Biostimulants – the nexus of biotechnology and fertilizer


Chris Sworder
As we look forward to welcoming some of the leading thinkers in bio-based chemical and agricultural innovation at Cleantech Forum Europe in Antwerp on May 14-16, we thought we would take a look at one leading technology that is set to have an impact in the agriculture & food industry - biostimulants. What are Biostimulants? It has taken some time to identify biostimulants as its own market. An article from 2015 highlights the difficulty of defining a biostimulant as opposed to 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 »

Securing IoT for the Clean Economy: A review of product trends through recent deal activity


Troy Ault
On March 15, in its first announcement of sanctions against Russian actors, the Trump administration formally acknowledged attempted cyber attacks on US electricity grid infrastructure. Prevention, detection and response to such attacks have been improving ever since the first known cyber-attack successful in disrupting grid service (also attributed to Russian actors) occurred in Ukraine in December 2015. It’s not just the Kremlin; today, utility folks we’ve spoken to say that attempts at cyber-infiltration of physical infrastructure are understood to be... 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 »

Mobikes, Mo’ Problems – How are cities dealing with the bikesharing gold rush?


Josh Gilbert
There’s now more than 8 million bicycles in Beijing, that’s a fact! Over the last 12 months, bikesharing companies have raised over $6 billion dollars in equity financing, with an array of startups rapidly deploying this capital by rolling out services globally. Much of this capital has gone to a select few Chinese companies – Ofo and Mobike – which have quickly moved beyond China into markets in Europe, Singapore and the US. [caption id="attachment_17496" align="aligncenter" width="751"] Bike sharing investment... Read More »

Gene editing in agriculture & food: Accelerating the second green revolution


Chris Sworder
Why are we talking about this? Pressure on global resources to support our food system is growing, and even outpacing ability to meet demand. Genetic engineering is a useful tool to maximize yield in an increasingly resource-stressed world. “CRISPR-Cas9 is a step change for agritech, it allows plant breeders to implement the vast wealth of knowledge accumulated in the last hundred years into a wider range of crop plants. It has and will continue to accelerate crop science research into... 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 »

Cognitive Dissonance Must not Derail Good Investment Strategies


Troy Ault
Adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015 brought a wave of euphoria, a sense that we'd beaten the bureaucratic odds and actually gotten something done. Then came some sobering math. The stark realization of what needs to be done has been a galvanizing force that's returned investment to new technologies focused on re-balancing our carbon budget. In 2017, we acknowledged the increased focus specifically in carbon-to-value technologies that put captured carbon to work as a feedstock rather than... Read More »

Don’t get left behind! Can we make smart city mobility solutions work for all?


Josh Gilbert
Dense urban environments throughout the world are booming, with populations soaring as opportunities attract people to cities. Today, more than half of all humans live in urban areas. Further, this growth is set to continue over the coming years, with the number expected to hit 66% by 2050. This influx of people and goods trying to get into and around our cities is a difficult but potentially lucrative issue to resolve. Here at CTG, we’ve brought together leading startups in... Read More »

A Feeding Frenzy in Agriculture – Cannibalism and M&A Prey


Chris Sworder
It’s always difficult to get a big picture of the agriculture industry. It’s huge. However, two big things are important: mega-mergers and bountiful exits. Big companies In recent years, we have seen a number of mergers that would see large percentages of market share across the Agriculture & Food sector concentrated in an even smaller number of companies. Just as one small example, with this set of mergers shown on the right, 70% of the world’s pesticide market and 83%... Read More »