Mark your calendars for the 17th Cleantech Forum San Francisco, taking place on January 28-30, 2019!

As a true kick-off for the year ahead, this January gathering of our global cleantech innovation community offers unique opportunities to learn, network, and get deals done. Since 2002, Cleantech Group has brought together leading corporate executives, startup and scale-up company CEOs, investors, government agencies, and other key innovation thinkers, supporters and enablers from all areas of resource innovation, all major industrial verticals, and from across the globe.

For our 2019 flagship event, the second in our Next Generation Cleantech Forum series, we are building the program around the idea of “Diversity of Thought.” See the Agenda tab for more information about the theme.

What You’ll Experience

Charting the Future, Connecting the Globe remains core to the value proposition of Cleantech Forums, and indeed all of CTG’s services.

Our Cleantech Forums give you a glimpse of the future, get you out of your everyday silos, provide a different perspective, and help you find innovations of relevance that are in adjacent or altogether different industrial and technology areas. We convene the game-changers from multiple sectors all in one place for three days, from 25+ countries, and from over 100 cities worldwide. Our 17-year history of Cleantech Forums speaks to the importance of our events in getting deals done (or started), and the feedback we receive from attendees each year highlights the unique opportunities found at our Forums.

The Forum will officially kick-off in celebratory mood with the announcement of the 10th annual edition of our Global Cleantech 100 list, as well as the release of our Global Cleantech 100 Report, highlighting some of the key innovation trends of the next 5-10 years – represented by the GCT100 companies, the Ones to Watch (the GCT100’s sister list) and the thousands of inputs we aggregate during the Global Cleantech 100 research phase.

Haven’t experienced a Cleantech Forum? Learn more about it here.

Who Attends

You can expect to meet high-level corporate and investor representatives, entrepreneurs and disruptive startups, and other innovation leaders from 25+ countries, 5 continents, and from across many different sectors and industries.

Attendee numbers are consistently in the 600-650 range. Each is motivated to see today’s ‘state of the art’ in sustainable innovation and to gain insights on tomorrow.

Entrepreneurs: The startups and innovators on the front lines of sustainable innovation.

Corporates: Representatives from today’s leading corporate open innovation and venturing programs – those funding, incubating and partnering with innovation for strategic as well as financial return.

Financial Investors: Representatives from leading financial firms – venture and growth capital firms, from Sand Hill Road to Zhongguancun, along with the angels and family offices looking to make a sustainable impact and financial return.

Innovation Leaders: The ecosystem is completed with the presence of public sector officials and programs specialized in helping cleantech and resource innovation, and by lawyers and bankers, thinkers and innovation visionaries.

Want to see who is attending our Forum? Check out our latest registration list update here.

Attendee Testimonials

Each year, we receive attendee feedback that our Cleantech Forum San Francisco provides a high level of networking opportunities, bringing together the most relevant influencers of the cleantech community and providing our attendees with connections beyond the Forum.

“One of the best conferences I have ever been to”
Gregorio Oberti, Managing Director, PwC

“Startups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporates – all the most influential leaders and innovators of the global cleantech industry gather at Cleantech Forum San Francisco to attend meaningful discussions and identify new trends, emerging innovations and their deployment. It really is a MUST in the cleantech industry.”
Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder & Managing Director, Cycle Capital Management

“It was an absolute blast! Loved my first Cleantech Forum. What amazing people you gather. Feeling inspired and motivated.”
Claire O’Connor, Senior Advisor, International Affairs, US Department of Energy

“Thank you for a great forum! I was humbled by the smart and experienced people I met, it was great rubbing shoulders with such intelligent people. And I’m following up with several of them!”
Kathy Giori, Vice President, Arduino


Diversity of Thought: Harnessing the Power of Difference

The agenda is being updated daily, check back to see new speakers and sessions. 

In 2018, we initiated our Next Generation Cleantech Forum series, as Cleantech Group began its second 15 years of Charting the Future, Connecting the Globe. Last January, our Forum theme was Next Generations; this time, it will be Diversity of Thought: Harnessing the Power of Difference.

Einstein once remarked that problems don’t get solved by the same thinking that created them. The 21st century challenge we all face of transitioning the enormous scale of our global industrialized B2B activities to being significantly more decarbonized, decentralized, dematerialized, and digitally-enabled – at affordable costs and tolerable levels of disruption – is truly daunting.

The problems will not get solved by imaginations, business approaches, and value sets, which were shaped and grounded by the 20th century industrial order and its ways of thinking. We badly need new imaginations at play, new voices at the table. And we need them now.

Read more

Gender diversity is most certainly, and most rightly, an important part of this, but our Diversity of Thought theme should be understood to embrace a much wider perspective, too. New solutions will come from harnessing the power of imaginations and packaging technology-enabled solutions in new forms and formats, born of different educations, different cultures and different generations, influenced by different experiences and driven by different value sets, brought to market in new-style partnerships.

We strongly believe that truly next generation innovation companies, financial investors and fund managers, and corporations trying to reinvent themselves will benefit from finding ways now (and year on year) to harness the power of diversity into their thinking.

That might start with being open to suspending strong belief and bias systems, listening to innovative and imaginative minds, and exposing oneself to different viewpoints, however unfamiliar, even implausible or unattractive, some might seem to be.

In January 2019, our program (and attendees) will provide you with access to such variety – people with different things to share, people with different approaches to the same problems, people with unfettered imaginations.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” (another of Einstein’s well-known quotes). Come get a fix to start your 2019 on the right path!

The agenda is being updated daily, check back to see new speakers and sessions. 

Featured speakers

January 28, 2019

denotes Moderator
  • Concordia

    Registration opens for invite-only and pre-Forum activities.

  • Franciscan
    Entrepreneur Coaching

    All entrepreneurs are invited to participate in a coaching session with three subject matter experts from our network to discuss a range of topics around  “the building of a company.” Relevant topics include fundraising, commercialization challenges and solutions, branding strategy, and executive presence. This informal session is designed to be interactive with dialogues and case studies, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to come prepared with specific questions in mind.

    Co-hosted by: Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre

  • Franciscan
    Entrepreneur & Investor Speed Networking (Invite-Only)

    The Entrepreneur & Investor Speed Networking session will connect investors, corporates, and entrepreneurs via a facilitated “speed dating” format. Entrepreneurs will have the chance to meet with multiple investors throughout the session. Limited seating and by invitation only.

    This session is now full for both investors and entrepreneurs. 

    Co-Hosted by: Tokyo Gas

  • Olympic
    Executive Summit: The Hydrogen Economy (Invite-Only)

    This limited-seating, afternoon Executive Summit will be devoted to sharing views on hydrogen. The focus will be on three main aspects of commercializing hydrogen: sustainable production and integration into today’s energy, industrial and transportation sectors.

    The emphasis is not on policy but on the innovative companies, investors, technologies and projects that are making sustainable hydrogen a part of these sectors today.

    The reason for keeping this Summit pre-event and invite-only is to limit the size, enabling participants to easily engage in conversation, and to allocate places evenly to people from different parts of the value chain and to other stakeholders (e.g. companies, investors, startups, etc.)

    This session is now full.  

  • Concordia
    Registration & Official Opening
  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    The 2019 Global Cleantech 100 is Unveiled: Welcome to the 17th Annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco!

    We will open the Forum by releasing the latest edition of the Global Cleantech 100, the 10th such list since its inaugural appearance in 2009.

    We will then put the spotlight on Agriculture & Food, as the sector which has grown the most (in % terms) in representation over the 10 years of Global Cleantech 100 lists, before ending our opening evening by hearing from Project Drawdown.

  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    Meat from Plants: Doing the Impossible!

    Project Drawdown ranked shifting to a diet rich in plants as the 4th most impactful of the 80 solutions Drawdown has profiled and quantified for carbon-savings. Impossible Foods will talk to us about the journey to date, and their hopes and dreams for the plant-based food movement for the next 5-10 years.

  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    Using Plants to Waste Fewer Plants: How appealing is that?!

    Project Drawdown ranked reducing food waste as the 3rd most impactful of the 80 solutions it has profiled and quantified for carbon-savings. Apeel Sciences will talk to us about their perspective on the food waste problem, and bring to life for us how nature has already invented how to preserve fruit and vegetables for significantly longer, thereby creating savings of food, energy and water.

  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    The Food Energy Water Nexus: More Attention Needed?

    In October 2018, IN2 , Wells Fargo’s Innovation Incubator program managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), announced its expansion into agricultural technology. To round out the focus on Ag & Food in our opening Forum session, IN2 will briefly share the rationale behind its program expansion and the key findings of a white paper, IN2 Food, Energy, Water Landscape, which determined where the IN2 program could have the greatest impact. Cleantech Group is proud to have been a co-author on this paper.

  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    Project Drawdown: Scaling the solution-set in 30 years

    A couple of things have happened since last January’s Forum. One, the warnings of how bad things might get and how inadequate the responses are to date seem to be growing louder – most noticeably, the IPCC’s October report and November’s 4th National Climate Assessment. Two, we are finding more and more investors who are looking to articulate and quantify the impact their investee companies are having.

    It feels right to officially open this year’s Forum in the company of Project Drawdown. One, because Project Drawdown’s work has ranked the potential carbon-saving impact of 80 different existing solutions reaching true scale over the next 30 years. Two, because many of the solutions will be represented by one or more companies at this Forum. Three, because we, like Drawdown, wish to be optimistic and believe human ingenuity can work its way out of the tight corner we are backing ourselves into. And four, because Drawdown has been credited by Tom Peters, the management writer, for coming “at the world’s most important issue in an entirely novel fashion.” This year’s Forum is ready to give voice to anyone coming at old problems with new thinking.

  • Foyer
    Welcome Reception

January 29, 2019

denotes Moderator
  • Foyer & Metropolitan Ballroom
    Registration, Continental Breakfast & Roundtable Trends Discussions with Cleantech Group Analysts

    Welcome coffee and light breakfast will be served in the general networking area.

    In addition to the concurrent energy storage breakfast, we offer you the opportunity to grab some breakfast and come meet and talk to some of Cleantech Group’s analysts – in roundtables of up to 10 people, first come, first served – about their recent research and views on trends in their sectors over the year ahead.

    Read more

    Three of our analysts will be available at breakfast to discuss the below sectors (and our Director of Research will also be available to discuss our research agenda for the year ahead, looking for inputs and suggestions on potential topics):

    • Resources & Environment: Josh Gilbert has been researching data-enabled resources, planet management, and industrial water.
    • Transportation & Logistics: Leo Zhang has been researching multi-modal logistics, autonomous vehicles, and  intelligent traffic systems.

  • Olympic
    An Energy Storage Breakfast: The latest and greatest on revenues and costs, present and future

    Dan Gabaldon, a Director from Enovation Partners who focuses on DERs (including leading the four Lazard Levelized Cost of Storage (LCOS) studies), will lead an interactive discussion on a cross section of different energy storage technologies. This year’s breakfast will be a facilitated discussion among the panelists and the broader audience, with focus on these key questions.

    Where are the revenues coming from for energy storage projects across the US and globally? What does the outlook look like for emerging battery technology companies? Are there white-spaces for solid-state, longer duration batteries to aim at?

    Come enjoy our annual energy storage breakfast, designed to provide you with the latest on energy storage revenues, costs, and project economics, and the market implications for emerging technology companies. Expect informal Q&A style interaction, not a formal presentation session.

  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    Diversity of Thought: Harnessing the Power of Difference

    Our main-stage time will begin with Cleantech Group’s annual “lay of the land,” incorporating the trends and organizations to keep an eye on, in the months and years ahead. We will also introduce our overall Forum theme and provide some examples of diversity of thought in action and what it might mean to follow Einstein’s counsel that you don’t solve problems with the same thinking that created them.

    We will meet and hear from guest speakers to further develop some parts of that opening presentation. We will meet Tencent’s Exploration and Investments team, an active investor since 2011, but one which has taken a very noticeable interest in the last 3 years in companies addressing problems relating to the digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient future we all care about. And we will also hear from Kapor Capital, an Oakland-based fund which believes in the power of transformative ideas and diverse teams, that the “lived experience” of founding teams from under-represented backgrounds can provide a competitive edge.

  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    Keynote Address
  • Foyer
    Networking Break

    From this point on, the majority of the Forum’s programming will take place in parallel tracks, offering you a wider variety of subjects to choose from and continuing our well-received Interaction Track. Wherever you see the label Interaction Track, expect the format of these sessions to be deliberately informal, intimate and interactive. That means smaller rooms (think 20-60 people), with no microphones or monitors and powerpoint-free. You are here to listen and talk to each other!

    Formats in the Interaction Track session might include Campfires, where the seating arrangement will be circular and close to the speakers leading the session, or CEO Briefings, where about 20 people will get the chance to join this “roundtable” format and hear directly from the CEOs of innovation companies in slots of 20 minutes.

    The Interaction Track program will allow our guests more subjects and more opportunities to get smart or updated on particular, often niche, subjects, and/or subjects to get up close and personal with particular CEOs.

  • Metropolitan Breakout
    Enabling the Future of EV Charging: The Business Models, the Challengers

    The debate has moved on. There are fewer and fewer people who don’t think the electrification for transportation is a mega-trend with increasing tailwinds behind it. Key questions and areas for disagreement would certainly include the speed at which deployment happens and what % of transportation will ultimately transition to electric, and how those dynamics vary geographically and indeed by vehicle category. Other key questions would include: What are the sustainable business models? Who pays? Who benefits? There is unlikely to be one universal solution.

    This session will give voice to different viewpoints, with different solutions, each arguing why their approach and their business model will earn a place in the future of EV charging.

    Co-Hosted by: BP Ventures

  • Franciscan
    The Rising Stars

    Once again bringing back a popular session, we will hear from 5 CEOs and leaders from companies who have made the Global Cleantech 100 list for the first time. They will be given the opportunity to tell our audience more about why their innovation matters, what differentiates their company, and how they will making an impact over the next 5-10 years.

    The companies speaking on this session will be announced following the Monday, January 28th announcement of the 10th edition of the Global Cleantech 100 list.

  • Interaction Track
    Scaling Industrial IoT Opportunities from Concept to Widespread Deployment

    We’ve all been sold on the promise of Industrial IoT, yet scaling solutions to thousands of devices has proven challenging for many. This is your opportunity to meet two startup CEOs who have successfully accomplished this and ask them how they made it happen.

    Co-Hosted by: Evok Innovations

  • CEO Briefing
    Beyond CO2 to Concrete: Think CO2 to Water!

    Over the last year CarbonCure has advanced CO2 utilization technologies for the concrete sector by completing the world’s first integrated pilot with CO2 capture from cement kilns for concrete production and construction, as well as surpassing 100 manufacturing plants across North America and now Asia. Its next challenge is to launch a new technology segment – for CO2 utilization in water. Come discuss advancements in CO2 utilization technologies for the concrete sector, and hear what CO2-to-water is all about.

  • Foyer
    Networking Lunch

    Consider joining one of the two lunch session options, or just enjoy some re-charge and networking time.

  • Interaction Track
    Lunch Workshop: Create Value and Reduce Risk - Independent Verification of Your Cleantech Innovations

    How do you increase the market potential of a cleantech innovation? The ISO 14034 standard brings everyone from developers to buyers and investors a consistent approach to the independent verification of performance and impacts of new technologies.

    During this workshop, you’ll see how this strategic decision support tool can reduce risk and potentially increase market acceptance. Top independent verifiers will present, lead extended discussions and answer your questions. You’ll leave the session with a clear picture of what the new standard can do for you.

    This workshop is primarily intended for executives of startup and growth-stage innovation companies, though others are welcome. It will take place around a fixed boardroom table for 15-20 people, with some extra seats around the outside. You will have time to bring your lunch to the workshop.

    Co-hosted by: Southern Research

  • Interaction Track
    Digitalization of Energy and Mobility: An Asian Flavor of this Global Mega-Trend

    Our recent Cleantech Forum Asia provided strong insights into how advanced the digitalization mega-trend is in an Asian context, with Asian corporations global leaders, according to Cognizant, in terms of how much of their revenue is derived digitally.

    This Interaction Track lunch session (you have time to grab your lunch and bring it along) will provide you with some flavor of what we discovered. Expect insights and use cases from Singapore, Japan, and India in terms of how the intersect of AI, blockchain, sensors and data collection with the worlds of energy, power and transportation is playing out today and the direction of travel for tomorrow. What are some of the larger corporates up to, what can we learn from the emerging innovation companies in the region, what solutions do these markets need? These are the kind of questions we will address.

  • Franciscan
    Ones to Watch

    The Ones to Watch session will feature companies Cleantech Group selects as fitting of that notion. Some, but not all, of the chosen presenting companies are from our 2018 Ones to Watch list.

    Companies will also receive brief feedback from our investor reviewers:

    • Steve Kloos, True North Venture Partners
    • Tony Van Bommel, BDC Capital
  • Metropolitan Breakout
    IP Strategies to Protect Cleantech Innovations

    In an ever changing global economy, cleantech companies must understand all options available to them to protect their innovations. Companies must understand the various types of IP available and how to strategically devise an appropriate strategy that aligns with their research and business needs.

    This session will cover some of the most intriguing and often times, vexing, topics related to IP. We will explore the role that IP plays in various cleantech companies, strategies to protect different types of clean technologies, as well as IP in the context of diligence and fundraising, and operating in a global environment.

    Co-hosted by: Morrison & Foerster LLP

  • Olympic
    Innovation in De-Carbonizing the Gas Sector

    SoCalGas’s Research, Development and Demonstration program, in collaboration with national labs and other leading research institutions, has been a leader in advancing technologies and products in the gas sector for decades.

    This session will present selective technologies from SoCalGas’s R&D portfolio in the area of P2G including: renewable H2; new renewable gas pathways; carbon capture, utilization, and storage; fuel cell; and high efficiency space heating and cooling solutions. These technologies have the potential to play a critical role in enabling high penetration of renewable energy, reducing carbon and other harmful emissions from the transportation sector, and decarbonizing the industrial and building energy use.

    Co-hosted by: SoCalGas

  • Transition Break
  • Metropolitan Breakout
    Industry 5.0: Robotics and Automation in Industrial Applications

    The impact of robotics and automation on manufacturing processes has been lauded by the private sector, addressing productivity decline and labor shortages across the Western world, but these technologies remain demonized by some in the press and the general public.

    This session will look into robotic technologies that are breaking new ground in industrial sectors, and the advantages such innovations bring to the 21st century. We would argue that perhaps the ‘robot takeover’ is for the best….

  • Franciscan
    Next Generation Bio-Economy: Building on the shoulders of the past towards a brighter future

    Innovation and venture investing often goes through cycles of ups and downs, as evidenced by our Global Cleantech 100 over the past ten years. While the bio-economy no longer tops the chart in venture investments, sub-sectors and sub-themes can re-emerge stronger and different than before. Aviation biofuels remains a relevant theme, particularly for long-range flights, while industrial biotech has found additional applications in areas such as biochemicals, biomaterials, and sustainable agriculture. In this session, we will explore emerging opportunities in the bio-economy.

    Co-hosted by: Cycle Capital Management

  • Interaction Track
    Digital Technologies to Automate and Optimize Energy & Industry: A Showcase of Entrepreneurs

    Artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotics are among the suite of technologies that will enable a more automated, de-centralized and optimized future for energy and industry. Israel, the startup nation, is a significant player in the digitization mega-trend. Meet a group of leading innovators from Israel and beyond who are developing digital-enabled solutions for the future.

    Co-hosted by: Israel Export Institute 

  • CEO Briefing
    Heat: An Opportunity As Big As Power and Transportation Combined

    Heat is likely the single most missed opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and the global climate alike. Heat production uses almost half the world’s energy consumption; 2.5x as much energy is used for heat than for power. According to an analysis from NREL, augmenting solar-heat to fossil-fired power plants is a >50GW/$20B opportunity in the US. This is a unique opportunity for you to be educated on heat by a company with a demonstrated, scalable solution.

  • CEO Briefing
    If you can't solve a problem, make it bigger: The self-charging, solar-powered, electric car

    We asked you to come to this Forum having suspended your strong belief and bias systems, ready to listen to innovative and imaginative minds and to expose yourselves to different viewpoints, however unfamiliar, even implausible or unattractive some might seem to be. Here’s a perfect opportunity for such, as we invite you to come and listen to the designers of the world’s first consumer solar electric car, due to hit the roads next year.

  • Foyer
    Networking Break
  • Metropolitan Breakout
    Distributed Energy Resources: Planning our Future

    Distributed energy resources are a vital component that will help take utilities into the 21st century. Whether viewed as a threat or seen as an opportunity, DERs and smart energy systems will need to be addressed.

    This session will focus on the DER lifecycle, policy, planning, interconnection, integration, operations and technologies currently being deployed, as well as those more forward looking.

    Co-hosted by: Centrica

  • Franciscan
    Intelligent Traffic Systems: Implementation and What's Down the Road?

    As populations grow and more people move into urban areas, cities are facing increasing congestion that results in both environmental pollution and safety risks. Furthermore, the impending transition towards autonomous vehicles also requires our traffic system infrastructure to be capable of handling the increase in traffic and self-driving vehicles on the road. The convergence of hardware and software innovations are transforming our current static traffic system to a dynamic and intelligent one. In this session, we will explore what innovations are being implemented and what still needs to be solved in this speedily changing sector.

  • Interaction Track
    Buildings with Brains: Examining New Business Models, the Value of Data, and the Importance of Partnerships

    This Interaction Track session will explore new and emerging business models and channels being used by smart building innovators – looking at, inter alia, use of the in vogue SaaS model, emergence of other as-a-service approaches, collection of new streams of data, partnerships with utilities, and use of other channel partners.

    The session contributors have been chosen to provide us with a diverse set of approaches to dig into, and to consider pros and cons, the whys, and what’s ahead.

    Co-hosted by: Trane

  • CEO Briefing
    A Blockchain-Enabled Energy Future: Where are we on the journey?  

    The heat may have come off blockchain in 2018 because of bitcoin and crypto-currencies, but its applications in the future energy system continue to progress. This is a unique opportunity for you to hear and ask questions of a leading company in the blockchain/energy intersect, indeed the first in the world to enable peer to peer trading of energy in 2016.

  • Transition Break
  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    New Forms of Capital, New Capital Entrants To Tackle Some of the Hardest Problems

    One of the heartening trends of the last 1-2 years has been an increase in new players – be they corporations, families, financial investors, or philanthropists – taking an interest in sustainable innovation and new forms of capital recognizing that, as per our long-form agenda description, we don’t solve problems with the thinking (or the capital systems and attitudes) that created them in the first place. The final session of the day will allow you to meet one or two of them and hear about what they are doing and why.

  • Foyer
    Evening Reception

January 30, 2019

denotes Moderator
  • Foyer & Concordia
    Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    10 years of the Global Cleantech 100: Let’s revisit three of our (un)conscious biases and blind-spots!

    We will start our final day by revisiting our very first Global Cleantech 100 in 2009. We have invited three entrepreneurs to help us revisit biases which have likely become hard-wired into our way of thinking over recent years. This session will test how much you took on board our appeal to come to this Forum “open to suspending strong belief and bias systems, listening to innovative and imaginative minds, and exposing oneself to different viewpoints, however unfamiliar, even implausible or unattractive, some might seem to be!”

    Read more

    Bias 1 is that capital-intensive hardware companies, especially energy storage ones, are un-financeable. The 2009 Global Cleantech 100 was majority-hardware (many battery companies), the reverse in 2019. Eli, named on the 2018 Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for the energy sector, will tell the story of how EcoFlow, a hardware energy storage startup, has shunned the traditional VC approach and leveraged international supply chain relationships as both funding sources and strategic partners.

    Bias 2 is that wave/tidal power has no place in the future energy mix, and that “we’ve been there, done that” in the 2000s (note: in the 2009 Global Cleantech 100 there were two wave power companies, and none since 2010). Inna Braverman, described by the Smithsonian magazine as one of the “8 young innovators with ingenious ideas for the future of energy,” will tell us why Eco Wave Power is different and how her personal backstory has driven her professional goals, all good reasons why she is called out in Wired’s list of Females Changing the World.

    Bias 3 – the future is all-electric and the internal combustion engine is dead. One of the few companies from the 2009 Global Cleantech 100 to be alive and well, private and independent, is Achates Power. Whatever your view on how fast and far the EV can take today’s global market, there will still be at least 3 billion ICE-powered vehicles/machines produced over the next 3 decades. This makes for quite the addressable market for motors that offer significant savings in costs, fuel savings, and emissions. 

  • Transition Break
  • Metropolitan Breakout
    Fledglings & Seedlings: Searching for Diversity of Thought

    In our search for diverse ideas and startups, we approached several leading sources of early-stage innovation across the US – including national labs, University TTOs, and accelerator/incubator programs – for nominations. We chose a mixture of innovators and nominators to present on a rotating panel session.

  • Franciscan
    Enabling a Constructive Future for Coal and CO2: Visions of Leading Entrepreneurs

    Coal and CO2 are often characterized as the “enemy” of a cleaner industrial future. What if we can turn these (or some parts of these) into constructive, economically-attractive, and sustainable end products?

    This session will feature a select few leading entrepreneurial companies, giving us their visions and updating us on their progress toward making coal and CO2 scalable feedstocks of the future global industrial economy.

  • Interaction Track
    Not Just Cleaner But Healthier: A Rising Trend to Keep an Eye On

    For the last 1-2 years, we have been keeping an eye on an emerging trend – namely, the intersect of health with our clean technology theme. We have seen it in Europe through utilities (Centrica, for example) taking an interest in e-health services as they look to come up with new services for a utility of the future serving ageing populations. We also see this trend through offerings from solution providers. Health is a core benefit of air quality service providers. Comfort, not just energy efficiency, is an increasing benefit feature from the providers of light. We will explore this healthy trend in the company of a few such solution providers.

  • Foyer
    Networking Break
  • Metropolitan Breakout
    Blockchain in Transport & Logistics: On the Road to Autonomy

    From secure car-to-car transactions to moving goods with greater transparency, potential applications of blockchain technology in the transport space are numerous. With top innovators, investors and transport specialists, we will discuss the most promising of them, and how they fit into the fast-changing mobility market.

  • Franciscan
    Feeding The Food: Which Protein Wins?

    In this session, we will hear from advocates of various different protein feedstocks and ask how they fit into the future of the global protein supply chain. With proteins coming from methane, insects, and even CO2, this panel aims to understand each feedstock’s place in the market, and how far they may displace traditional feedstocks such as soybean and fishmeal.

  • Interaction Track
    Planet Management in the Era of Data Abundance

    The data points tracking our activity across the planet are proliferating at a rapid speed via hundreds of satellites, thousands of petabytes of imagery, and billions of IoT devices. But how can we process all of this data, and convert it into actionable insights to aid sustainable management of earth’s resources? In this session, we will speak to innovators capturing, tracking, and actioning data-driven planet management services.

  • Foyer
    Networking Lunch

    Consider joining one of the two lunch session options, or just enjoy some re-charge and networking time.

  • Interaction Track
    Lunch Workshop: Designing Cleantech for People

    For many companies in the cleantech space, the focus is usually on developing technology that works and building a business model that will make that technology viable to the market.

    What’s often overlooked, or doesn’t get the attention it deserves, is designing a product or an experience based on human needs and desires. Companies can differentiate themselves by incorporating the desires of people into the design of their products, services and experiences. It requires finding the sweet spot of technical feasibility, business viability AND the desirability of people.

    This workshop is primarily intended for executives of startup and growth-stage innovation companies, though others are welcome. It will take place around a fixed boardroom table for 15-20 people, with some extra seats around the outside. You will have time to bring your lunch to the workshop.

    Co-hosted by: Symmetri

  • Metropolitan Breakout
    Linear to Circular, Waste to Value: How far and fast are such transitions set to happen?

    Through this two-part afternoon, we aim to get a sense of how much momentum is – or is not – building behind the transition from a linear to a more circular, closed loop economy. Plastic, for example, has recently emerged worldwide to the front of consumer awareness, and to CPG companies’ strategic thinking. But how much has actually changed, is changing, and will change?

    In part 1, the market context will get set for us, looking at the following questions. What are the technology solutions with the most promise? What needs to happen on the infrastructure side to enable such technologies to have real impact at scale? Has there been a discernible shift in attitude and/or action within the industry? Are there corporations in the incumbent supply chains proactively engaged in accelerating a transition? How attractive an investment proposition is the opportunity-set today, and for whom?

    In part 2, with the scene set, we will give the floor to some innovation companies, seeking to profit from the shift of Linear to Circular, Waste to Value.

  • Franciscan
    Afternoon Spotlight #1: Grids of the Future

    The Afternoon Spotlights will be split into two 40-minute sessions, separated by a 5-minute turnover.

    Afternoon Spotlight: Grids of the Future

    Smarter, more flexible, yet more reliable; more dynamic, yet more resilient. These are the kind of power grids the future needs. But what does that look like in practice? What does it look like today, and how far away are we from overturning the 20th century infrastructure? This spotlight will examine this trend through the eyes of three entrepreneurial companies, one from Europe, one from Australia, and one from North America.

  • Franciscan
    Afternoon Spotlight #2: The Digitization of Agriculture

    The intersect of digital technologies with old industry is one of the major themes of our time. This spotlight will examine this trend through the eyes of two entrepreneurs, with specific case studies to illustrate the trend in action, and through the eyes of an investor who will provide a wider perspective on current trends in this theme.

  • Transition Break
  • Metropolitan Ballroom
    Next Generation Venturing & Leadership: The Challenges and Opportunities of Diversity

    Over the past year, Cleantech Group has spent some time on the subject of next generation venturing and innovation leadership, and on how business models and practices might need to be evolved to remain “fit for purpose” for the 21st century. In particular, the focus has been on the diversity of venture capital firms and the entrepreneurial teams it finances (where diversity should be understood in the broadest sense to cover gender, ethnicity, educational background, age, values, etc.)

    This Forum was opened yesterday morning with some thoughts and learnings on this in broadcast mode. We will end the 2019 Forum with a more interactive exchange, with more free-flow between the conversation starters (the named speakers) and all those in the room.

    The premise of the session is that forces are already at play, and are only likely to get stronger, whereby a lack of diversity (in all its senses) will likely put companies and fund managers at a competitive disadvantage in future battles for capital, talent, and customers.

    Read more

    Through our guests, and their viewpoints and experiences, we will look to touch on the different parts of the critical activities of the venturing model, with a view to provoking and providing thoughts on where we are today, and on how we can all start thinking about actions we could start taking tomorrow to ensure we are ahead, not behind, the curve of the 2020s. Key questions of the discussion will be:

    • Funds fundraising – With ESG on the rise in investment circles, how much is the question of diversity already a part of the “S” part of diligence and decision-making? Will the rise of so-called impact investing accelerate change?
    • Building and retaining fund management teams – How to attract the next generation of talent that addresses the diversity challenge?
    • Innovation company-building & fundraising – How do non-white male founders/CEOs experience such activities in an un-diverse ecosystem?
    • Boards – What do boards look like today? How to make sure there is more challenge and diversity of opinion within the governance of portfolio companies?

    Come be a part of a non-judgmental, “open floor” knowledge exchange on a key issue for our innovation ecosystem to get on top of. 

  • Foyer
    Closing Reception

    Thank you for joining us for our 17th annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco!



Cleantech Forum San Francisco has moved! The 2019 Forum will be headquartered at Park Central Hotel, a modern and spacious hotel ideally situated in the cultural heart of downtown, walking distance from Union Square, AT&T ballpark, the Financial District, Embarcadero, Chinatown, and more. Park Central blends location, service and comfort, to create an exceptional property in one of the world’s favorite cities.

Hotel rooms have historically filled very quickly for Cleantech Forum San Francisco. We encourage you to book your room at the special Cleantech Group delegate rate of $299.00 per room per nightOur hotel block deadline is January 12, 2019, or until rooms run out. Available room nights for this rate are between January 26-31, with limited availability on January 26-27 and January 30-31.

Please note: There is a very limited amount of rooms for the nights of January 26-27 and January 30-31 remaining.

Or if you would like to book over the phone, please see the below details:

Phone Number: 1-888-627-8561
Hotel Block Code: CTA26A (or reference Cleantech Forum SF)


Park Central San Francisco
50 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103



Our Forums gather the industry’s most important corporates, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and thought leaders. Join our featured sponsors of Cleantech Forum San Francisco and engage in our global cleantech innovation community (see our 2018 Sponsors).

Are you interested in sponsoring the Forum? Contact us today to learn more about our sponsorship packages.

Best Rate:
June 20 - July 27
Summer Rate:
July 28 - Sept 7
Autumn Rate:
Sept 8 - Oct 31
November Rate:
Nov 1 - Nov 30
December Rate:
Dec 1 - Dec 31
Full Rate:
Jan 1 - Jan 27
On-Site Rate:
Jan 28 - Jan 30

The Forum Registration Fee Includes:

  • Access to all keynotes, general sessions, and (non-invite-only) breakout sessions and workshops
  • Access to all general (non-invite-only) breakfasts, lunches, networking breaks, and receptions
  • Access to the networking area and exhibitor space

100% Satisfaction Guarantee to Cleantech Forum “First-Timers”

Cleantech Group has run Forums since 2002 with many annual returnees. As a statement of confidence – and as a commitment to newcomers’ satisfaction, who are least familiar with the event – we will gladly refund your registration fee if you are dissatisfied with the value you received from participating in your first Forum.

Available Discounts

Discounts are available to the following individuals. Please note that only one discount type/code can be applied against the standard rates published above. Cleantech Group reserves the right to reject any registrations where a double-discount is deemed to have been applied.

  • CTG Subscribers: The CTG subscriber rate – $300 off the registration fee – is available to paying subscribers of CTG. You must register with the email address you use to log into i3. If you have any issues with your subscriber discount, please email us at forums@cleantech.com
    • You can find more information about our services and subscription offerings here.
  • i3 Startup Users: If you have an active startup profile on i3, you will have access to an exclusive startup rate. TO RECEIVE THIS RATE, YOU MUST LOG INTO i3 AND REGISTER VIA THE FORUM OPPORTUNITY.
    • If you do not have an active i3 startup profile, go to i3connect.com and select “For Start-ups” to create one.
  • Government/Non-Profit Representatives: We offer a tiered discount rate for government employees and non-profit representatives. For more information, or to receive this rate, please email us at forums@cleantech.com with the name of your organization and verification of your government or non-profit status.
  • Groups of 3+: If your organization or company would like to bring 3 or more attendees, we offer special group rates. For groups of 3, we offer a 15% discount; for groups of 4, we offer a 20% discount; and for groups of 5+, we offer a 25% discount. Please contact us for more information.
  • Students: We do not offer a student rate to the Forum. Instead, we encourage students to apply to be a Forum volunteer to get access to unique networking and learning opportunities.


Media registration is by invitation only. For a media pass, please contact us.


Are you in business school or a graduate program? Apply to volunteer at Cleantech Forum San Francisco, and get access to unique networking and learning opportunities.

Please note that this opportunity is open to those still in school, with occasional exceptions made for recent graduates.

Terms & Conditions

For the full list of terms and conditions, please click here.

  • Invoice Policy:
    • If an invoice is requested, payment will be required by no later than the Event Date. If payment is not received before then, Cleantech Group reserves the right to cancel the registration without notice. Payment may be made by check, credit card or bank transfer.
  • Substitutions:
    • A request to transfer a registration to a colleague should be made by giving written notice via email. Cleantech Group reserves the right to deny a request for such a substitution, but will not unreasonably do so.
  • Cancellation Policy:
    • Up to 12 weeks before the event date, a 20% cancellation fee will be applicable
    • Up to 8 weeks before the event date, a 30% cancellation fee will be applicable
    • Up to 4 weeks before the event date, a 50% cancellation fee will be applicable
    • Less than 4 weeks before the event date, the full fee will be applicable
    • No Show, the full fee will be applicable

If you have any questions about registration, please feel free to contact us at forums@cleantech.com.