By Energy Excelerator: 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.