Posts tagged ‘commercialization’

Public crisis in clean energy – Read Kassia Yanosek’s article in Foreign Affairs

August 4th, 2011 by Greg Boutin

Kassia Yanosek, a friend and ex-classmate at Stanford, just co-wrote a fascinating article in Foreign Affairs on “The Crisis in Clean Energy“.

Stimulus to renewables are certainly a controversial topic in times of financial restraint. In an ideal world, renewables could compete on an equal footing with 20th-century sources of energy because there would be no subsidies (direct and indirect) to carbon and nuclear energies, and there would be market-based mechanism to incorporate societal costs (e.g. effect of emissions on health and environment) into their prices as well.

Unfortunately, it is not an ideal world just yet, so a faster way to level the field is to subsidize renewables. Easier said than done because, as opposed to the largely hidden subsidies to the oil and nuclear industries (military support, environmental clean-up, health system etc), the direct subsidies that renewables receive are much easier to pinpoint and attack.

Quick article excerpt below – I suggest you read the rest on Foreign Affairs.

Plugging the commercialization gap is far trickier than plugging the technology gap because the costs are greater and the best policies require government agencies to work alongside private actors without undermining market competition — a delicate balancing act. And it is in this area that the clean-energy industry is most in trouble today.

Kassia Yanosek

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Preparing a leak detection technology provider for fundraising

February 4th, 2011 by Greg Boutin
A fire hydrant.

Image via Wikipedia

This Canadian provider of pipe leak detection solutions has a fantastic technology. When I got involved, it was clear that the sky was the limit – if only commercialization capabilities could be beefed up.

In the water business, technology is only one driver of market adoption. Even more so when clients are municipalities, and the company is looking for investors. (more…)

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Entrepreneur’s must-have: a masterplan and to-do list

January 11th, 2011 by Greg Boutin
Shopping list

In my experience helping entrepreneurs, the most important success driver of any business founder is the capacity:

  1. to know their success drivers,
  2. and to keep everything they do tied to those.

So being able to keep one’s eyes on the prize and not get lost in the weeds is the top quality any good entrepreneur should cultivate. In this age of information overload, however, requests are being thrown at us from every direction, and in the midst of that flood it can quickly become difficult to discern what matters from the rest. (more…)

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Due diligence for wastewater recycling pilot project

August 6th, 2010 by Greg Boutin
Sewage treatment plant

Image via Flickr

Who knew you could find gold in wastewater? The solid materials that used water contains can be diverted and used as fertilizers by farmers. Technologies that do it are still evolving, and require funding.

Last year I was contacted by an investment institution to carry business due diligence on a pilot project to assess the commercial potential of a pilot project for such a technology. Previous due diligence experience with a $20m public funding initiative for a wastewater treatment station in the developing world complemented my commercialization expertise in cleantech, and helped conduct an objective assessment. (more…)

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Just published on ReadWriteWeb: 10 principles for not killing your startup

March 8th, 2010 by Greg Boutin
Image representing ReadWriteWeb as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

ReadWriteStart, the entrepreneur’s channel of ReadWriteWeb, nicely published an article I wrote for them called 10 Principles For Not Killing Your Startup.

With the new wave of entrepreneurs brought about by the financial crisis, I suspect the mortality rate of startups is at an all-time high. I didn’t find robust data to back my observation yet, but I did come across a page that points out that, before the financial crisis:

  • the chances were six in a million that an idea for a high-tech business eventually would become a successful company that goes public;
  • a venture capitalist financed only six out of every 1,000 business plans received each year;
  • and bankruptcies occured for 60% of the high-tech startup companies that succeeded in getting venture capital.

Wow. Persistence is paramount. (more…)

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