by Richard Youngman
| April 24th 2013
Last week we hosted our 9th European Cleantech Forum, where we took on the task of “re-imagining cleantech”.
The event set new attendance records. Conventional wisdom would suggest that, in its ninth year and with the cleantech moniker out of fashion in investment circles, this event should show signs of being past its peak. And yet, the more committed and enlightened of you keep coming – our sincerest thanks for that – and more new faces, new companies and new countries are added to the delegate list each year. These included, this year, representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
So why is that? That is because, as my keynote called out, we only just started.
I argued that, although investment numbers may be down, the market for clean technology products is still in growth and, according to a 2012 Roland Berger/WWF report, has become as sizeable a global market as a number of long-established industrial segments.
I argued that it was not that we had got the power and inevitability of the mega-trends giving rise to this huge innovation opportunity wrong, but we had learnt, painfully, that there is no quick buck to be made (without a …
by Greg Neichin
| March 24th 2013
After some well deserved toasts with our staff and a few good night’s sleep, I have finally begun to digest the amazing week that we just had in San Francisco. I have had the pleasure of co-hosting Cleantech Group’s San Francisco Forum for the past three years, yet none of those previous gatherings came close to the energy and dynamism of this year’s event.
I have to admit that the turnout and enthusiasm surprised even me. This was supposed to be a year that cleantech was down and out. With venture support cooling, solar manufacturers failing, and the global economy still sputtering, this would not, on the face of it, be the best time to throw a cleantech party.
But throw a party we did; and much to our delight and sincere appreciation, you all showed up. Not only did you grab a glass of champagne, but investors announced new capital commitments, corporate dealmakers spoke openly about opportunity areas, and entrepreneurs from around the world unveiled brand new companies.
What gives? With some time to reflect, I think that there were four key drivers that really ignited this year’s Forum.
#1 – Corporate strategics get it and are playing …
by Greg Neichin
| February 28th 2013
(if you don’t make it to the end of this article and just want to know where the party is, it’s March 18th-20th in San Francisco, you can register here)
It is quite fashionable these days, especially amongst those in and around Silicon Valley, to talk about the demise of cleantech. This discussion has always seemed silly to me.
There are only two groups fascinated by this dialogue: (a) US investors who were burned in deals that they likely should not have touched in the first place and (b) industry pundits & consultants with too much time on their hands. Both of these groups are frustrated and vocal, so they create substantial noise, but far less signal.
As Khosla Venture’s Andrew Chung recently said, in a thoughtful piece by Katie Fehrenbacher covering the “cleantech is dead” meme, “venture is a highly cyclical business”. You could say that again. Andrew continued, “we expect sustainability investments to experience a renaissance as today’s breakthrough companies successfully commercialize and have massive impact on society’s infrastructure.”
Call it sustainability investments, energy tech, resource tech, cleantech, or greentech. Call it whatever else you want to call it, just don’t call it …
by Whitney Michael
| October 1st 2012
We’ve just released this year’s list of the top 100 private companies in cleantech. From energy efficiency, biofuels & biochemicals to smart grid, renewable energy, water and waste, and transportation, this list identifies the private cleantech companies most likely to make a significant market impact over the next five to ten years.
To qualify for the Global Cleantech 100, companies must be independent, for-profit, cleantech companies not listed on any major stock exchange. This year, we received over 8,000 nominations for 5,117 companies from 85 countries. A 75-member expert panel, including leading global investors and a wide range of corporate executives from multi-national enterprises such as ABB, BP, Ecolab, GE, General Motors, IBM, Intel, Johnson Controls, Procter and Gamble, and Vestas, gave input on the shortlisted 236, to get to the final list of 100 companies from 13 countries.
Cleantech Group also presented awards in eight categories to clean technology innovators at the Global Cleantech 100 Gala at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC on October 1.
Company of the Year was awarded in each of three regions to the highest-ranked company with no negative …
by Greg Neichin
| March 1st 2012
Over the past twelve months it has become quite in vogue, to the point of cliché, to discus the importance of partnerships to the development of the cleantech sector. What started out as a handful of initiatives by major equipment manufacturers, utilities, and service providers to better engage with early stage companies has now become a full fledged movement of cleantech partnership gospel.
If partnerships are indeed the new cleantech religion, we’re about to host the year’s biggest revival in San Francisco. Appropriately themed, The Power of Global Partnerships, our upcoming Cleantech Group Forum, March 26-28, will bring together corporate executives, investors, and entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss why the power of partnerships is not an empty pleasantry, but rather an indispensable guiding mantra for company’s both large and small.
If you have not yet registered or you are still a skeptical, non-believer who thinks that all of this talk of partnerships is nice and fuzzy, but doesn’t have real tactical bite, here are my top 5 reasons, why partnerships really, truly, sincerely-I-swear, matter to the growth of the cleantech sector.
1) Partnerships bring access to customer relationships: Most cleantech markets are brutally hard to enter. …
by Whitney Michael
| February 24th 2012
Cleantech Forum San Francisco kicks off in just about a month at the Hyatt Regency on the beautiful Embarcadero. We can only hope the gorgeous weather we’ve been having will hold out for another four weeks! I don’t believe I’m exaggerating (or bragging) when I say this is going to be our biggest and best conference ever.
While the two and a half days are packed from morning to night with networking, interesting speakers, and activities, I want to share my top 10 reasons you should go now and register. Save $300 too with discount code CTSFBLOG.
1. Real deals, real senior executives, real networking. You attend conferences to meet others actively in search of deals, investments, and partnership opportunities. It’s kind of what Cleantech Forum San Francisco is known for. Top executives, investors and entrepreneurs travel from all around the world to meet, make deals, and set the agenda for the year ahead.
2. Entrepreneurial pitch sessions are so popular, even entrepreneurs with loads of capital still want in! 20 hand-selected entrepreneurs seeking funding pitch during Tuesday’s Entrepreneur Showcase. Companies include LanzaTech (which just recently closed a $50M+ investment), Atmosphere Recovery, and ReVolt.
3. This …
by Kate McArdle
| February 2nd 2012
The Entrepreneur Showcase at Cleantech Forum Munich can give you just that. Our annual European Cleantech Forum is the best place to reach cleantech-focused investors from across Europe and the rest of the world. As an Entrepreneur Showcase presenter, you get 10 minutes to convince these investors and corporate executives that your company is where they should make their next move. It’s a good strategy – companies who presented in last year’s Forum have already scored funding from investors like Industrifonden, and secured partnerships with companies like GE and Siemens.
Don’t wait, though – Friday, February 10 is the deadline for applications for this year’s Entrepreneur Showcase at Cleantech Forum Munich. The application and more details about participating are available here: http://events.cleantech.com/munich/entrepreneur-showcase.
Whether your company is seeking a Series A or Series D funding round, whether it is based in London or Vancouver, whether it has a SaaS-based energy efficiency platform or a process to reuse wastewater, there’s no better place for exposure to top cleantech investors than at Cleantech Forum Munich.…
| January 5th 2012
Registration is currently open for the 10th anniversary of the Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2012. Our theme this year is “The Power of Global Partnerships,” an exploration of how strategic relationships – between entrepreneurs, corporations and governments – are playing an ever more important role in the future of clean technology. Join us for a special water panel titled “When Water and Electricity Mix: Taking Smart Water to the Next Level,” where we will talk to CEOs from different companies involved in the water-energy nexus, and their partners.
At the Forum, we will also hold our annual Entrepreneur Showcase, an event that is typically a big opportunity for in-person exposure to active cleantech investors (with proven success in the past – see this case study). The deadline for applications is January 13; there is no cost to apply and the application should only take a few minutes to fill out. You can find it, and all of the details, here.
Arti Patel is a Research & Advisory Analyst at Cleantech Group.…
| December 14th 2011
I sold my car when I moved to San Francisco. I have my Zipcar membership, and as a sustainability nut am quite content riding public transportation in the city. But I know that, eventually, my dream job as a soccer dad will require that I once again own my own wheels.
Though Ford was not among the American auto makers to receive a bailout from the federal government during the height of the financial crisis, the company did find itself saddled with some of the negative stigma assigned en masse to American auto companies who have for some time been seen as latecomers to the cleantech table. For many American drivers in my generation, ‘buying American’ has seemed more of a patriotic decision – not one based on quality. I assumed I’d end up buying a Prius. After attending the San Francisco stop of Ford’s ‘Power of Choice’ tour yesterday, however, the company may have found its way back onto my short list.
Hosted by Dan Kapp, Director of Powertrain Research & Advanced Engineering at Ford, the session was attended by Ford dealerships, representatives of the City of San Francisco, and interested members of the media.
Ford certainly seems to …
by Amanda Faulkner
| November 18th 2011
As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Cleantech Open hosted its annual Global Forum in San Jose to showcase promising cleantech startups and provide seed funding and support to the winners. The competition began earlier in the year with regional contests for 120 semifinalists and wrapped up with 21 finalists presenting at the Global Forum this past week. Over the course of two days the companies delivered 15 minute pitches to the judges, as well as 3 minute tech demos, 1 minute elevator pitches and expo booths.
Atmosphere Recovery took home the National Grand Prize of $250,000, besting other category winners; Indow Windows, PK Clean, Whole Trees Structure and GridMobility. Atmosphere Recovery impressed the judges with its laser-based gas analyzer system that improves the efficiency of manufacturing processes. The company already has a solid list of customers and boasts impressive savings, with claims to enhance heat treating facilities’ bottom line profits by 25% or more. Indow Windows, a manufacturer of energy saving window inserts, took home the National Sustainability prize and Biofiltro, a Chilean developer of a wastewater treatment process using microorganisms and worms, won the Global Ideas prize.
After hearing all the pitches, …