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Why We Need to Bring Early-Stage Venture Investors Into NextWave Greentech

Why do we even need to talk about the next wave of greentech? And what is it, anyway?When I started talking about an emerging next wave of greentech entrepreneurs and investors a couple of years ago, it was admittedly just described as "not what we...

Posted July 9, 2014    

The State of Cleantech Entrepreneurship in 2014

As the time approaches to get serious about NextWave14 (coming up in just a few weeks!), I thought it would be a good time to take a step back and review how the overall "sector" is doing right now. And by and large, it's a happy picture.The...

Posted June 20, 2014    

Smart Investors, Not VCs, Are Funding Growth-Stage Cleantech Startups

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up an analysis of early-stage cleantech venture rounds so far this year. I came away with the conclusion that very little was happening, except for in cases where a startup could perhaps be considered "cleantech" but...

Posted June 11, 2014    

Could Cleantech Lead the Democratization of Venture Capital?

In my last column, I ran through recent numbers and showed that there are very few early-stage venture capital check-writers in the cleantech sector right now. By the time you peel out startups that wouldn't think of calling themselves "cleantech,"...

Posted June 2, 2014    

So Who's Still Funding Early-Stage Cleantech?

I'm generally an optimist, and there's lots to be optimistic about right now in the cleantech sector. I've never seen a stronger group of startups in the sector as I see right now, with many fast-growing companies poised to do great things. It's...

Posted May 20, 2014    

Venture Capital, Family Offices, and the Drive for More Cleantech Success Stories

A while back, I wrote about the role “impact investors” could play in funding the next wave of cleantech startups. This week I had the opportunity to sit in on a conversation between several such investors from the family office community and some...

Posted April 23, 2014    

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