I'm a managing partner at MNL Partners, where we develop energy and environmental projects in global markets, with a focus on China. I also serve on the boards of five audacious tech start-up companies. Finally, I'm co-founder and chairman of the investment committee at PRIME Coalition, a pioneering 501c3 nonprofit that's bringing philanthropic capital to energy innovation. In past lives I made venture capital investments at Venrock, co-founded and led Lux Research, and forecasted technology futures at Forrester.
I really do live and breathe this stuff.
I'm also chromosomally incapable of keeping quiet. This blog hosts opinions (mine alone) on energy, venture capital, human behavior, start-ups, societal collapse, hope for the future, and everything in between: hopefully useful, usually numerate, and occasionally long-winded.
- RT @joelmoxley: .@LFFriedman's scoop / original source on @BillGates $B clean energy R&D fund announcement for Monday -> https://t.co/KvipB… 15 hours ago
- Bravo @peterthiel. Can't be serious about environment and blanket-opposed to harnessing the strong nuclear force. nytimes.com/2015/11/28/opi… 15 hours ago
- Watching my Musk-orbit friends argue with my Bezos-orbit friends = amusing + encouraging. More genteel than Edison/Tesla War of Currents 3 days ago
- Disruption to labor from soft robotics, (don't laugh) AI, etc = vast. Needs diff order of response. Ideas like basic income look less crazy 2 weeks ago
- First conversations are a means of establishing agreement. That's why we talk about the weather, or the hometown favorite football player 3 weeks ago
Sites I devour
“Cleantech”I'm not a fan of the term -- IMHO it's a vague catch-all that doesn't accurately reflect anybody's interest -- but it's what the world has decided to use. If you'd like, when you see it, mentally find-and-replace with "energy, environmental, and resource technologies" instead.
Author Archives: Matthew Nordan
tl;dr: To successfully target VCs, view your deal through their eyes. I got an outstanding piece of advice in my first job: “Always see the world from the other person’s point of view.” If you’re trying to sign the pivotal … Continue reading
tl;dr: Nest Labs performs magic – making energy efficiency awesome, even for the nontechnical and non-green. We’re delighted to invest in the company. Back in February I acquired a Nest Learning Thermostat, famously designed by Apple’s original iPhone team. Looks … Continue reading
tl;dr: Mrs. Nordan vs. Nest thermostat! Will it take an afternoon to install? Will we ruin our house in the process? No on both counts! In June we installed a Nest Learning Thermostat in chez Nordan; I helmed the camera … Continue reading
tl;dr: Winning cleantech start-up teams are complete at founding, have strong pre-existing relationships, and include the inventor of the core technology. This post was co-written with Josh Rogers, a former Venrock intern who’s now in National Grid’s Strategic Planning and … Continue reading
tl;dr: Life is about to get a lot better for demand response and energy efficiency companies. One of the challenges of venture capital is that you invest in companies now based on what you know now, but the world may … Continue reading
For this year’s ARPA-E Summit I was asked to give a talk about different ways to finance an energy start-up. The challenge as it was given to me was “cover all sources of financing – VC, angels, grants, debt, everything … Continue reading