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.
- Join us. primecoalition.org 6/6 2 weeks ago
- ...why would you put a dollar to work once via a traditional grant, instead of >1x through impact investment? This is what PRIME does. 5/6 2 weeks ago
- If a foundation cares about climate change and thinks tech innovation is an under-pulled lever to inflect the arc of consumption... 4/6 2 weeks ago
- Now we're putting together a first-of-a-kind impact fund of philanthropic capital to do more of these investments with more flexibility. 3/6 2 weeks ago
- PRIME has backed 5 breakthrough energy tech companies since July 2016 (one not announced). We're doing an investment ~ every 3 months. 2/6 2 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.
Category Archives: Numbers
I spoke a couple of weeks ago at the NextWave Greentech Investing conference (organized by my friend Rob Day at Black Coral Capital). My aim was to describe the past, present, and future of investment in energy and environmental innovation … Continue reading
(A version of this post also appeared at GigaOM.) tl;dr: Cleantech VC is receding because of poor short-term performance – no surprise in a post-bubble field with outsized time and money requirements. The category is about to go on a … Continue reading
tl;dr: U.S. hybrid vehicle sales were up 61% in 2012. It’s unclear why. Riddle me this: Why did U.S. hybrid sales take off last year? Prior to 2012, hybrids looked like something between a fad and a niche. Sales peaked … Continue reading
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: 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: You can’t cheat your way to an ARPA-E grant by gaming the system. The program appears to be run in a remarkably unbiased fashion. Most folks in energy start-up land know that ARPA-E – the U.S. government agency launched … Continue reading