Intelligent Traffic Systems: Implementation and What’s Down the Road?


Leo Zhang
According to INRIX’s 2017 Traffic Scorecard study, the estimated total economic costs from traffic congestion for the US, UK, and Germany amounted to almost $461 billion in 2017. The dollar value increases when the calculation includes data from the other 35 countries in this study. Furthermore, several major developing countries were excluded from this study, so total global economic impact from traffic congestion could be significantly higher than what INRIX has reasonably estimated. In other words, the economic cost of... Read More »

Advanced Manufacturing – A Preview of Our Upcoming Power Breakfast


Leo Zhang
From our most recent Quarterly Investment Monitor data, the Industrial & Manufacturing industry group continues to attract a considerable amount of investments in the first quarter of 2018, capturing 17% of the total deal volume in cleantech innovation. Total deal volume and dollar amount in the first quarter dropped following the spike at the end of 2017; nevertheless, overall investment trend still shows an ever increasing deal activity in this industry group. The Industrial & Manufacturing industry group encompasses a... Read More »

From Bioplastics To Plastic Alternatives – Recent Investment Snapshot Of Alternative Packaging Solutions


Leo Zhang
The chemical sector is facing increasingly stricter environmental regulations and the old school business model of selling petroleum-based chemicals in bulk has reached its plateau. Consumers are also becoming more involved in sustainability, demanding more green products from manufacturers. Plastic is a classic example to illustrate the significant environmental effects the use of petroleum-based chemicals. A UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) studied showed that more than 8 million tons of plastic are being dumped in our oceans each year, while the... Read More »

Power Breakfast Recap: Biotech + Sustainability: 2018 and Beyond


Leo Zhang
On Wednesday, March 7, we held our latest Power Breakfast event in San Francisco with the support from our longtime sponsors, Silicon Valley Bank and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Our topic for this event was industrial biotech. More specifically, we sought to explore how a changing set of tools available to biotech innovators is impacting technology development, and how industries and investors might react to optimize that. We had a diverse panel of conversation starters who each brought a... Read More »

How a Chemicals-as-a-Service model is disrupting the traditional world of chemicals


Leo Zhang
It is without a doubt that the chemical sector is looking to increase its overall sustainability, with efforts by both innovators and incumbents. From the innovation community, bio-based chemicals have been a main focal point for many startups while multinational chemical corporations have also invested heavily in this area. Despite the billions of dollars of investments being made into a wide range of companies with different conversion processes, the business model for these companies is largely the same. Many have... Read More »

Next-Gen Agriculture & Food – What did we learn at Cleantech Forum SF?


Leo Zhang
The 2018 Cleantech Forum San Francisco successfully wrapped up two weeks ago, which highlighted next generation cleantech innovations. The agriculture & food sector was a key topic for this year, and as such, was allocated three separate sessions to cover various themes, including digital agriculture, sustainable food systems, and biotechnology applications. The panels consisted of leading venture investors, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs sharing their perspectives on the current challenges we face, and more importantly, how to overcome them. Digital technologies... Read More »

China’s Growing Cleantech Ecosystem and Venture Investments


Leo Zhang
When it comes to combating climate change, China is stepping onto center stage and taking a leading position to reduce its carbon footprint. At this year’s 19th Communist Party Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping proclaimed that by "taking the driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization.” In parallel, he also emphasized technology innovation as an integral part of the country’s path... Read More »

Three Agriculture & Food Trends to Watch in 2018


Leo Zhang
The agriculture & food sector has attracted an increasing number of venture investments since 2014, reaching the sector’s highest fundraising so far at more than $1.5 billion in 2017, according to data from our i3 platform. My colleague has published a recent blog post on high-profile company, Plenty, which has raised $200 million venture capital and is aiming to bring large scale vertical farming to cities. Besides vertical farming, technologies such as plant genomics, alternative proteins, drones, and more are entering... Read More »

Fragmentation in IoT – One Roadblock in IoT Deployment


Leo Zhang
The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled the connection of millions of devices, resulting in a vast amount of data being extracted from these devices, which then enables innovation in applications areas like industrial automation, predictive maintenance, and artificial intelligence. The IoT theme is certainly an area that we have been paying close attention to, where we have seen an exponential increase in venture investments at the intersection of cleantech and IoT from traditional venture capital investors and large multinational... Read More »

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 »