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The Energy-Data Nexus Could Be the Next Big Thing for the IT Industry

After the recent Facebook/Oculus announcement, I was struck by Fred Wilson’s blog post on the subject. Essentially, Fred argues that this deal, along with the acquisitions and explorations by Google (such as Nest, driverless cars, etc.), is a sign...

Posted April 1, 2014    

How to Succeed as a Cleantech Startup? Transcend the Category

Was Nest a cleantech startup? Was Waze?To be blunt, who cares? From the standpoint of returns-maximizing VCs, it's a little bit irrelevant how you found the investment opportunity, if you were lucky enough to be a backer of Nest. The efficiency...

Posted March 25, 2014    

Can 'Impact Investors' Save the Day for Cleantech Entrepreneurs?

I am writing this column while en route to a meeting of LPs on the subject of “impact investing.” Last week, I also attended a meeting of family office investors on the same subject. Impact investing is a growing trend and discussion topic. Can it...

Posted March 4, 2014    

Venture Capital Deal Counting: What's Really Going On Behind the Numbers?

The latest PwC Cleantech MoneyTree report came out this week, and kudos to the team there for pulling together a helpful deal tally tracker.That resource, and the other tallies, provide a lot of useful insight on the current state of cleantech...

Posted February 10, 2014    

Some Lessons From Early Successes of the Next Wave

As we see increasing evidence of a "next wave" of cleantech investing and entrepreneurship, we're starting to see some early wins emerge. What lessons can we learn from the experiences of recent demonstrated successes like Nest, SolarCity, rumored...

Posted February 5, 2014    

Cleantech Investing: Ten Predictions for 2014

The sun is shining, the Boston snow is mostly melted away, and dilettante "news" programs have moved away from talking about cleantech to talking about doping in baseball. And my 2013 predictions weren't so bad for once (although still not great)....

Posted January 15, 2014    

Looking Back At 2013's Cleantech Investing Predictions

It's that time again! Time to look back on my predictions from a year ago and see how the year turned out... It's also a good excuse to take our minds off that horrible 60 Minutes "news" story from this past week.Whatever. The cleantech revolution...

Posted January 10, 2014    

Mind The Gap: Funding Challenges For Capital Efficient Startups

Let me start with some background that you already know:The venture capital model is predicated on one big concept: Investing capital in differently priced tranches over time as risk is removed from a developing entrepreneurial effort. It wouldn't...

Posted December 23, 2013    

How Crowdfunding Could Impact Cleantech Entrepreneurs (And Why It Probably Won’t)

Ever since the JOBS Act was enacted, there's been a lot of chatter about how crowdfunding could end up competing out venture capital as an asset category, and/or saving cleantech entrepreneurs during a time when generalist VCs have been backing away...

Posted December 5, 2013    

Convergence in Building Energy Intelligence

Every system in buildings is being made intelligent. HVAC, lighting, security, fire detectors, plug loads, appliances, you name it.Right now many of these systems are being made intelligent separately from each other. But that won't remain the case...

Posted November 7, 2013    

Lessons From The Past Ten Years: Pooled Assets

Solyndra, Tesla, Fisker, Cap-and-Trade, "America is addicted to oil"... There have been a lot of watershed moments good and bad in the cleantech sector over the past ten years. It's been a lot of big ups and downs, a wild ride. But one...

Posted October 24, 2013    

The Cleantech Market and Predictable Irrationality

Ahead of the NextWave Greentech Investing conference (early bird registration rate ends Wednesday, btw), I'm taking a look at some of the shifts in thinking and strategy that are underlying this next wave of investors.One of the more important...

Posted August 15, 2013