Leo Prieto: We Found a Way To Help Tackle the Environmental Crisis

September 18, 2022

Lemu is an atlas of the biosphere. We found a way to help tackle the environmental crisis: By bringing nature, people (environmental enthusiasts and stewards), and organisations together through a global data-driven social community dedicated to the conservation of the world’s ecosystems.

Lemu is inspired by nature and driven by science, dedicated to conserving the world’s ecosystems and to fight the environmental crisis by sharing a collective intelligence database.

The Lemu team believes that impact is made through learning, connecting, and acting, and intends to show the true potential of our ecosystems.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m currently co-founder and CPO at Lemu, a platform that helps finance conservation projects with verifiable impact. Each step of my varied career has given me vital tools and methodologies to carry out my role as a product leader with a greater passion.

I am a computer engineer, with over 20 years of experience in digital transformation and product development in both corporate and startup environments. I started my career in a highly technical role, working in an R&D team that developed chips for digital audio products. It was exciting to work in the nascent consumer audio products industry, and I quickly realised that I wanted to move to a role closer to the final customer.

I moved to Spain and switched industries, and led digital transformation at an engineering firm dedicated to the construction of power plants. I grew into a leadership position as CIO. Refocusing the IT team from a tech support to being a strategic partner for the business is an achievement I am very proud of.

Wanting to continue getting closer to external customers, I decided to quit my corporate role and ventured into more entrepreneurial roles. When I moved to Chile, I set up a Tech Toys Club, an online store dedicated to the sale of STEM toys and technology workshops for children.

This brought me closer to the thriving startup ecosystem in the country, and I found my niche – developing products in an innovative and fast-moving startup culture. I started a full role in product with Odd Industries, creating Odd Vision, an AI and computer vision application for construction and mining.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Don’t rush the journey you’re on. Take every opportunity to talk to your potential users, connect with them and invest time in understanding the bigger picture associated with solving a problem for your customers. It’s also critical to develop subject matter expertise in-house, this can provide you with an opportunity to get a fresh take on the way your processes are running.

What problem does your business solve?

Lemu answers the question “What can I do for climate change?”. Lemu is a natural capital platform that has created a biosphere atlas to help our users understand the value of ecosystems across the planet. Using geospatial data obtained from satellites and ethical AI, Lemu looks at every ecosystem on our planet to measure the value they generate.

We want to help reverse the climate crisis by making the natural world accessible online and by creating a community of informed users, who can then spread the word on the value of our natural world even further. Lemu is committed to finding a holistic approach to solving the environmental crisis by finding a balance between conservation and technological investment.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

We have been working for several years on bringing the offline online and have helped some of the latest digital industries improve safety and productivity. We wanted to apply that expertise to solve the most crucial problems that humanity is facing today. We strongly believe in collective intelligence and collaboration. Everyone can do their part to help revert climate crises and we want to build the tools to facilitate that.

What is your magic sauce?

Lemu harnesses the power of technology to connect people and organisations not only to take action to protect our planet but also to understand the impact of those actions. Transparency, impact and collective intelligence is key to us.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We want to help achieve the 30 by 30 goals and help finance the protection of 1% of current protected areas.

We are taking on a really big challenge – reducing climate and biodiversity crises. But it’s important not to think of it as a problem that’s so big that one cannot make a difference. Climate and biodiversity crises cannot be solved by one individual or one company, but working in collaboration with individuals, conservation organisations, NGOs, Governments and private organisations, we can achieve these important goals. Our vision is that Lemu enables that change.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Our biggest challenge so far has been to make sure that we ourselves don’t get overwhelmed with the challenge ahead of us. There are so many problems to solve – improve awareness about the crises we face, educate people about the work being done by conservation organisations and the importance of this, create a community that works together and create real tangible solutions that will help make a real difference on the ground.

We started to work on all fronts, and at one point in time stop and say – what is the most important of all. And for us, that is action. That really helped us recalibrate and prioritise anything that helps us help others take action.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you are working on any initiative to protect, conserve, restore or rewild our natural world, we want to support you.

If you are an individual or an organisation wanting to create real impact in reducing and reversing the effects of climate and biodiversity crises, join our waitlist via our website (https://le.mu/) to invest in nature and help protect the only planet we share.

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