Founder in Residence, Critical Minerals (Mining / Refining / Geology)
Founder in Residence, Critical Minerals (Mining / Refining / Geology)

Founder in Residence, Critical Minerals (Mining / Refining / Geology)

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 Critical Minerals Supply Gap

Achieving net zero by mid century will require a deployment of clean energy technologies at a speed and scale which has no historical precedent, to shift from consumable fossil fuels to a highly electrified system based on durable metals.

The supply of critical minerals is one of the most acute bottlenecks for the energy transition. Although the world holds more than enough resources, current supply pipelines cannot meet the rapidly growing demand for batteries, renewables and the power grid.

This gap is particularly acute for copper, lithium, graphite, and rare earth elements, with demand surges of 1.5-6x by 2030. Nickel and cobalt will also face tensions but evolutions in battery chemistries may help alleviate them.

Compounding these challenges are declining ore grades, long lead times for new mines (up to 20 years), and geographical concentration of mining and refining. Environmental impacts need to be minimised across energy, water, waste, pollution and CO2 emissions.

We are exploring novel approaches to close the supply gap of energy transition minerals with maximum speed, sustainability, and geographical diversification.

The Opportunity

We are interested in a broad range of opportunities along the critical minerals value chain, with an primary focus on copper and rare earth elements (Nd, Pr, Tb, Dy). However, we’re also interested in lithium, nickel, graphite and the battery supply chain.

Examples of opportunities we are considering:

  • Exploration: fast-track resource discovery and assessment via next-generation sensing, imaging, sampling and AI / computational techniques
  • Mining & Processing: efficient and sustainable mineral recovery from low-grade ores and unconventional sources (e.g. mining waste, in-situ recovery, brines, etc). Multiple possible approaches, e.g. acids, solvents, surfactants, bioleaching, electrochemistry, new ideas for particle size reduction and flotation / concentration
  • Refining: efficient and sustainable mineral separation which work at lower concentrations and/or unlock local refining capacity and resilient supply chains
  • Recycling: methods to increase secondary supply, e.g. overlooked waste copper resources, battery disassembly techniques, better recycling processes
  • Substitution: alternative materials to reduce critical mineral demand, e.g. REE-free magnets, aluminum wiring, synthetic graphite, new battery chemistries
  • Hybrid Approaches: synergies across critical minerals, environmental remediation, carbon removal and other natural resources (geothermal, hydrogen, etc)

We are looking for Founder in Residence to join our next cohort, to explore these approaches further and create the most scaleable company to bridge the supply gap in critical minerals for the energy transition.

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 Geochemistry / economic geology with applied experience in critical minerals exploration or the mining industry
  • 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. batteries, magnets, wind, power grid, etc)

Nice to have: the more industry exposure the better! Experience with techno economic modelling and life cycle analysis is also a strong plus.

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.