Getting personal with Kareem Dabbagh

The co-founder of VoLo Earth Ventures answers 10 questions from Ryan Hibbison.

When you ask most people what’s on their bucket list, they will often reveal a light-hearted ambition, like sky diving. But what’s number 1 on Kareem Dabbagh’s bucket list is dead serious: reversing climate change.

The co-founder of VoLo Earth Ventures has been laser-focused on climate for as long as he can remember. After graduating from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with a bachelor’s in physics in 2006, he worked at Sunrun, Aurora Solar, Sulas Industries and SolarCity. He also spent time with the Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit focusing on global energy systems and their transition to a zero-carbon future. Along the way he picked up a master’s degree in renewable energy engineering from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands.

“We live in a town called Revelstoke on the eastern side of British Columbia. It’s a very outdoorsy town, so outdoor activity, the earth, it’s definitely something I’ve prioritized in my life,” he tells Venture Capital Journal while taking a break from his family vacation in Hawaii.

Dabbagh co-founded VoLo Earth in 2020 to make seed-stage impact investments in companies operating in the electricity, mobility, construction and embodied carbon industries. The firm, based in Snowmass Village, Colorado, raised an oversubscribed debut fund of $90 million last year and has already completed investments in 29 companies, including co-leading the $30 million Series A round of solid-state battery developer Ion Storage Systems, and the $4 million seed round of AI-based construction technology company AICrete.

What do you think about most every day?

People that have young kids know that life revolves around them, so it’s probably my almost-two-year-old son.

Best memory of childhood?

Spending time in the countryside of Lebanon. I was born there but moved to the states as a kid. I was 10 the first time I went back, and I have vivid memories of that trip.

Your favorite band or musical artist?

Led Zeppelin.

Last book you read and would you recommend?

Stillness is The Key by Ryan Holiday. I’d definitely recommend it.

Favorite travel destination?

It could certainly be Hawaii; there’s so much to explore here.

Dream job as a kid?

Being an astronaut. I’m a space nerd.

Favorite activity outside of work?

Either skiing, biking or sailing, but if I have to pick one it would be skiing.

Favorite food or dish?

Za’atar. I’m Lebanese, and it’s a great dip from the country I was born in.

What’s the most unusual thing in your home?

Probably a climbing wall for my kid.

Most important thing on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?

Reversing climate change.