Monday, March 11th, 2013
With early stage capital for cleantech innovation becoming increasingly scarce, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and a new crop of clean/green ones are beginning to emerge as significant sources of funding for selected next-gen clean technologies.
Hurdles remain, particularly for investors seeking returns, but I’m more optimistic about these sites’ (more…)
Monday, October 1st, 2012
Eric McAfee is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist, founding and funding companies in renewable energy, oil and gas, agriculture, networking devices and enterprise software. Given that level of success, I tried to absorb every word of his talk at last week’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum. (more…)
Friday, September 28th, 2012
Clean energy innovation in the United States is moving to financially friendlier shores—like China
Looking at 2011 VC investment figures, it seems like the cleantech industry in the United States is doing just fine. According to the Cleantech Group, a market intelligence advisory group based in San Francisco (more…)
Friday, March 16th, 2012
The global economy is fueled by innovation. Whether innovation takes place in a garage or by large multi-national corporations, such activity provides jobs at many different levels. Fostering an environment for innovation is not only the responsibility of governments, but also individuals and corporations. GE, a company which owes its origin to Thomas (more…)
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
While some refer to lottos as a “tax on the stupid” the Dutch Postcode Lottery are making “grants for the smart” to support cleantech stars through their Green Challenge.
“The world must embrace a new, greener lifestyle. One bright idea can make a big difference. To (more…)
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
While many cleantech companies require very large amounts of capital in order to get to market, there is a quiet group of cleantech companies bucking that trend.
Companies like Heartland Biocomposites (green building materials), RealTech (water testing) and TerraLUX (LED lighting) all built significant and growing businesses with compelling intellectual property and did so initially without multimillions in capital from venture funds (let alone tens or hundreds of millions). Because TerraLUX is one of our portfolio companies and I therefore know them best, their story is one I am able to share.
TerraLUX boasts customers like Cooper Lighting, Phillips, GE Healthcare, Snap-On Tools and many others. It has six awarded patents and eight more filed. Dr. Anthony Catalano founded the company in 2003 and, with exceptional technology smarts, creative boot-strapping and some of his own capital, he built a business with significant revenues, exciting gross margins and deep intellectual property — all without a penny of outside investment capital. And now, only after all those accomplishments, has TerraLUX closed a $5.6M financing from Emerald Technology Ventures and Access Venture Partners.
How did TerraLUX pull this off? (more…)
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Google has invested $39 million in a 160-megawatt wind farm in North Dakota, marking the first time that the search engine giant has made a direct investment in a wind energy project.
Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has previously invested in renewable energy startups, such as the solar thermal companies eSolar and Brightsource.
But the North Dakota wind power investment comes directly out of Google’s treasury and represents the company’s growing involvement in the renewable energy industry.
A Google spokesman said, “You can think of it as a way to diversify our cash holdings while investing in an area that we think is important to support.” (more…)
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Venture capital investment in clean technology reached $1.9 billion in the first quarter, climbing 83 percent from last year, according to a report by the Cleantech Group and Deloitte.
Startups in North America raised the greatest share among 180 companies around the world, a three-year peak for the area with $1.5 billion, or 81 percent of all investments. That’s a 79 percent rise from the 2009 fourth quarter slump, described as a “blip” by Cleantech Group President Sheeraz Haji.
The transportation sector led the way with a record $704 million, notably $350 million for electric car battery and infrastructure firm Better Place
, followed by significant investments in electric car and hybrid technologies. Fisker Automotive brought in $140 million, followed by $30 million for Coda Automotive, also based in California. Groupe Gruau of France reaped $23 million.
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
A U.S. startup has developed a process that uses concentrated solar heat to vaporize biomass into synthetic fuels, a system the company says is cleaner and more efficient and can produce twice as much fuel per ton of biomass as existing systems.
In the process, a network of solar mirrors direct sunlight at a mounted gasifying unit, heating ceramic tubes to 1,200 to 1,300 degrees Celsius. (more…)
Monday, September 28th, 2009
Water agencies facing droughts and shortages of freshwater, such as in coastal California, have been turning increasingly to desalination this year.
However, current desalination methods can be expensive and energy inefficient. Watchdog groups prefer water conservation and efficiency efforts, and charge that tapping the oceans for potable water can pollute waterways and kill marine creatures.
Yet could desalination become more viable and efficient? The Global Cleantech 100 list anointed several companies with that aspiration as technology innovators earlier this month. (more…)