03 February 2009

REBN Mid-Atlantic Launches at Cleantech Investment Forum in Philly

The cleantech technological revolution has come to Philly. Of course, it was more of a homecoming, as Tucker Twitmyer of EnerTech Capital pointed out. "Cleantech investing got its start in Philly," Tucker said. "With the formation of the first dedicated cleantech fund in 1996."

(Photo: Tucker Twitmyer, EnerTech Capital, Ronald Fisher, Blank Rome, and Barry Yerger, Jessup & Lamont Securities)

Today Blank Rome's Energy Industry Group, in conjunction with Fairmount Partners and the Renewable Energy Business Network (REBN) hosted the Mid-Atlantic Cleantech Investment Forum, featuring a panel of experts and thought leaders discussing cleantech venture and corporate investing.

The program featured a panel of industry veterans, including

-Tucker Twitmyer, Managing Partner, EnerTech Capital
-Baruch Levy, Bank of America Strategic Investments Group
-Mark Stancroff, General Manager of Commercial Roofing, CertainTeed Roofing
-Ying Wu, Senior Analyst, Lux Research

Presentations by several cleantech companies followed the panel, including Comverge (COMV), Field Diagnostics, and IQWind. A reception to launch REBN's Mid-Atlantic Chapter was held immediately after in Blank Rome's Comisky Center.

(Photo: Former PA DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty and Doug Smith of Hobbs & Towne)

Katie McGinty, former Secretary of PA DEP, was the keynote speaker at the event. She said, paraphrasing Dickens, "It is the best of times and the worst of times." After dispensing with the worst (as exemplified by this morning's New York Times article "Dark Days for Green Energy"), Katie quickly moved on to opportunities.

"I think there will be a Federal RPS by the end of the calendar year," Katie told the crowd of 150. That should spur growth in the sector. She offered a cautiously optimistic tone, saying, "Hang in there and be ready."

The event marked the launching of the Renewable Energy Business Network (REBN) in the Mid-Atlantic region. REBN enables business professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors to connect with one another, and to promote the growth of the renewable energy industry. REBN provides opportunities for networking, collaboration, education and business creation.

(Photo: Kevin McPoyle of KMRD Partners and Merle Gilmore, Merle Gilmore & Associates)

"We hope to catalyze your efforts in our region and to spur further development in this sector," REBN MA co-founder Kevin Brown said to the crowd of investors, entrepreneurs, and company representatives. "We believe the Mid-Atlantic region is poised to play a significant role in renewable energy, clean tech, and energy efficiency innovations in the years to come."

REBN Mid-Atlantic will host a series of informal gatherings and build partnerships with others to promote the sector throughout the region.

You can register on REBN.org or sign up for the REBN Group on LinkedIn to get connected with other members in the six other chapters around the country.

(Disclosure: I am co-founder of the REBN Mid-Atlantic Chapter.)

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