cleantech insights

yerdle: Exploring Decentralization at Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2014

M Paschich

On March 11-13, Cleantech Group is hosting the largest and longest running Cleantech forum in the world, Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2014. This annual gathering of the global cleantech innovation community offers a comprehensive development program along with exclusive opportunities to network and make deals happen. In the lead up to the Forum, we’re chatting with leaders across the resource innovation space to discuss the changes decentralization is causing across different markets, end-users, enterprises, technologies, and business models. Yerdle2

Andy Rubin is Co-founder and CEO of yerdle.

What is the essence of yerdle’s story?

The idea of yerdle starts in our closets and garages: all of the high quality items we collectively own are perfectly good to someone else even if we, the current owners, are done with those items. This is not a fundamentally different idea, but the way that yerdle is bringing this market and community together, that’s what’s extraordinary. Yerdle grants shoppers access–through information and through mobile–to the collective warehouse that is all of our closets and garages.

The push for me to help start yerdle came from my 20 year experience in retail. The last 10 were spent as a senior executive at Walmart, and included …


A “disruptive” blog post…


The term “disruptive” is thrown around by just about everyone these days – investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and even Cleantech Group!  I fear the word is doomed to follow the same projected path of the word “sustainability”…   Before heading too far down that road, I’d like to get in my two cents on some of the water technologies I perceive to be “disruptive” in today’s world.

  • Amoeba.  A majority of commercial and industrial cooling tower operators have used the same [chemical] treatment system for decades and are hesitant to try anything new, even in the face of rising water and energy costs.  Many alternative treatment systems have been on the market for over a decade, but market penetration has been slow.  Non-oxidizing agents such as biocides, though more expensive, are increasingly being tested and talked about.
  • Axine Water Technologies.  According to data tracked through i3, over a quarter (27%) of venture capital dollars in the first half of 2012 went to companies providing solutions primarily applicable to industrial water users.  The growing presence and importance of this consumer segment stems from concerns around toxicity of wastewater streams, the use of treatment chemicals (and potential creation of byproducts), discharge

Video: Company of the Week is Aqwise

Whitney Michael

Analyst Troy Ault explains why we chose Aqwise to be the company of the week:…

This week in cleantech – May 27th – June 3rd

Whitney Michael

It was a strong and diverse week for cleantech venture investment. CIGS thin film PV manufacturer Nanosolar‘s $50 million growth equity round led the pack, and continued a trend from the previous two weeks of bullishness in the solar sector despite real geo-political, and economic challenges. In addition to Nanosolar’s big round, Austin, Texas-based solar microinverter maker SolarBridge Technologies raised $25 million in a Series D offering, while GeoStellar, a West Virginia-based provider of solar resource analytics software for distributed projects, raised $13.9 million in a Series B round of equity.

Solar companies weren’t allowed a monopoly on fundraising, however, as several other sectors saw financing deals during the week as well.

Vancouver, Canada-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, a developer of a wastewater treatment process which yields a fertilizer byproduct, raised $14.5 million in a Series B round of financing to expand the application of that technology into industrial markets.

In the Energy Efficiency space, lighting controls developer Redwood Systems raised $11.75 million from existing investors in a Series C round, while Rhode Island-based GreenBytes raised $12 million in a Series B offering to fund further development and global marketing of its data center efficiency offering.

Finally, …

As Goes LanzaTech, so Goes Cleantech

Greg Neichin

If you are in the cleantech sector and had not previously heard about Lanzatech, you likely have now.  The company raised a big, $55.8M round last week that has been widely applauded and covered.  Students of the company had seen this coming for awhile.  Lanzatech was the highest ranking company in the Asia Pacific region in our Cleantech 100 survey earning it “APAC Company of the Year” at our gala banquet last year.  It was featured as part of GTM’s Trendspotting post on the Top 12 Greentech Startups to Watch in 2012.   We’ve made Lanzatech our featured “Company of the Week” in i3 this week, but it may just turn out to be cleantech’s company of the year (and its only January!).  Here are the top reasons that I think Lanzatech exemplifies a number of key themes happening in cleantech:

1.) Cross-Border Financings – I have previously written about Chinese and Korean investors taking large stakes in Western cleantech companies.  Now we can add the Malaysians to that list.  The round was led by the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund and included participation from Malaysian state oil company, Petronas.  With the US venture community still experiencing …

Google this.


Latitude SolutionsI googled “electro-precipitation” the other day, and here is what I found:  one link to a dictionary, two wikipedia entries, three research articles, and four links or news stories related to Latitude Solutions.  That’s right – four!  Not only did Latitude Solutions account for 40% of the top ten google results, but it was the only electro-precipitation company mentioned.  Naturally, I spoke to someone at the company to find out more…

Latitude Solutions provides products, processes and solutions for contaminated water remediation in industrial applications.  Made up of three different divisions, the company manages to target multiple industries in multiple geographic markets.

The first business unit I learned about was Latitude Solutions Energy Services, which is dedicated solely to the oil and gas industry.  The company’s technology uses electro-precipitation to flocculate Total Suspended Solids (TSS) at up to 98% efficacy, according to the company.  What separates this method from traditional coagulation methods is that currents from the electro-precipitation process remain in the treated water, thereby continuing to treat the water in the event it is transported to another location for discharge or reuse.

Latitude Industrial Water Solutions, a second subsidiary, targets industries outside of oil and gas.  Specifically, …

Ever wonder what happens to the cleantech companies you see pitch at Cleantech Forums?

Kate McArdle

At every Cleantech Forum, we give a handful of select cleantech companies the chance to get on stage and pitch their investment opportunities to the audience. Ever wonder if those companies go on to meet investors and secure funding? The answer is yes: companies that present in our Entrepreneur Showcase have gone on to collectively raise over $3.5 billion. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s your chance to hear directly from an executive at one such company.

Frank Roerink is the CFO of Avantium, a leading cleantech company (and a 2010 and 2011 Global Cleantech 100 company) that develops and commercializes the chemical “building blocks” needed for green materials and biofuels. Frank told us that “being able to present Avantium in well-structured showcase sessions allowed us to make connections within the entire cleantech value chain with a broad range of companies.” Want to learn more? Head over to our Entrepreneur Section to read a case study about how Avantium’s participation at Cleantech Forums helped the company secure a EUR 30M round »

Global Cleantech 100: An Interview with Mark McGough, CEO, Ioxus

Whitney Michael

I had the pleasure of speaking with Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus, just after the conclusion of the “Asia Advantage” panel at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit on October 18.  He spoke on Ioxus’ strategy to expand in Asia alongside representatives from Boston-Power, LanzaTech and Waterhealth.

Ioxus, one of this year’s Global Cleantech 100 companies, makes ultracapacitors that other companies put in their products to make them more efficient and work better.  Mark was kind enough to speak with me about Ioxus’ product, strategy and being a part of the Global Cleantech 100.

Describe your ultracapacitor technology for us.

We make components that go into other people’s products.  If I can paraphrase BASF, we make their products better.  We make wind turbines more efficient, we make hybrid buses perform better, we make flashlights last longer.  In each case, we provide an ultracapacitor-based form of energy storage.

The number of ways designers are using ultracapitors exponentially increases each year.  it doesn’t have as much energy storage capacity as a battery, but it charges very quickly in a matter of seconds….you can charge and discharge it a million times and it’s much more powerful. So it has higher power density, so when you need …

Cleantech in the Basque Country Means Business!

Stephen Marcus

When thinking about some of the buzzing cleantech clusters around the world, the Basque Country doesn’t often come to mind. However, since visiting the region for Cleantech Group’s bi-annual European Advisory Board Meeting, which this time was hosted in partnership with Innobasque, I have had a rapid about-face, and so should you all.

As I crossed over one of the entrance bridges to Bilbao, the main Basque municipality, one couldn’t help but notice the gigantic curved titanium exterior of the Guggenheim Museum pitted against the new high-rise Iberdrola Towers. Both act as iconic symbols of the region’s transformation from an Industrial town to an innovation hub over the past two decades.

Some of the statistics are astonishing. According to the OECD Review of Regional Innovation in the Basque Country, over 70% of the regions R&D is conducted by SMEs (firms under 250 employees), compared to under 20% for the UK. Further, the number of firms initiating R&D activities increased from 110 in 1998 to 343 in 2007. The region is also home to two Technology Corporations, Tecnalia and IK4 Research Alliance, which have over 3,000 employees with 750 cleantech dedicated researchers

The cities regeneration has also created much …

We’re revealing the top 100 private companies in cleantech on October 17

Whitney Michael

On October 17 -18, the U.S. capital will host the biggest names in cleantech. For the third year in a row, The Global Cleantech 100 will herald the top private companies in clean technology – those consistently leading the way, and exciting newcomers.

And for the first time we are hosting a Summit & Gala to celebrate!  Join us for the live announcement of the 2011 Global Cleantech 100 list and awards presentation at the Global Cleantech 100 Gala hosted at The French Embassy – we’re calling it a “launch party” for the 2011 Global Cleantech 100 list.

Stay for the next day’s Global Cleantech 100 Summit, a full-day conference featuring leading cleantech CEOs, government officials working to facilitate investment in the sector, and key corporate players in the clean technology space.

Don’t miss out on the tremendous networking opportunities with companies like:

Aster Capital

Abundant Power Capital

Agilyx Corporation



Demeter Partners

DuPont Ventures


EnerTech Capital


General Motors Company

GDF Suez

Georgieff Capital

Harvest Power, Inc.*


McKinsey & Company




Siemens Venture Capital



Tangent Energy Solutions

United Water


*2010 Global Cleantech 100 Companies…