Maria Fujihara, Sinai Technologies: Helping corporations mitigate climate change through decarbonization software, Ep 139

Maria Fujihara firmly believes in the power of the private sector to be a key piece in combating climate change. After a successful career in Brazil’s Green Building Council, Maria decided that if she was to work in that space again it would be on her own terms. 

She fulfilled that desire by founding Sinai Technologies, a decarbonization platform that helps corporations manage their carbon emissions and allocate capital for mitigation efforts. They offer a complete guide to companies on how to navigate across their carbon journey from beginning to end.

I sat down with Maria to talk about what these pathways look like for a big company and why it’s important to transition to a low carbon economy. We also discuss her experience working in the nonprofit sector before entering the entrepreneurial world and Maria offers advice to other entrepreneurs on how to deal with the ecosystem’s gatekeepers.

On attending Singularity university

When Maria was thinking about what her next step would be after working at a nonprofit, she knew she wanted to build a business but didn’t know where to start. She decided to enroll at Singularity university where she quickly learned about the iterative process involved in building a business through a four-month-long incubation program. 

Learn more about Maria’s journey in Silicon Valley and her insights on Brazil’s ecosystem in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Entrepreneurship lessons at Green Building Council Brasil

Maria explains that in Brazil nonprofit organizations have to sustain themselves financially. As a result, her job was to find revenue streams for the organization by developing products and finding sponsors. She considers that this aspect of her previous work shaped her as an entrepreneur and instilled in her certain skills and values. 

Find out why Maria was amazed by entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and how her path differs from theirs in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Transitioning to a low carbon economy

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, but also one of the most complex. Even though the problem can seem a lot bigger than the available solutions, Maria believes that creating at least one piece of the solution is key to moving the needle. That’s why she was careful in choosing the problem she wanted to tackle.

Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about Maria’s thought process in narrowing down her solution.

Maria Fujihara is bringing sustainability and accountability to corporations through her decarbonization software. Her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and working closely with governments gives her valuable insight on the pieces that need to be moved in order to effectively combat climate change. 

Outline of this episode:

  • [1:40] – About Sinai
  • [5:41] – Green Building Council in Brazil
  • [7:52] – Switching sectors
  • [10:26] – Lessons learned from the nonprofit world
  • [13:37] – On raising money with just an idea
  • [16:31] – Advice to entrepreneurs on gatekeeping
  • [18:10] – Choosing a problem you want to solve
  • [22:04] – Books, blogs, and podcast recommendations
  • [23:27] – Advice to Maria’s younger self
  • [24:08] – Next steps for Sinai

Resources & people mentioned:

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