Transportation, Food, Water, Energy – Recap of IN2 Summit


Leo Zhang
  [caption id="attachment_15127" align="alignright" width="292"] Source: NREL[/caption] As a Channel Partner to Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) program, Cleantech Group participated in last week’s IN2 Summit at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. With a $30 million funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the IN2 program is co-administered by NREL and designed to facilitate the scale-up of early-stage cleantech start-ups towards the goal of reducing energy impact. The main goal for the Summit was to take a... Read More »

Too much capital, too soon? A closer look at China and India’s recent mega-deal trends


Leo Zhang
Contributions from: Kavya Vayyasi, Summer Analyst From our latest edition of CTG Insights, a subscriber-only publication that explores key innovation themes, my colleague, Josh Gilbert, wrote an excellent article that cuts through the hype of off-grid solar investing, and raised an early warning about over-saturation of venture investments in this space. The article sparked my curiosity to explore a similar trend we are seeing in the Asia Pacific region, where significant amounts of venture capital are being invested. But are... Read More »

Riding the Agriculture & Food Wave – Indoor Vertical Farming


Leo Zhang
Following our recent blog post on alternative proteins, let’s take another look at the agriculture & food sector and touch on a related topic of sustainable food production – indoor vertical farming. Although vertical farming has yet to attract similar level of investments compared to alternative proteins, this space is certainly worth keeping track of as we expect more mega-cities to form over the next decade, and subsequently, the demand for a more sustainable food production system. Below is a... Read More »

China Emerging as an Innovation Leader: Lessons Learned From Our 2017 Cleantech Tour of China


Leo Zhang
On March 21-23, Cleantech Group has the pleasure of leading its 5th Cleantech Tour of China with a group of young, Western clean technology companies and investors with relevant portfolio companies for 3 full days of meetings and network-building activities. The tour provides cleantech CEOs and investors with an excellent introduction to doing business in China, as well as the opportunity to showcase their companies to multiple China-based investors and partners. Many Western technology companies and investors, without a doubt,... Read More »

Evolving Landscape in Industrial Biotech


Leo Zhang
Many regular readers of our blogs may recall the slew of mega deals in the Industrial Biotech sector around the 2006 time frame. Fast forward to 10 years later, such hype has certainly ceased, as evidenced by the withdrawal of many institutional investors in this space, as well as the write-offs of multiple companies that were once poised to disrupt the petroleum industry. When global oil prices dropped below $40/barrel, compounding the challenging task of scaling up a technology within... Read More »

Where industrial biotech fundraising is still seeing success


Leo Zhang
From our previous blog post, we highlighted the evolution of smart grid venturing – how smart gird innovation today is all about the internet-of-things (IoT). In this blog post, we will highlight how venture investments in industrial biotech have shifted over the past 10 years. Venture capital investment in industrial biotech, especially to many in Silicon Valley, is considered a thing of the past. Companies such as KiOR, Cobalt Technologies, and Range Fuels have all but failed to disrupt the... Read More »

Power Breakfast Recap: Distributed Energy Storage – Where’s the Action?


Leo Zhang
On September 23, CTG in partnership with Silicon Valley Bank and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, co-hosted the latest in our Power Breakfast series, focusing on Distributed Energy Storage. For this event, our discussion was moderated by Randy Lewis, Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and we had the privilege of hearing from five industry veterans: Michael Huerta, Program Manager, Energy Storage, Generate Capital Audrey Lee, VP of Analytics & Design, Advanced Microgrid Solutions Ken Munson, President & CEO,... Read More »

How Plants and Crops are Transforming our Food System


Leo Zhang
The agriculture & food sector has seen a wide range of companies gaining traction over the past few years, ranging from food waste reduction technologies to companies aiming to revolutionize the current food system. For instance, technological breakthroughs in sensing and monitoring have enabled food processors and restaurants to better manage their inventory to prevent excessive food wastes, while the emergence of resource sharing-based business models help distribute food that would otherwise become waste. As part of this transformation of the... Read More »

Proving Out the Circular Bio-Economy – Cleantech Forum Europe Recap


Leo Zhang
In its 11th edition, Cleantech Forum Europe took place this year in Florence, Italy, where leading entrepreneurs, industrial multinational corporations, financial investors, and other cleantech stakeholders gathered at our multi-day program immersed under the Industrial Renaissance theme. This year’s theme reflects on the Tuscany region’s leading research and development initiatives, as well as Italy’s heavy industrial manufacturing base. One session in particular – Proving out the Circular Bio-Economy – focused heavily on industrial plants in the industrial biotechnology sector. Based... Read More »

Water Efficiency Innovations in Agriculture


Leo Zhang
California Governor Jerry Brown recently issued an executive order for mandatory water restrictions in order to deal with the state’s worst drought in history. The initiative mostly focuses on urban water use, with the goal of reducing water usage by 25%. Meanwhile, in California, agriculture activities make up more than 75% of the state’s total water consumption. Although the executive order focuses more on urban consumption, improvements in agriculture water efficiency can lead to significant water savings as well. Through... Read More »