Southern Company to co-chair diversity-focused clean tech energy innovation fund

ATLANTA, May 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy Impact Partners ("EIP") has announced the completion of fundraising for its inaugural Elevate Future Fund I LP ("Elevate"), one of the largest funds of its kind, with $111.9 million of limited partner commitments.

Southern Company was a founding investor in EIP and Chris Womack, current president and CEO-elect of Southern Company, will co-chair Elevate's advisory board.

Elevate is focused on driving diversity in the energy ecosystem by providing capital to underrepresented founders of clean technology companies and supporting diversity and minority-owned businesses in the associated supply chain. The fund also invests in other parties in the larger energy ecosystem in order to achieve the mutual goal of accelerating a clean energy transition while increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the broader venture capital network.

"Together with EIP, we celebrate the completion of fundraising for the Elevate Future Fund," said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president and chief commercial solutions officer for Southern Company. "Today, less than 3% of venture funding goes to minority entrepreneurs. That must change. We remain exceedingly enthusiastic about the important work of this fund to support diverse entrepreneurs who are creating critical energy solutions for a more sustainable energy future."

Added Cummiskey, "We are steadfast in our commitment to the ongoing success of Elevate, and we are pleased to serve in an advisory capacity."

Underscoring its commitment to advancing clean energy solutions and workplace diversity, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are actively engaged in collaborations with various companies funded by Elevate, including ChargerHelp! and Rheaply.

ChargerHelp! is an electric vehicle charging station and maintenance company. Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power is currently collaborating with ChargerHelp! on a series of local employee trainings and an 18-month pilot focused on electric vehicle infrastructure and renewable technologies.

Rheaply is a cloud-based resource exchange platform that enables organizations to trade materials and resources more efficiently, avoid carbon emissions and reduce spending. Southern Company subsidiaries are collaborating with Rheaply to leverage this resource management solution. Nicor Gas has piloted Rheaply software, and Georgia Power, Southern Company Gas and Southern Company Services are currently working with Rheaply to implement a similar pilot program in Georgia. Additionally, Southern Company is exploring the potential for additional deployments of Rheaply's solution more broadly.

"Having Southern Company's support at the helm of what we're building at Elevate is invaluable," explains Anthony Oni, managing partner at EIP. "Their commitment to helping our companies test, learn and scale provides us with important data, insights and partnerships to better support underrepresented founders. They exemplify the EIP model of collaboration, and we look forward to many more partnerships that support diversity, equity and inclusion within the energy ecosystem."

About Southern Company

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy provider serving 9 million customers across the Southeast and beyond through its family of companies. Providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy with excellent service is our mission. The company has electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company, a leading distributed energy distribution company with national capabilities, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, resilience and sustainability, we are taking action to meet customers' and communities' needs while advancing our goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and are the key to our sustained success. We are transforming energy into economic, environmental and social progress for tomorrow. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have earned the company national awards and recognition from numerous organizations, including Forbes, The Military Times, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, J.D. Power, Fortune, Human Rights Campaign and more. To learn more, visit

About Energy Impact Partners

Energy Impact Partners LP (EIP) is a global investment firm leading the transition to a sustainable future. EIP brings together entrepreneurs and the world's most forward-looking energy and industrial companies to advance innovation. With over $3 billion in assets under management, EIP invests globally across venture, growth, credit and infrastructure – and has a team of over 80 professionals based in its offices in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Palm Beach, London, Cologne and Oslo. For more information on EIP, please visit

SOURCE Southern Company

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