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 »

Does Ford’s vision of a new transportation value chain suggest Amazon is the future king of transportation?


Ken-Ichi Hino
Ford has had a fast start to 2018, laying out its vision of the future of transportation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and buying two pieces of its future business model shortly thereafter. The transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) business model Ford envisions isn’t anything new, as plenty of players both large and small have been espousing such a vision for some time. The somewhat surprising aspect is that the way Ford is talking about it indicates that defensibility in the TaaS... 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 »

The New Carbon Economy: Doing Well by Doing Good


Julio Friedmann
This guest blog by Julio Friedmann, CEO of Carbon Wrangler LLC, was previously posted on his LinkedIn and Medium (February 1, 2018).  My second favorite thing to do is drink coffee. Dedicated aficionados are familiar with a curious fact of coffee roasting: the beans off-gas twice their volume in CO2. This process takes a few days, depending on origin and degree of roasting. That’s why one doesn’t grind and drink beans immediately after roasting – to let CO2 exit the bean and... Read More »

Changing the Corporate + Startup Collaboration Paradigm


Troy Ault
On Wednesday, January 31, I had the privilege of participating alongside several representatives of corporate innovation or venturing teams, entrepreneurs, and early-stage investors in a symposium exploring feasibility of an industry standard, simplified partnership agreement (SiPA) between corporates and startups. Kudos, first, to the Activation Energy team (Matt, Nikhil, Jeanne, etc.) for their vision in organizing the gathering, and for securing grant funding for the initiative from the Department of Energy’s Innovation Pathways program. Importantly, such a meeting could not... Read More »

Energy Access: The future of the market


Josh Gilbert
Worldwide, there are over 1.4 billion people without energy access. On the African continent alone, 620 million people lack access not only to the electricity grid, but also to all the accompanying benefits that go along with a connection, with only kerosene-powered solutions. The issue is both a pressing humanitarian problem and an environmental opportunity. Responding to the risks and rewards, venture capital is increasingly being mobilized within the sector – with over $100 million invested in 2017 Q4, according... Read More »

From the Brooklyn Microgrid to EXERGY – A Conversation with Lawrence Orsini, CEO of LO3 Energy


Jules Besnainou
Article contributor: Jonathan Koch, Junior Analyst, CTG LO3 Energy is the organization behind the Brooklyn Microgrid. The company recently announced the launch of EXERGY, a blockchain-based energy marketplace that aims to empower consumers with access to and control of their energy data, and redefine how they interact with energy markets globally. To learn more, we spoke to Lawrence Orsini, the company’s CEO, who will join us at next week’s Cleantech Forum San Francisco on January 22-24. Jules Besnainou: What is the... Read More »

Iteration vs Reusability – A Race to Mars


Jonathan Koch
Contributions from: Louis Brasington, Intern Interview with Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity Space Launching rockets has never been cheaper. Technological advances and new business models are shaking up the industry, and private investments are soaring. But while all eyes are on the ‘Falcon Heavy’ - currently being tested in Cape Canaveral - and SpaceX’s successful recovery of rockets, a few companies have chosen another path to drive down costs and improve the economics of space launch: 3D printing. Companies like... Read More »

A Year in Review: A look back at the 2017 Global Cleantech 100


Chris Sworder
As we look forward to the release of our 2018 Global Cleantech 100 (GCT100) on stage at Cleantech Forum San Francisco on January 22nd, we thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look back at how both our 2017 Global Cleantech 100 fared since making the list last January, and of our GCT100 alumni, in general. The Global Cleantech 100 Program The Global Cleantech 100 list is our barometer reading of the global innovation community's shifting views... 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 »