Recent Posts:

What Family Offices Should Learn From VCs

Rob Day: July 29, 2011, 1:39 PM

Just got back from attending Dealcatch earlier this week. My thanks and congrats to Chrysalix, and co-sponsors Nixon Peabody and Cascadia Capital, for a really productive (and fun!) networking event. Lots of opportunities to catch up with fellow cleantech investors, talk about specific deals, discuss industry trends, etc.  More firms should hold events like that; it has to be pretty valuable for them.

Being there also really helped illustrate a contrast I've observed between institutional venture investors and many (but not all) family offices I've run across over the past few years: the willingness to actively engage in such conversations with each other.  

VCs, generally...

The Rise of Information-Based Cleantech

Rob Day: July 23, 2011, 2:36 PM

Information-based cleantech is an emerging "next big thing" in the sector.

During most of the last decade, cleantech VCs were putting a lot of capital into the production of physical commodities -- proprietary ways of turning photons into kilowatt-hours, or biomass into liquid fuels, etc. It takes a lot of capital and time to successfully bring such commodity-production innovations to market. And then, after all that time, effort and money, you're chasing commodity price curves. This isn't to say that there haven't been and won't be successful efforts in such investments. But it's unclear how these investments fit the traditional venture capital model, and indeed a lot of capital...

Michael Porter Should Be Happy

Rob Day: July 13, 2011, 9:08 AM

The Brookings Institution is releasing a report this morning, "Sizing the Clean Economy", which you should take the time to check out.

The report counts up the number of "clean economy" jobs by sector, painting a picture of an increasingly important set of markets and employers in the U.S.  Hopefully, data points like these will continue to highlight the existing and growing importance of our sector.

The thing I find most interesting, however, is the clear indication that innovation clusters matter -- particularly sector-focused ones.  This will come as old news to anyone familiar with Michael Porter's and others' ongoing work on the subject. But I've found it's not often...

It’ll Get Better

Rob Day: July 11, 2011, 6:52 PM

If you're a cleantech entrepreneur whose company will need more capital over the next 12 months, you have to be worried. Cleantech remains out of favor among many LPs, VC itself remains out of favor, and most cleantech VC firms are running out of money. Confirming some of this, Dow Jones reported today that while VC firm fundraising was up 19% in terms of dollars closed in the first half of the year, actual fund closings were down 38%.  

Meanwhile, even the Cleantech Group couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to report Q2 as anything other than a down quarter. And in my opinion, if you look at the charts in their very handy press-pack presentation, you have to conclude that cleantech...