Eric McAfee is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist, founding and funding companies in renewable energy, oil and gas, agriculture, networking devices and enterprise software. Given that level of success, I tried to absorb every word of his talk at last week’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum.
So, you’re at a networking event and you get an opportunity to talk with a Venture Capitalist (VC) for just a few minutes. After breaking the ice with quick introductory formalities, you present your elevator pitch, right? Wrong. How can you possibly capture that VC’s interest if you don’t know what excites them? Would you try to sell meat to a vegetarian or bricks to a
Imagine being able to extract the solar energy trapped in the world’s tropical oceans and use it as a renewable power source.
Although that might sound like science fiction, a company in Hawaii called Ocees International Inc. is pursuing the technology — and it’s turned to a new Lancaster-based venture capital fund for help.
JPF Venture Fund 1 is the brainchild of Lancaster County resident Jeremy P. Feakins and his administrative team, which includes midstate businessmen Jim Greenberg and Ed Baer.
During the first day of our tour of Finland’s clean tech companies, we got to meet with Kari Herlevi a Senior Business Advisor recently back in Finland after a tour in Silicon Valley with Tekes, the entity charged with executing the Finish government’s seed investment strategy in technology and innovation. Investing through grants and soft loans, Tekes offers Finnish entrepreneurs a source of capital that a dormant VC and Angel Investing industry fails to provide. Almost invariably, over the course of the ensuing three days Tekes was mentioned as a source of funding for the companies we visited.
As someone that is passionately involved in getting clean tech businesses off the ground I can’t help thinking that some of the businesses in this space are missing a trick or five?
For the last few months I have been working with a renewable energy business that is crammed full of engineering and proven IP excellence, they have a strong business model, off-take agreements and contracts in place – an investors dream. But it is lacking one key ingredient – and that is business soul. The emphasis on the business is – due to the background of its people – driven on a project management and large corporate structures, they are keen to debate sign-on fees, investor restrictions, pension funds, multi-layered structures and confining operating procedures based on what they know.