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: Venture capital
tl;dr: PRIME launches today, bringing a new source of funding – philanthropic capital – to clean energy tech. How will we scale the world for 10 billion 11 billion people? How will we double the size of the consuming class … Continue reading
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: 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
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
I’ve gotten a ton of feedback on the “state of cleantech VC” series – thanks so much to everyone who reached out! I’ve found myself discussing some of the same points with different people more than once, so I figured … Continue reading
(A version of this post also appeared at GigaOM.) tl;dr: We’re in the early innings of a long ball game. This week we’ve analyzed the state of cleantech venture capital and used data to discern myth from reality. In summary, … Continue reading