Founder in Residence, Copper (Mining & Mineral Processing)
Founder in Residence, Copper (Mining & Mineral Processing)

Founder in Residence, Copper (Mining & Mineral Processing)

About Marble

Marble is a climate tech venture studio. Our north star is to erase billions of tons from annual greenhouse gas emissions and create a thriving future.

We partner with scientists, engineers and operators to create new deep tech companies that solve hard climate problems — slash emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and cool the planet — while reshaping multi-billion $ industries.

We're proud to be backed by leading climate investors across Europe and the US.

Closing the Copper Supply Gap

Achieving net zero requires a deployment of clean energy technologies at a speed and scale which has no historical precedent. In the transition from fossil fuels to a highly electrified system based on durable metals, the supply of critical minerals is an acute bottleneck.

The supply gap is most acute for copper, the backbone of clean electricity across power grids, solar, wind, electric vehicles, and more. These will double copper demand within two decades, reaching 40 million tons /year by 2030 and 57 million tons /year by 2050.

Bridging that gap will be notoriously hard. Ore grades now typically contain 10 times less copper today than before 2000. Mining and refining activities are geographically concentrated. Lead times for new mines can reach 20 years. Local environmental impacts should be minimised, especially across waste, pollution and water stress.

We are exploring novel approaches to close the copper supply gap with maximum speed, sustainability, and geographical diversification.

The Opportunity

We are interested in a broad range of opportunities along the copper value chain, with a primary focus on improving recovery from low grade ores and developing better methods to valorise secondary supply (e.g. recycling and mining waste).

Examples of opportunities we are considering:

  • Mining & Processing: better extraction from low-grade copper ores and mining waste. Examples: acids, solvents, surfactants, bio-leaching, electrochemistry, novel approaches for particle size reduction, flotation, in-situ recovery, etc.
  • Refining: better mineral separation which work at lower concentrations and/or which could unlock local refining capacity and resilient supply chains.
  • Recycling: methods to increase copper recovery from legacy assets, including overlooked resources (within and outside of the energy system).
  • Substitution: alternative materials to reduce copper demand, e.g. no-mineral substitutions that increase conductivity in copper wiring, aluminum wiring etc.
  • Hybrid Approaches: synergies across multiple critical minerals, environmental remediation, carbon removal and other natural resources (geothermal, hydrogen, etc)

We are looking for a Founder in Residence to join our next cohort to explore these approaches further and create the most scaleable company to bridge the copper supply gap.

Skills & Profile

We are looking for entrepreneurial scientists with deep technical expertise (e.g. PhD level or equivalent industry experience) in critical minerals, to further explore several opportunities listed above and create a high-impact climate company with Marble.

Examples of relevant backgrounds:

  • Mining engineering / metallurgy / chemistry / environmental engineering with applied industry experience in mineral processing (e.g. hydro / pyro / solvo-metallurgy)
  • OR Microbiology / enzyme engineering / biotechnology with experience working with extremophiles (thermo-acidophilic organisms) for leaching and recovery, bioengineering, and/or exposure to the mining industry and mineral processing
  • OR Any other relevant experience in the critical minerals value chain across mining, refining, recycling and the application side (e.g. power sector)

We encourage you to apply even if you don’t feel you meet all requirements. Above all, we value intelligence, creativity and Founder Potential.

Especially if you recognise yourself below:

  • You can’t wait to start your own company (or your next one)
  • You are a pragmatic optimist on a mission to tackle climate change
  • You are outcome focused and action oriented - you make things happen
  • You are a great communicator - you can convince others to follow you
  • You love to break down ambitious goals into actionable milestones
  • You understand that innovation starts with people - not ideas

What We Offer

As a Founder-in-Residence, you will join stellar individuals who also believe in the need for deeptech solutions to solve hard climate problems.

Together, we would be scoping high potential approaches before converging on the most promising one and finding your future co-founders

We offer (among other things)

  • A €2,500 to €3,000 monthly allowance during the programme
  • A €250,000 pre-seed investment on startup creation if you’re successful. You and your team will own 80% of the company at pre-seed.
  • Full-stack support in our venture creation programme
    • Mentorship and guidance at every step of the way
    • Hands on support across technology and market research, landing interviews with experts and customers, techno economics, roadmap and scale up strategy, IP strategy, team building, advisor sourcing, and more
    • Access to an unparalleled network across science, industry, talent, investors, mentors, climate tech founders, curated vendors and suppliers
    • Access to our research insights, knowledge base and resources
    • Weekly check-ins, work sessions in our Paris HQ (or remote) and continuous peer learning with other programme participants
  • Seed Fundraising support after the programme. Introductions to the best seed investors from our network and help with term sheet negotiation.
  • Founder Visa sponsorship if you wish to relocate to France. Remote participation is possible, preferably from Europe and with regular in-person meetings.

How To Apply

We are currently taking applications for the March 2024 cohort:

We believe that a diverse group of minds is key to solving the climate crisis. We strongly encourage women and people of colour to apply.

Studies have shown that under-represented candidates are less likely to apply for a role unless they feel they meet every single qualification.

We are committed to building a diverse, inclusive and mission-driven cohort. If you’re excited about the programme but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with what you read on our website, we encourage you to apply anyways!


For a full list of FAQs, please visit our website.