stratosphere and selling companies Cooling Credits. These credits could be a really valuable way for you to reach any net zero goals; they think these credits as a way to give your company more time to scale up other sustainability projects. 

Would you talk to them for half an hour? If nothing else, it'll be the most ambitious pitch you hear this week:) 

They're here, or you can grab time directly.
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