Impact Investing + Cleantech. This Is The Year.

CleanTechnica
October 12, 2015

By : What do Bill Gates, Steve Case, Nancy Pfund, Pierre Omid­yar, and Will Smith all have in com­mon? All Hol­ly­wood action stars? Ummmm…. yes, and, they are all clean­tech investors.

What do Bill Gates, Steve Case, Nancy Pfund, Pierre Omid­yar, and Will Smith all have in com­mon? All Hol­ly­wood action stars? Ummmm…. yes, and, they are all clean­tech investors.

It was a flurry of activ­ity. The Fed­eral Trea­sury announced that it may be stream­lin­ing the tax rules related to mission-​​related invest­ments and program-​​related invest­ments. A new cen­ter at the Depart­ment of Energy called the “Clean Energy Impact Invest­ment Cen­ter” was form­ing. My orga­ni­za­tion, Energy Excel­er­a­tor, was announc­ing a new fund for our port­fo­lio com­pa­nies and more.

But amidst all this buzz, the news that made head­lines was that Will + Jada Smith’s Foun­da­tion was invest­ing in a lit­tle known startup called Quid­net Energy — a new ven­ture that’s try­ing to use nat­ural cav­i­ties in the earth to store energy. Men In Black Caves? Inde­pen­dent Investor day? Fresh Prince of Clean Air? But seri­ously… how and why did this all happen?

Let’s take a step back here. What is clean­tech, exactly?

You may be famil­iar with promi­nent indus­tries such as solar, wind, elec­tric cars, bat­tery stor­age, etc. But clean­tech is much more than that. Clean­tech enables chil­dren in Tan­za­nia to read at night. Clean­tech helps women in Nicaragua access clean water for their fam­i­lies. Clean­tech is cre­at­ing micro-​​entrepreneurs in Thai­land through mobile phone charg­ing sta­tions. At Energy Excel­er­a­tor for exam­ple, we take a broad view and invest in every­thing from water effi­ciency to regen­er­a­tive agri­cul­ture to off-​​grid energy access. Clean­tech is big and broad.

To read the full arti­cle, visit Clean­Tech­nica.