Oddly, cleantech markets and social capital markets are barely aware of each other, despite obvious areas of complementary expertise. So I traipsed to San Jose to the Clean Tech Open Global Forum to interact with the very high quality CleanTech entrepreneurs, and those entities that fund them.
I have a project in mind to facilitate the bridging of these investment ecosystems that I hope will unlock further capital, but for now, let me simply report on some excellent startups I spoke with.
Impact investors would be interested in what I think of as Alchemy 2.0, and Regenerative Products
- Waste (post-consumer, especially) to energy
- Waste (post-consumer or industrial) to disaster recovery goods
- Energy Grid-busters
- Off-grid irrigation and energy solutions
- Those companies in the gray area described below that add Social Entrepeneurial connection into the communities they serve, primarily via directly creating Green Jobs and providing education.
- Very low impact transportation solutions, whether local fabrication, mass transit, remote monitoring, etc.
Impact investors MIGHT be interested in super-stopgaps
- Efficiency solutions for water use
- Alternative building materials
- Efficiency solutions for currently deployed energy or power systems; including transportation
- Behavioral change solutions even if they provide only incremental energy/water advantages, because of the learning involved
- Alternatively-powered individual vehicles (rather than mass transit)
Lost in translation are those solutions that appear to work against inevitable change
- Cleaner dirty energy
- Industrial waste to consumer goods
In Part 2, I'll expand on specific companies.