Flywheel @ Center for Design Innovation - 450 Design Avenue Winston-Salem, 27101 Winston-Salem
Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 5:30 PM (EST)

About this event

Shawn is the founder and CEO of Urban Offsets in Greensboro, NC, which creates local carbon markets to build sustainable and resilient communities. Urban Offsets is one of the most successful early-stage startups to emerge in the Triad region in the last two years. Come listen to how Shawn is solving one of the biggest issues of the 21st century by linking corporate and university sustainability programs with a greenhouse gas reduction method executed through municipalities. 

“Our goal is to help companies and higher ed invest the offsets they already buy in the places and relationships that matter to them. Through a series of pilots and patent filings, we’ve been able to transform a simple carbon offset into an investable asset.”

“I immigrated to Greensboro in 2010 and went through a series of regional accelerator programs including Durham’s Groundwork Labs and Greensboro’s Launch program at the Collab. I am secure in the fact that Urban Offsets can stay in the Triad while we continue to expand nationally and internationally.”

Earning a Master’s degree in environmental science, with a focus on climate science, Shawn is in tune with today’s climate issues. As a scientist and an entrepreneur, Shawn believes that we can improve the environment by creating a market that reduces greenhouse gases by investing in trees in neighborhoods of US cities.

“Ultimately we want to bring city trees and neighborhood green spaces into the economy and help cities understand the value of investing in them.”

Urban Offsets invented a process that essentially transforms the carbon market into a financial one. This includes understanding and grading the risk inherent in every offset, bundling different climate products together into so-called Sustainability Portfolios, and of course, funding neighborhood climate resiliency programs with every sale. One of the big advantages, Shawn says, with this new program is that it allows Urban Offsets to also track how much carbon dioxide (CO2) these new city trees remove from the air as they grow. Urban Offsets manages the carbon credits created by those trees every year and plans to provide them to colleges and universities that are looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the future.

“The challenge for us has been turning trees into assets for cities. By doing what we do best, we’re meeting the needs of three different groups all seeking sustainability strategies that support their unique missions: corporations, municipalities, and higher ed.”

Urban offsets is a graduate of NC Idea Groundworks Lab, Idea Lab, and received a $50K NC Idea Grant. The company raised a $400K seed round in 2016 and is currently in a $2,000,000 Series A.

“Urban Offsets was the only green company in the competition. This helped emphasize to me the economic value of improving the climate resliency of our cities.”



Tuesday, Jan 23
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)


Flywheel @ Center for Design Innovation
450 Design Avenue Winston-Salem27101

Brought to you by

  • Peter Marsh

    Peter Marsh

    Flywheel New Ventures

    Winston-Salem Director

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