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Startups for Good - Miles Lasater EPISODE 22, 22nd March 2021
Max Nova, co-founder of SilviaTerra
00:00:00 00:37:04

Max Nova, co-founder of SilviaTerra

Max Nova is the co-founder and COO of SilviaTerra.  He has spent the last decade designing, building, and deploying precision forestry tools for some of the largest landowners in the US.  Using satellites, cloud computing, and mobile technology, SilviaTerra collaborated with Microsoft to develop the first high-resolution forest inventory of the United States.  This data is now informing markets for natural capital like carbon, wildlife habitat, and fire risk.  Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Max earned a degree in computer science from Yale University.

Max joins me today to discuss his early start to becoming a founder. He shares the core technology that is the center of the company. We talk about which came first, the mission or the technology. Max counters the criticism of some that don’t value a carbon exchange program. He also speaks to his reluctance of taking on outside investments and the benefits of not being too quick to fundraise. He shares his vision for the company in the years to come. Max shares some controversial advice in the startup community. 

“I think it's much more important to say, Well, what are the types of problems I want to be working on, and to really focus on that. And so the reason I tell people not to do startups necessarily, is because I think you gain so much by being able to specialize and having an institutional overhead in place for you” - Max Nova


Today on Startups for Good we cover:

  • How to find the right co-founder
  • The benefits of having a co-founder
  • A carbon exchange program
  • What motivates major corporations to choose a carbon exchange program
  • The use of the technology to reduce wildfire risk
  • Building the team of a mission driven company
  • The increasing workforce in mission driven companies

Connect with Max on Twitter  and his company SilviaTerra or Max’s book recommendation website,  books.max-nova.com


The books that Max recommended: The Power Broker by Robert Caro

The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy

Getting Things Done by David Allen

More From Less by Andrew McAfee


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