Sunday, August 12, 2007

What ails cleantech investing?

It's no big secret these days that venture capitalists, in general, have gotten euphoric about energy. Money is flowing into the space. Opportunities are huge. Energy, we are constantly reminded, is a trillion dollar industry.

With stakes that high, it's more important than ever to make good bets. What makes new ventures succeed? What can investors be doing differently?

This Wednesday, the Energy Club has a great lecture/discussion session lined up on this exact topic, featuring seasoned entrepreneur and clean tech investor Dave Miller.

The focus of our discussion will be on clean tech investing, but over at Xconomy, Bill Aulet has suggested that part of the problem for investing may be too narrow a focus. He wants to see more money going after hydrocarbons and efficiency.

Given the long cycle times for new clean technologies to come online, focusing on the familiar may make investment sense. But the questions I'll be bringing to the table on Wednesday are, Is it good policy to encourage such shifts? And, how else can can we speed up the introduction of new energy technologies?

4 comments:

Kristian Bodek said...

Dave, great lecture last night! Your system dynamics modeling revealed the fact that seemingly counterintuitive management strategies (e.g. higher sales & marketing to engineer labor force ratio) were strong drivers behind the success of your baseline clean energy venture. It would be great to see some real world examples of success and failures and their corresponding management strategies.

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