Phil Blythe – Climate Tech Assembly

In your own words, can you introduce your company and yourself?
Hey there, my name is Phil Blythe, I’ve spent 25 years building tech startups here and overseas. I’m a northsider these days, just recently sold my last company, had a bit of forced downtime through the pandemic, and now getting ready to do it all over again.

What problem are you solving?
My last company was about getting our grids to 100% renewable energy. At a high level, the mission hasn’t changed; but now my new company (Climate Tech Assembly) is going broader to tackle the electrification of homes, business and transport over the next 20 years.

Any thoughts on the Digital / Tech ecosystem and community in Melbourne?
Seems to be booming these days, great to get back out after the pandemic to start to see everyone face 2 face. We are really trying to connect with the Climate Tech community, to work with other founders / doers who are passionate about tech that can have impact. There’s a few events happening about town, but we might run a few of our own events later in the year to try to get more people involved in the sector.

What’s the biggest challenge for Australian startups in your opinion?
Well, having just exited one company and starting the next, I’m sure my problem set has changed. Building teams in Oz has its new challenges, remote working is great; it makes us more global, but also a bit more distant. Getting the buzz and energy of people in a room is a really important ingredient for early stage companies, I hope we don’t lose that in the post-pandemic world.

What technology are you most looking forward to becoming mainstream in the next few years?
I’m making some big punts on AI and specifically natural language technologies. It’s the way that people communicate everyday, it’s extremely versatile, and the fastest way to understand the goals and preferences of your customers. Within five years, it will infiltrate everything.

Any tips on building successful / cohesive teams?
Be passionate, and be honest about what’s working and what isn’t. Everyone has got to really believe in the business for it to be successful, so don’t gloss over doubts from your team. Address them head on, and you will make a better product, and have a better team for it.

What’s on your record table / Spotify at the moment?
There’s some Stevie Wonder remixes, soul gospel grooves and even some Shirley Bassey for the middle of the day, but more partial to the Wu Tang Clan or Tribe Called Quest for early evening.

Favourite cocktail / drink?
A well made negroni is always a good way to kick off

What are the three most valuable/most used apps on your phone?
QR code reader (joke), Zoom (no joke) and podcast app for some sanity.