July 7th, 2010

Scaling up Without Selling Out: Green Entrepreneurship in NYC

Local Events -

green entrepreneurship summit NYCI love the Boston cleantech scene, but I’m getting a little bored with it. There’s tons of events, business plan competitions and business developments constantly happening but I’m starting to feel like I’m just going through the motions.

Now, I’m really interested in seeing what’s happening in other US cities in cleantech.

I’m going to start with exploring the industry in NYC. I’ve started talking with pros in other cities and two weeks ago I had a great conversation with Erica Grigg who is helping to organize a great event in NYC on July 22nd called the Green Entrepreneurship Summit. The angle is very cool, ‘Scaling Up Without Selling Out’ the goal is to help green business owners who are looking to grow do so, without compromising their ideals. There are some great panelists speaking and I’m looking forward to going to the event. Personally, I’m very interested to see Michael Margolis speak as I’m realizing more and more business is about trust, relationships, and storytelling more then anything else. I’m planning on getting some great content at the event and doing a follow post. If you’re in NYC on July 22nd you should go, if you are fire me a tweet and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there.

I’m very excited to go to the event and meet some amazing people and learn about what they’re working on in NYC. There are two other items I’m doing to explore the industry in other cities.

First, I’m in the process of recruiting more young industry insiders, working in cleantech in New York City and Boulder. We have one writer in each city right now, and our goal is ten. If you fit this profile, and are interested in joining our community, please contact me.

Second, The Green Light Distrikt is starting its yearly report on the Top 10 US Cleantech Cities. The goal is to crowd-source the research on the state of the cleantech industry and resources in US cities, compile the research, then make it free to the community. If you have any information that may be useful, think you might, or know someone who does, it would be awesome to get feedback. They survey is located on the post Top 10 US Cleantech Cities. Thanks for your help :)


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Chris Williams

About Chris Williams

Chris Williams is the editor of Green Light Distrikt and Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring . He has experience in business development, prototyping and new venture research with a focus on geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies. Chris is an IGSHPA accredited geothermal installer and NABCEP certified solar installer. Chris is focused on solving customer facing issues in the creation and adoption of clean energy technologies and products. Chris has installed over 300kW of solar and tens of geothermal systems. He's invented the PV Pal , developed many trainings at HeatSpring, publishes the NABCEP Study Guide , the Hitchhikers Guide to Cleantech and has done due diligence research for Urgent VC . Feel free to connect with him @topherwiliams , on Linkedin , or through email about new ventures, collaborating, writing, research or whatever is on your mind.

  • http://twitter.com/theboynton Matt Boynton

    Agreed on your thoughts about Boston – it’s getting a little over-networked. I’d say with regards to the number of people who attend Boston networking events, there’s a frightening amount of mental masturbation and not quite enough real focus on growing a business. Some organizations do a decent job at tackling this such as the BWP strategy sessions (www.bostonworldpartnerships.com).

    Unless, of course, your business is networking or selling ideas to aspiring entrepreneurs. Then it’s perfect. I’d also be interested to see what else is out there and what the vibe is like.

  • Brian Hayden

    Expansion! Very exciting. Yes, I'm interested to hear what's going on in other cities as well.

    But how to make sure you don't kill a good thing? It's tricky for any endeavor to think about how they plan to scale up. My early feedback is to avoid saying things like, “I'm bored with the cleantech Boston scene.” It seems antithetical to your whole attitude about life and I don't think you really mean it.

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams


    I agree with you, I'm not bored with it at all, I'm constantly learning new things and meeting new people working on interesting things. If I enjoyed proofing reading, I could have stated more clear that I'm just curious what's happening in other cities. Thanks for catching that! Next time I'll be more cautious.


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  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams


    Thanks for the comment and the link, BWP is very interested.

    I just spoke with someone about the industry and they said they like Boston because everyones focused on building something. They compared Boston to NYC, where everyone is always just looking for money and not building anything.

    I think my real issue is that I haven't spent a lot of time in other cities yet. But that will be changing soon.