Making a Claim to Reclaim

By Richard Mineards   |   February 7, 2023
Michael Smith teams up with Leonardo DiCaprio to help the planet (photo by Priscilla)

It’s a marriage made on Earth!

Michael Smith, entrepreneurial son of Montecito philanthropist Anne Towbes, has partnered with Oscar superstar Leonardo DiCaprio in Regeneration.VC, an early-stage venture capital fund supercharging consumer-powered climate innovation driven by circular and regenerative principles, which he co-founded.

The fund’s vision, according to its literature, is “to empower all consumers in the fight to reclaim our planet.”

“I’m blessed to have Leo as an investor and strategic advisor to our fund,” says Michael, who has known the 48-year-old actor for 15 years, having met him while working as a much sought-after global DJ.

“I started investing with him into climate-related deals about five years ago and he and his team are incredible partners to us. They have followed on in several of the businesses we invested in.”

As DiCaprio states: “Our vision is to empower all consumers in the fight to reclaim our planet. 

“We need forward-thinking approaches that perform measurably better for Earth. It’s time to feel good about purchases and for businesses to meet the challenge.”

Others involved in the new fund, which launched last year with a $45 million budget and focuses on design, use, and reuse, include supermodel Petra Nemcova; Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; and Circular Economy pioneer William McDonough.

In 2019, DiCaprio, along with businesswoman and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, co-founded the Earth Alliance in response to the growing climate crisis.

“Consumer supply chains account for 45% of global emissions,” says the fledgling fund backed by the all-star roster. “At the same time climate-friendly apparel and consumer packaged goods provide a $4.5 trillion business opportunity.”

Michael, a graduate of Northwestern University and former Venture Fellow at UCSB’s Bren School, is well associated with climate issues have founded Ponvalley, an environmental initiative with philanthropic, research, and impact investing practices, in 2015.

Large figures dealing with even larger figures to help the planet…


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