Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Mary Dent, SVB Financial Group

Mary Dent
General Counsel
SVB Financial Group

Mary Dent is SVB Financial Group's general counsel and secretary, responsible for leading the company's legal department, providing strategic guidance to its management team and board, and spearheading the company's government affairs efforts. Dent also has overall responsibility for SVB's cleantech initiative. This initiative brings together SVB's efforts in four areas that, collectively, are designed to promote the success of SVB's cleantech clients and the development of a robust cleantech sector: Building out a comprehensive cleantech banking practice; informing SVB's clients about relevant business and policy developments; helping to shape policies affecting the sector to ensure they reflect the views and needs of cleantech entrepreneurs; and implementing cleaner, greener business practices within SVB.

Dent has more than 15 years of legal experience in the public and private sectors. She joined SVB Financial Group from New Skies Satellites, a global satellite communications service provider based in the Netherlands. While serving as New Skies' general counsel, she was responsible for all securities and governance matters, including the company's IPO in 2000 on the NYSE and AEX, as well as all regulatory, contractual, and other legal matters affecting the company. She also served as a member of the company's executive management team and, in that capacity, participated in determining and implementing its long term strategy. During the past several years, she played a central role in taking New Skies private in 2004, conducting the company's second IPO on the NYSE in 2005, and in its recent sale to a strategic buyer.

Prior to joining New Skies, Dent was an attorney with Goldberg, Godles, Wiener & Wright, a Washington, DC-based law firm that specializes in legal and policy matters for technology companies. Over the course of her professional career, Dent also worked for Senator Edward Kennedy, was a fellow with the Women's Law & Public Policy Fellowship Program, and served as a law clerk to Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Dent earned a bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and a Juris Doctor degree with Distinction from Stanford Law School.

Bio courtesy of SVB.

Don't miss your chance to see Mary Dent speak at Cleantech Investment Strategies on October 7-9th in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Paul Dickerson, Partner, Haynes & Boone

Paul Dickerson
Haynes & Boone

Paul Dickerson, a recognized leader and sought-after speaker on issues of clean tech and energy efficiency, launched Haynes and Boone’s Clean Tech practice group in 2008. Paul, a partner who offices in the firm’s Houston and D.C. offices, returned to the firm to launch the group, a new concentration for the firm that builds upon the firm's broad experience in intellectual property, litigation, technology, financing and many other legal issues that companies in the nascent industry must face.

Paul served as Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) from 2006 until his return to Haynes and Boone (where he worked as an associate from 2000 to 2005). He oversaw the EERE’s $1.8 billion budget and helped move alternative and renewable energy technologies from the “vision” stage to real-world development.

Don't miss your chance to see Paul Dickerson speak at Cleantech Investment Strategies on October 7-9th in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Russell Diamond, CIO of Solution Capital Partners

Russell Diamond
CIO, Principal, Investment Committee Member,
Solution Capital Partners

In his role as Chief Investment Officer, Mr. Diamond leads the fund’s investment strategy, manages due diligence, and oversees portfolio construction. Since 2006, he has served as General Partner of R&D Capital Partners, a CleanTech fund investing in clean technology through private equity funds and direct investments. Since 1999 he has been the General Partner of two medical technology venture funds, Saratoga Ventures III and IV. He has been in asset management and alternative investments since 1991, at Prudential Securities, GEM Capital Management, and West Side Advisors. He serves on the Board of American Clean Power, Inc., a commercial and residential solar integrator. He is on the Investment Committee of E+Co, which makes clean energy investments in the developing world, and he serves on the Advisory Board of Building with Books from whom he received their 2007 Global Impact Award. Since 2006 he has been active in municipal initiatives to implement local green initiatives in Westport, CT and Sag Harbor, NY. He earned a BA cum laude from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Don't miss your chance to see Russell Diamond speak at Cleantech Investment Strategies on October 7-9th in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Scott Brown, CEO of New Energy Capital

Scott Brown
New Energy Capital

Scott Brown founded New Energy Capital in 2004 and has served as its CEO to date, overseeing all aspects of company formation, deal origination, execution and portfolio management. During the past 25 years, Scott was part of the founding management team at First Solar, has served as President and CEO of Glasstech Solar, Inc., a manufacturer of semiconductor equipment for the photovoltaic industry, and has consulted extensively with state agencies and private equity companies on renewable energy. Between 1999 and 2005, Scott served on the National Advisory Board of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

New Energy Capital invests in, owns and operates renewable energy and distributed generation projects. Since 2004, NEC has invested in ethanol, and biodiesel production facilities, on-site cogeneration, and biomass-fired power generation assets.

Don't miss your chance to see Scott Brown speak at Cleantech Investment Strategies on October 7-9th in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Jonathan Bloch

Jonathan Bloch
Senior MD,
Managing Partner,
GKM Newport

Mr. Bloch is a Managing Director of GKM Ventures. Mr. Bloch previously was Managing Director of the Technology Group at Chanin Capital Partners where he specialized in corporate finance and principal investing. He led various early-stage and pre-IPO technology related investments including Software.com, now Openwave Systems (NASDAQ:OPWV).

Jonathan is a former Partner in the law firm of Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman, Kuchel & Silbert.

He received his BA degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his JD. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Presently, he is a director for TransDimension, Inc., Advanced Data Exchange, Ascendant Solutions, Inc., Santa Monica Amusements LLC, Silicon Bandwidth (observer status) and a member of the Board of Governors of Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Bio courtesy of GKM Ventures

Don't miss your chance to see Jonathan Bloch speak at Cleantech Investment Strategies on October 7-9th in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Tom Amis

Tom Amis
Alston + Bird

Tom Amis is a partner in Alston & Bird’s Washington office where he heads the firm’s Renewable Energy Group. He has developed and financed projects in a number of industry sectors over the course of his career, with an emphasis on electric power projects. For the past six years, his practice has focused on the renewable energy sector.

Mr. Amis leads an integrated renewable energy practice, incorporating expertise in project development and finance, renewable energy policy, carbon management and renewable energy technology. This synergistic approach positions the group to add significant value to renewable energy transactions.

Acting for both developers and lenders, he has negotiated joint development agreements; joint venture, partnership and other ownership documentation; turbine supply contacts; balance of plant contracts and REC sales agreements; transmission and interconnection agreements; operating agreements; financing documents; and land use agreements. He also is highly experienced in developing projects structured around CERs generated pursuant to the Kyoto protocol.

Tom Amis and his firm was also named one of The Best Lawyers of 2009.

Don't miss your chance to see Tom Amis speak at Cleantech Investment Strategies on October 7-9th in San Francisco, CA. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cleantech 2009 Speaker Profile: Steve Westly

Steve Westly
Former Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer, State of California, and Managing Partner, The Wesly Group

Steve Westly is currently founder of The Westly Group, one of the larger clean tech venture funds in the US. In 2008 he served as the California Co-Chair for the Obama for President campaign.

Prior to founding The Westly Group, Steve Westly served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California - the world's sixth largest economy. As Controller, he chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 other boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation's two largest public pension funds, which together invest more than $350 billion. During his four-year term, Mr. Westly spearheaded innovative tax programs that helped close the State's budget deficit and also led an effort to commit more than $1 billion to clean technology investments.

Before running for office, Mr. Westly helped guide the online auction company eBay through its period of most rapid growth, serving as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International. Mr. Westly helped bring eBay to Europe and Asia and developed the marketing and acquisition strategies that paved the path for the firm's exponential growth.

Mr. Westly began his career in Washington, D.C., where he worked first on Capitol Hill and later in the Office of Conservation and Solar at the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Westly returned to California to become special assistant to the President of the California Public Utilities Commission. While there, he published two books on alternative energy and the utilities. Mr. Westly also held senior positions at Sprint Communications, Netcom, and WhoWhere?.

Mr. Westly holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he served on the faculty for five years. Mr. Westly and his wife, Anita, run the Westly Foundation, which provides education and health care services for children and underserved communities throughout California.

In this video below Steve Westly talks about the effect term limits reform and Proposition 93 could have on the environment. Take a quick look..

Don't miss Steve Westly's keynote speech "The Future of Cleantech Investment" at Cleantech Investment Forum October 7-9, 2009 at San Francisco, Ca.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Agenda for the Cleantech Investment Forum has been released!

Visit www.iirusa.com/cleaninvesting to check out the Cleantech Investment Forum (October 7-9, 2009, San Francisco), the premier educational forum bringing together LPs and GPs to help investors, allocators and project finance professionals better understand how to find profitable investment opportunities in cleantech.

Be sure to check out the agenda, list of speakers and our associated LinkedIn Group.

Plus, if you're a qualified Limited Partner, you are eligible for a complimentary pass to the event. Please email kkirkpatrick@iirusa.com for details on this offer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Renewable Energy Ready for Prime Time?

Renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass could supply up to 10% of the US's energy needs by 2020, and 20% more by 2035, according to a report by the National Research Council cited by the Cleantech Brief.

Despite the ebullient projections, the report indicates that major advances in the way electricity is generated, transmitted and used will be required in order for renewables to meet their full power-producing potential.

What are your thoughts as to the best way to support the development of these new power generation and transmission technologies?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Green Data?

IBM and Syracuse University are teaming up to build a computer data center that is planned to use about 50% less energy than a regular data center, according to this report posted at Cleantechbrief.com. The $12.4 million, 6,000 square-foot center will be located right on the SU campus, and will generate its own electical tri-generation system. The center will feature a liquid cooling system that uses double-effect absorption chillers to convert exhaust heat from microturbines into chilled water that will cool data center servers.

I think this is a good example of how renewable energy can be effectively deployed today to meet both a business need and the needs of the environment.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Significant Growth in Private Equity Funds focused on Cleantech

More than 380 private equity firms are focused on the cleantech sector, according to new research published by Research and Markets, and reported here by the Cleantech Brief. The post notes that North America leads the way with 45% of private equity fund managers, followed by Europe (36%), with the rest of the world (including Asia) accounting for the remaining 19%.

Funds of funds accounted for 19% of investors, while public pension funds made up 15% of the sector's investor base.

So with the increased focus on cleantech arond the globe, where do you expect to see activity occurring around the globe, and in which cleantech industries?

Waxman-Markey climate bill passes Energy & Commerce Committee

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed on May 21 the American Clean Energy & Security Act, clearing the way for a bill to be delivered to the full House of Representatives prior to the August recess.

This post aggregates opinions on the current form of the bill, ranging from praise (Al Gore for the Alliance on Climate Protection) to strong criticism that the bill was significantly watered down (Greenpeace).

What are your thoughts on the Waxman-Markey bill? What shape and form will it ultimately need to take to be passed by the House, Senate and ultimately signed by Obama? Will this version have enough teeth to have a significant impact on clean energy, the environment and the economy?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is the US giving up on fuel cells?

According to this article in the New York Times, the new administration's Department of Energy budget beginning Oct. 1, 2009, will not include funding for cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells, citing a lack of viability for the technology over the next 10 to 20 years.

Is the Administration being too hasty in its decision to cut funding to a technology once thought to be the key to weaning us off of foreign oil?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You know there's money to be made

...when the mob gets involved. According to this report published in the New York Daily News, Italian mobsters have forced their way into wind farm construction deals in Italy. Law enforcement investigations revealed poorly built projects linked to mob activity, as well as several arrests in a wind power fraud case in February.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Norway Commits $3.1B US into Cleantech...Will US Pension Funds Follow Suit?

According to this report from April 6 published at Cleantech.com, the Norwegian government pension fund will commit NOK 20bn ($3.1B US) into cleantech over the next five years. However, large US pension funds such as CalPERS, CalSTRS and the New York State Common Retirement Fund -- each of which had previously invested in this space -- are now apparently sitting on the sidelines, due to current market conditions and a strict focus on bottom-line returns.

Do you expect institutional investors to come back to the cleantech market later in 2009 and in 2010 if the economy improves? Will the US government programs -- such as the extension of certain tax breaks and the grant program -- serve as a strong enough catalyst to get investors focused on cleantech over the next 18 months?