A renewable-energy nonprofit called the Renewable Energy Business Network announced its official launch at the Clean Technology conference in Boston on Monday.
The network has formed 10 regional chapters across the United States, according to the announcement, with the chapters organizing networking events, educational forums and training sessions for entrepreneurs and researchers.
Rob Day, a principal at venture firm @Ventures and author of Greentech Media’s Cleantech Investing blog, said the network also has launched a Website that aims to be “the Craigslist of cleantech.”
The site, at www.rebn.org, is still early in its development, but hopes to become a virtual meeting place for members, he said.
But the industry already has numerous organizations. Why does it need another?
“There are a lot of great groups out there working on clean energy issues, but what we found is that people want, and often lack, an informal venue for connecting with everyone else in this broad community,” Day said. “Researchers, entrepreneurs and businesspeople want low-key settings in order to learn, share, collaborate and just plain connect with each other. So we hope REBN can help fill that particular need in the market, while being supportive of all the other existing strong efforts out there.”
Networking is particularly important in the green-energy market because it is so broad and varied, and everyone is wrestling separately with many of the same core challenges, he said.
“Especially as incumbent energy markets are having to engage with new energy technologies, it’s become necessary for businesspeople, researchers and others to reach beyond their immediate circle of colleagues if they’re going to stay up to date on everything that’s going on,” he said.