On September 16th, I was excited to bring our "Scaling Green on the Scene" interview series to the CleanTech OC 2013 Conference and Expo in Irvine, California. This conference is the "only annual conference in Orange County dedicated to covering the clean technology space and connecting industry stakeholders from throughout the region and state.” In the first installment, we wrote about my interview with former EPA chief Stephen Johnson, in which Johnson talks about the "upcoming, beneficial explosion of cleantech."
Today, we present our interview with Catherine Jhung, Vice President for Business Development at Cleantech Group, which, since 2002, "has been providing Fortune 1000 global corporations, investors, entrepreneurs and policy-makers with the latest industry market intelligence through subscription-based research, global industry networking events and world-class custom research services." Here's how Jhung described what Cleantech Group does.
We've been in business over 10 years now; we have three different businesses that fall under the Cleantech Group umbrella...We have our “I3 database”...[which tracks] deals...IPOs and partnerships between clean tech companies, the venture capital community and with large corporate. You can kind of think of it like the Match.com or like the eHarmony for cleantech. It's really around tracking deals and helping connect people with one another. And then we also have our events business, where we bring together cleantech entrepreneurs with the investment community and with corporate...focused events throughout the year that are spread across the U.S....really helping to facilitate deal making in the cleantech sector...kind of like a dating site where investors can better vet potential cleantech companies...Likewise on the side of cleantech companies they can then learn more about the interests that investors have, whether it's from a technology perspective or the investment side...really helping increase the transparency of information to better facilitate partnerships and deal making.
Speaking of events, the next one by Cleantech Group -- the "Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Gala 2013" -- is being held this week in Washington, DC. According to Jhung, the Global Cleantech 100 list includes "the top 100 companies from all over the world that have been voted on by an expert panel of investors and corporate that have the highest likelihood...of having a big exit, whether it's getting acquired or if it's going public."
Finally, we asked Jhung where she sees the most cleantech growth potential in the next few years. Her response:
We're seeing a lot in the clean web sector in particular. We define that as using big data, analytics and software to help bridge the gap with clean technologies...It's pretty capital efficient, meaning that the venture capitalists have an appetite for it because you have a quicker return on your money and you just don't need to put as much in...We've been seeing a lot of deals there.
Clearly, there's tremendous potential in the areas Catherine Jhung points to. We're particularly intrigued with the potential for a "Match.com" or "eHarmony" for the cleantech industry, and look forward to hearing more on this front!