14 June 2013
by Andrew Mitchell of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
Venture Capital is broken – at least according to a report last year by the Kauffman Foundation. This was certainly a talking point in Washington DC at the US Department of Energy’s National Business Plan Competition on 12 June 2013. Indeed, someone even dared to mention a “cleantech nuclear winter”. The facts are that in all sectors since 1997 less cash has been returned to investors than they originally invested – which makes negative interest rates from the European Central Bank seem not so insane!
But go figure. If I had a big enough bag of money I would invest in each one of the six finalists pitching at the US Department of Energy’s National Business Plan Competition. With absolute confidence that at least one of them would return all the money back, and more. Add to this the confidence from Andrew Chung at Khosla Ventures that corporate venturing is going to save cleantech, there is no nuclear winter and, as David Danielson said, the world has passed the 400ppm CO2 milestone, so we have to make this work.