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In the News


News from August, 2008

Wind power to bring rebates

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

The electric company, which for several years has provided financial incentives to homeowners who install solar power systems, will start doing the same for home wind turbines in a few days.

Nevada Power Co. of Las Vegas and affiliate Sierra Pacific Power Co. of Reno are offering rebates of $2.50 per watt for wind turbines, based on the turbine’s electricity production capacity. The maximum rebate for each customer would be $25,000.

Wind systems that generate more than 10,000 watts of power qualify for a $1.50 per watt rebate, but most home wind turbines will be smaller and will qualify for the $2.50 rebate.

Wind turbines can be used to generate electricity at homes, businesses, farms, schools and public buildings.

“I believe (wind turbines) will get pretty popular,” said John Hargrove, RenewableGenerations program manager for the two electric companies. “People want choice. They want the opportunity to be as green as they can.” (Read More)


InsideView CEO to Speak on Sales 2.0 at Top Enterprise Industry Conferences

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Umberto Milletti to Speak About the Socialprise Benefits of Bringing Social Media to the EnterpriseInsideView today announced CEO Umberto Milletti has been invited to speak at several upcoming conferences exploring trends in applications built for the socialprise, Enterprise 2.0 and web-based business intelligence, including Office 2.0, Interop New York and Web 3.0 Fall 2008. InsideView’s application, SalesView, is one of the first true examples of a socialprise application, designed to leverage social data in the enterprise by bringing together the insights gained from both subscription-based and user-generated sources to drive sales results.

At Office 2.0, scheduled for September 3-5 in San Francisco, Milletti will be joined by a host of business intelligence industry leaders to examine this year’s theme: Enterprise Adoption. He will participate in a panel titled “Office 2.0 Intelligence,” which will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of Web-based business intelligence, along with the increasingly complex range of social tools available in the market today. (Read More)


HID Labs and the Modern Dimmer Switch

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Greentech Media

HID Labs new dimmer switch could potentially save megawatts of power, says Greentech Media Senior Analyst Michael Kanellos.

It’s a dimmer switch that potentially could save megawatts of power.

HID Laboratories, a Silicon Valley startup armed with technology from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has developed a digital ballast for controlling high intensity discharge (HID) lights, the bright bulbs that illuminate stadiums, streets, industrial and big box retailers. American River Ventures, out of the Sacramento region, recently invested in the firm.

Overall, HID’s digital ballast can cut the power consumed by an HID light by 40 percent or more, said CEO Antonio Espinosa. Lighting consumes 22 percent of the power generated in the U.S. and the majority of the juice of that total goes to more than 100 million HID sockets in the country. Thus, if used universally, you’re talking a big whack in electricity consumption.

VCs have been putting money into energy efficient lighting for the last several years, but mostly into companies that produce bulbs. Companies with complimentary technologies have received less attention, but some, such as Nuventix (air-cooler for LEDs) and Intematix (designer phosphors) have emerged.

(Link to Article)


Sometrics Appoints Jennifer Bartlett, Michael Maher as Business Development Managers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Advertising and Technology Experts Join as Sometrics Continues to Expand Roster of Brands and Developers Using Its ‘Social Intelligence’

Sometrics (http://www.sometrics) today announced the appointment of Jennifer Bartlett and Michael (Mickey) Maher as business development managers.

“Their combined experience reaches across advertising, digital media and technology, further deepening the expertise Sometrics brings to the social space,” said Ian Swanson, Sometrics co-founder and CEO. “The breadth and depth of our talent here are keys to our fast growth. Our mission is to help both brands and developers be successful in social media, so we’ve built a team of people who understand the unique needs of each group.” (Full Article)


Green Venture Firm Looks to Close Early Stage Funding Gap

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Cleantech Group – by Emma Ritch

The venture firm says it’s in talks to raise its second fund in early 2009, and has already invested about half of its first fund. About $6 million has gone into eight companies, including Solaicx and Mariah Power [1], said Pete Henig, managing partner of Greenhouse (see Two more IPOs to watch for [2]).

The Sausalito, Calif.-based firm’s investments range from $250,000 to $2 million, and Greenhouse plans to continue to make small investments to fill a funding gap in the cleantech sector for early-stage companies, Henig said (see Southern Water leads dealmaking [3]).

“It’s less about building a bigger venture capital firm and more about trying to establish early-stage and seed-stage investment funds for the cleantech field,” Henig told the Cleantech Group. “We’re also looking at the possible opportunity of creating a cleantech incubator to do true, true seed-stage deals where we find interesting technologies and work with the companies.”

Greenhouse often partners with Big Sky Partners on investments that are too small for most venture firms, Henig said (see Two funds expand cleantech plans [4]). Big Sky founder and Managing Director Michael Schwab serves as general partner at Greenhouse, and the two firms share office space in Sausalito.

Greenhouse plans to close its first fund by reinvesting in some companies and making two-to-three new investments in the sectors of water, carbon, diesel technology, energy management or green retail products, Henig said.

Links:
[1] http://www.cleantech.com/news/companies/mariah-power
[2] http://www.cleantech.com/news/1150/two-more-ipos-to-watch-for
[3] http://www.cleantech.com/news/1915/southern-water-leads-dealmaking
[4] http://www.cleantech.com/news/2686/two-funds-expand-cleantech-plans


Fund aims to plug cleantech money gap

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Venture capitalists have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into cleantech companies in the last few years, yet a small cleantech fund aims to address what it sees as a “funding gap.”

“Something we’re trying to do in our little way is fill that funding gap that’s still out there between the very early stage family-and-friends round and venture capital,” said Sue Preston, who manages the fund.

Preston runs the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund set up by the California Clean Energy Fund, formed with $30 million from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. bankruptcy settlement. The San Francisco-based angel fund closed a $7 million first round of funding in February and is seeking to close a second round in coming weeks that will bring the fund tab near $20 million.

Compared to the multi-hundred-million-dollar dedicated cleantech funds rampant throughout the venture universe, $20 million might seem like pocket change. But Preston insists it fills a need.

Its first investment — a $4 million infusion the fund split with other firms — went to HID Laboratories Inc., a Menlo Park-based lighting company whose technologies target those energy-sucking block lights in commercial and industrial buildings like Costco. (Full Article)


Green venture firm looks to close early stage funding gap

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

The venture firm says it’s in talks to raise its second fund in early 2009, and has already invested about half of its first fund. About $6 million has gone into eight companies, including Solaicx and Mariah Power, said Pete Henig, managing partner of Greenhouse.

The Sausalito, Calif.-based firm’s investments range from $250,000 to $2 million, and Greenhouse plans to continue to make small investments to fill a funding gap in the cleantech sector for early-stage companies, Henig said.

“It’s less about building a bigger venture capital firm and more about trying to establish early-stage and seed-stage investment funds for the cleantech field,” Henig told the Cleantech Group. “We’re also looking at the possible opportunity of creating a cleantech incubator to do true, true seed-stage deals where we find interesting technologies and work with the companies.”

Greenhouse often partners with Big Sky Partners on investments that are too small for most venture firms, Henig said. Big Sky founder and Managing Director Michael Schwab serves as general partner at Greenhouse, and the two firms share office space in Sausalito.

Greenhouse plans to close its first fund by reinvesting in some companies and making two-to-three new investments in the sectors of water, carbon, diesel technology, energy management or green retail products, Henig said.


Wider Adoption of Supplier Information Management Fuels Growth for Solution Provider

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Aravo sees new customer adoption and record revenue growth as research report sees software-as-a-service adoption “penetrating and disrupting traditional enterprise software”

On-demand supplier information management (SIM) specialist Aravo Solutions is pointing to its recent customer wins and increased revenues as evidence that software-as-a-service (SaaS) supply chain management solutions are gaining wider acceptance among global enterprises.

Aravo, a pioneer in the on-demand SIM industry, announced this week that it has signed a number of major new customers and quadrupled company revenue over the last 12 months. Aravo now claims three of the top 20 Fortune 500 companies as clients, along with two of the nation’s top five financial services firms. (Full Article)


Reno firm’s wind turbine a huge success

Monday, August 4th, 2008

In a small warehouse space on Rock Boulevard, a start-up company called Mariah Power is assembling the first affordable, wind turbines small enough to fit a backyard.

Company President Mike Hess, his staff of six and temporary workers in June started selling 30 wind turbines to produce electricity for $4,995 each and plan to build 30 more in August. The parts are built in machine shops in Carson City.

Without much publicity, the company already has a backlog of 2,500 orders. The two-foot blades of Mariah’s Windspire rotate around a vertical 30-foot pole, using patented technology to maximize the energy produced.

Hess projects the company will produce 18,000 units in its first year at a retooled factory in Youngstown, Ohio, starting this winter. The expansion plans hinge on getting $7 million to $10 million in financing. “We’re on the verge of busting out,” Hess said. (Full Article)