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Miso Robotics's Dave Zito (L) and Zume Pizza's Julia Collins (R). Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Julia Collins, who co-founded and co-led Zume Pizza, has a new job: entrepreneur-in-residence at Cleo Capital, an early-stage VC scout fund that relies entirely on female entrepreneurs.

Why it matters: Collins is one of the incredibly few black women to start a "unicorn" startup, but she stepped away from Zume a year ago to tackle climate change with a new company, Planet FWD (which Cleo is backing).

The intrigue: "My ambition is to help reverse climate change by making it easier to bring carbon neutral products to market," Collins tells Axios of her new company. "And as a new mom, I became obsessed with being able to tell my kid 'I did everything I could to fix this.'”

  • Planet FWD's focus is regenerative agriculture — a set of practices that offset carbon emissions — and will launch a snacks line next year to prove out consumer demand for a "healthy delicious snack that’s also good for the planet."
  • Collins says that when she began developing her snacks company she realized there is a lack of tools and resources for entrepreneurs who want to bring carbon-neutral products to market, so she decided build those, too.
  • That was a big lesson she took from her prior company: "One thing from the Zume playbook is, if you’re going to build a platform, start first with designing tools that are going to be useful to real customers" — pizza making in that case.

On her departure from Zume a year ago, (just after the company raised $375 million from Softbank), Collins says: "It was bittersweet ... But I think the fairest and most honest thing to say is that we don’t have 100 years to reverse climate change." (She declined to comment further on the company.)

On getting more women and people of color in tech: "It is too early to pat ourselves on the back for anything that any of us have done from the standpoint of equity," despite small wins in recent years.

Go deeper: Tech fund plans to invest $300 million in emission solutions

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

President Joe Biden vows to be “a president for all Americans”

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden sought to sooth a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, but warned that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

The big picture: Moments after taking the oath of office, Biden spoke on the Capitol’s West front, from the very steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier. They were attempting to overturn an election where Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by more than 7 million votes.

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.