11 Mar '12, 3am

The Six Ways To Create Venture Capital Returns in Cleantech

This is clearly where most cleantech venture dollars have been deployed to date. It's basically the First Solar model of cleantech venture capital. Unfortunately, these types of situations appear to be quite rare. It requires such a significant IP advantage, plus a fast-growing market that no one else clued into in time, that you get a significant (2 year?) time window in which to establish a scale advantage and really press it home. It's clearly possible... but it's infrequently successful. More often, even if the technology does catch on as quickly as hoped, commoditization and margin compression happens more rapidly than expected. Thus, the current patterns we're seeing in upstream bets in biofuels, solar, LEDs, lithium ion batteries, etc. And VCs keep placing more such bets in these and other subsectors. Personally, I'm starting to dispair of seeing venture type return...

Full article: http://www.greentechmedia.com/cleantech-investing/post/ho...

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