15 December 2011

The Energy Collective Podcast: Cleantech, the Venture Capital Climate, and Policy

We had a lively and informative discussion about Cleantech Investing on The Energy Collective a couple of weeks ago, with Will Coleman of Mohr Davidow, Dan Shugar of SunPower and Solaria, and yours truly, moderated by Jess Jenkins, director of energy and climate policy at the Breakthrough Institute.

Here's how Amelia Timbers described it on The Energy Collective blog:
Will began with "cleantech investing 101", and explained how the macro economic situation and IPO backlog is affecting the venture capital world. He points to the patterns in cleantech venture capital as it matures as an industry of its own. He also points to the importance of large organizations getting involved in cleantech startups. Coleman discussed the complexity of technology risk and financing when startups are scaling from demonstration scale to commercialization.
Scott gave an example of corporate partnerships as a means of acheiving scale, and details the sophisticated 'balancing act' required by management teams in these situations. Scott also offers his insight on operating in China. 
Dan Shugar explains his experience in solar, from Sunpower to Solaria, and who remains a strong advocate of renewables. Dan emphasizes the need for growing companies to operate leanly and to operate on as much a cash basis as possible. 
And here are the slides and audio recording (about 1 1/2 hours long). You can also download the Podcast here: "How to Save the Planet on a Budget, Part 3"

How to Save a Planet - On a Budget: Cleantech, the Venture Capital Climate, and Policy
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And here is a video of the slides with audio recording:

Let me know what you think about our conversation.