Cleantech Getting Investors’ Attention

February 1st, 2007 |
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Cleantech Venture Network is a group of venture capitalists dedicated to finding investments in “clean” technologies. PodTech’s Rio Pesino spoke with Cleantech Co-Founder Nick Parker about the organization’s vision in New York.

The Cleantech Forum XII is right around the corner, February 19-22, in San Francisco. The San Francisco Cleantech Forum brings together more than 600 top investors, companies and thought-leaders for two days of unparalleled networking and cutting edge exchange. Register here.

Transcript:

Host: Rio Pesino – PodTech

Guest: Nick Parker – Cleantech

Rio Pesino – PodTech

This is Rio Pesino for PodTech.net; I’m here with Nick Parker who’s the Chairman and Co-founder of Cleantech. Thanks a lot for joining us on the Podcast Nick.

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Rio, it’s the pleasure to be with you.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Tell us what Cleantech is and basically how did it get started?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Well, Cleantech with a small sea in terms of what we mean by Cleantech is about basically doing more with less, in terms of natural resources, it’s about optimizing how we use natural resources particularly energy. It’s about reducing or ecological impact and it’s about adding economic value in the sense of how can we move markets forward with better and new services that improve the way we use natural resources. As an organization we brought the concept of Cleantech to the business in financial world in 2002 and we build a whole community around that.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

So, tell us a little bit about the growth of Cleantech, how it’s started and how it is today?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Well the predecessor of Cleantech was environmental technology, now, it’s about scrubbers on smokestacks and sort of cleaning up the mess that we’ve made and doing it because we had to for regulatory or compliance reasons. Today Cleantech is about much more economic stuff. So, we’re worried about oil prices, we’re worried about energy security, I’m not worried about climate change.

So, that is forcing market change and consumers are asking for market change, whether it’s organic foods or better water supply or whatever it is, so what we’re seeing is in the capital market in venture capital and entrepreneurship is, we’re seeing a whole generation of people coming into this space now.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

What are some of the challenges Cleantech is faced since its inception?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Well, the challenges, is that often stuff that’s new is not new, and once people – once things get into the headlines, whether its biofuels or solar you get a bit of herd mentality of people chasing after sort of headlines. So, one of the challenges is a little bit too much exuberance in a couple of the headline areas.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

This week’s venture forum, go and tell us little bit about the actual forum and its purpose.

Nick Parker – Cleantech

We’re building a community where people do business and we’re bringing people who didn’t know they had a common agenda together. And so what the forum is about helping to provide inside relationships, opportunities to a whole range of people who make up the ecosystem of the Cleantech entrepreneurial and venture community and it’s very, very exciting to be here because you’ve got a whole range of major actors in the economy from Wal-Mart, to GE, to Goldman Sachs, now hooking up with economic grassroots, entrepreneur in the garage and that’s very same, but it isn’t exciting.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

So, you mentioned the entrepreneur in the garage being at this forum it kind of reminds me of the Internet and how it started I mean, is that do you think that’s a fair comparison?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

The comparison is very interesting in the sense that, the Internet came along, the microchip came belong and then people went out and found markets for it, markets for this new technology. The reverse is true with Cleantech, we’ve got these major problems, whether it’s climate change, or water scarcity or what have you and we are finding the technology to solve the problems. We’d — the problem with the market, we had the pain first and then the solution and historically in technology it’s been the other way around.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Let’s go to back track to the forum. How many forums have you guys hosted and in terms of attendees how has it grown since the very first one?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Alright, 11 forums we’ve been in New York, London, Paris, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington DC. First forum had a 120 people all in, today we had or this week we had between 450 and 500 people. And what’s changed has been, it seems to be a bit of a club of everybody who knew each other and now we’re seeing a wide range of people who never before had thought they had an interesting space come together. So, we’ve had over 2000 investors at all of our forums and it represents everything you could possibly imagine.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Now, when is the next event?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Alright, thank you very much; the next event is 19th -21st of February in the heart of San Francisco at the Marriott.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

That’s where we’re at; we’re at (Voice Overlap).

Nick Parker – Cleantech

We’re going to have you guys there and we do lots of good Podcasting.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Cool, now do you guys have a Website that any of our listeners can go to, if they’d like to?

Nick Parker – Cleantech

www.cleantech.com, it’s the place to be, if you want to know about this space.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

There we go. Nick Parker, Chairman, Co-Founder of Cleantech, thanks a lot for the Podcast.

Nick Parker – Cleantech

Rio, pleasure.

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