After four months of diligence sessions, 3,800 ideas, and 70,000 voices from 150 different countries, GE and its venture capital partners –RockPort Capital, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Emerald Technology Ventures announced on Tuesday in New York the five winners of the innovation Challenge award: (more…)
The rapid economic transition of China from an undeveloped nation to a country which now derives 50% of its GDP from industrial production created a series of negative side effects that has sown the seeds for China’s next wave of its economic journey; cleantech. In recent years it has been acting with vigor to create a sustainable economy and is now (more…)
Last week was an eventful one in venture capital clean tech funding, especially for California-based Solaria, Solazyme and Calisolar. Here’s a closer look at each of them, and what to look out for in the near future.
HQ: Fremont, CA (more…)
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…)
The country gets more from its soil, water, air, and sunlight than most other nations on earth.
Why has such a small country been able to position itself a world leader in cleantech?
The answer, I believe, is a combination of many factors: its history, attitude of the people, ingenuity, and challenges to survival.
According to my research, the following are major highlights of Israel’s cleantech leadership to date in 2010: (more…)
U.S. investors have invested $129.4 million in a promising solar technology that uses plastic lenses to concentrate sunlight onto small but highly efficient solar cells.
The so-called multijunction cells, developed by California-based Amonix, generate more electricity than conventional photovoltaic panels and require fewer costly semiconducting materials, such as silicon.
The company has successfully tested the technology at small solar farms in Spain and the United States. (more…)
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.
“2010 will be a day of reckoning for solar projects that have been announced,” said Mark McLanahan, CEO at Renewable Ventures, a Fotowatio company.
Five hundred bankers and solar executives speculated about the promise and pitfalls of implementing solar power projects at the 2010 Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit in San Diego last week.
Permitting the Biggest Challenge
Permit approval and securing financing dominated the two-and-a-half day meeting as the greatest obstacles to completing projects. A panel of venture capitalists agreed that in all cases, developing solar projects and technology consistently takes longer than expected.
According to Sven Strohband, partner with MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, this is because “materials science is hard, but not as hard as biology: We are trying to do something truly new, and solar investments require a lot of capital to go to market.” (more…)
(Reuters) – A Web application that alerts wine grape farmers when their vines are thirsty has won first place in a competition to spur entrepreneurs in the investment-starved water sector, organizers said on Monday.
Fruition Sciences, which operates in both California and France, came first among 50 teams in Imagine H2O’s global competition aimed at building a “Silicon Valley” for water.
Water is a $500 billion business worldwide, but draws a mere 0.5 to 1.0 percent of venture capital and only a handful of investments per year despite growing demand for solutions to widespread water shortages. (more…)
A California-based startup company says it has developed an improved version of the internal combustion engine that boosts gas mileage by more than 50 percent and enabled a prototype vehicle to get 64 miles per gallon on the highway in recent test drives.
Transonic Combustion, backed by Vinod Khosla and other venture capitalists, says it has invented a new fuel injection system that heats and pressurizes gasoline before injecting it into the combustion chamber, placing the fuel in a “supercritical” state that allows for clean and fast combustion. (more…)