Recent Posts:

Nikola would be proud

Rob Day: June 29, 2010, 8:37 PM

Tesla went out to IPO today quite successfully.  I was very glad to see the offering do well, at least on the first day. I've seen complaints about it going out too early (as yet unprofitable, and mass market car not due until 2011), but it does seem from the outside like a relatively well-run company with a compelling story. Low risk? Absolutely not. But I'm hoping they do well. Especially because this sector needs more success stories.  LPs have been waiting very, very patiently for more big visible stories like First Solar... will Tesla prove to be one of them?  Time, and stock market investor patience, will tell... 

I reiterate my long-standing tongue in cheek offer:  If the...

Some random cleantech VC thoughts and aphorisms

Rob Day: June 25, 2010, 8:43 PM

Been away on a major travel binge, so apologies for a download of a bunch of randomness that has accumulated over the past few weeks.  So, in no particular order:

1. Selling even millions of dollars' worth of a Gen 1 product at zero or negative gross margins doesn't count as "Commercialization".  It's just a large beta test.  ...Yes I'm talking to you, thin film solar and solid-oxide fuel cell industries. 

2. Tom Pincince, President and CEO at my portfolio company Digital Lumens, is also a former Forrester Research analyst.  And he has some pretty interesting predictions on LEDs.  Definitely check them out.

3. VC/PE funds often pass on great deals.  And know it.  Constantly-shifting...

More on the Massachusetts innovation gap

Rob Day: June 13, 2010, 9:30 PM

I got a lot of feedback on my last post comparing Massachusetts with California in terms of Research, Innovation, and Commercialization of clean technologies.  One respondent, my friend Jay Fiske of Wakonda Technologies, was so knowledgeable and thoughtful in his take that I asked him to write it up as a guest blog post.  So... Enjoy!

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In his most recent post, Rob Day asks why the West Coast seems to be better at commercializing cleantech research than the East Coast.  

It's a great question.

As a former cleantech venture investor with the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund and as Vice President of Operations for Wakonda Technologies -- a company developing high-efficiency,...

Massachusetts’ cleantech challenge: Turning Research into Innovation

Rob Day: June 6, 2010, 12:38 PM

Apparently, June is Innovation Month in New England.  So I thought I would write a bit about one of the perplexing things about cleantech investing in New England.

Now, every region ends up being a bit self-centered at times, and New England is certainly no exception.  But it's a commonly-held and oft-stated position among those involved in energytech innovation in this region that "Massachusetts is THE world-class center of research in energy and clean technologies".

If you are one of those who takes this kind of statement literally, then it probably comes as some surprise to then see that California typically attracts significantly more cleantech venture dollars than Massachusetts,...