January 27th, 2011

Do you think Junior Level Cleantech Professionals are Underserved?

Chris Williams

4 Comments
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TOPICS: BOSTON

BOSTON -

Currently Green Light Distrikt (GLD) is looking for industry insiders to join our budding, undergroundish community in major cleantech hubs in the US and around the world. If you’re interested, read below to see what we’re working on and fill out the simple form at the bottom of the page and I’ll contact you.

What is GLD all about and why would you want to waste your time being an insider? What a great question that deserves a fine answer. Let me answer your questions in classic bullet-pointed, blogging style format:

  1. The problem/opportunity
  2. The Green Light Distrikt vision and mission
  3. Principles of our community
  4. Our current success
  5. Expansion goals for 2011
  6. What we’re looking for
  7. Expectations of insider insiders
  8. Benefits of being an insider

Opportunity

The junior level cleantech professionals are underserved. Have you ever noticed that you’re not surrounded by your peers at industry events? There is not a central place for young cleantechies — both professionals, entrepreneurs and students — who are specifically interested in cleantech, renewable energy, and general greenish business (wow, I dislike that word!) to connect (in other words, become friends with each other), learn from one another, and gain access to resources.

The majority of the current resources are dedicated to 1) news sites (cough, boring, unless it’s Renewable Energy World) and 2) executives (no personal beef with executive training, it’s needed for sure, but we, the youngsters need some love too)

Vision

To provide young cleantech professionals the community, resources, and information they need to develop their careers.

Mission

To create a common place (both online and offline) where young professionals and entrepreneurs can connect to a community, find useful content & information, and access resources and events that they can use to develop their career – much like the executives have. Have you ever noticed how all the executives just happen to know each other?

We’re the first generation that has the ability to enter the industry from the beginnings of our careers. If we can establish solid relationships now (before we have huge egos and think we’re really powerful) we’ll be able to get a lot done when we’re running the show.

Principles of our community

  1. Friendships, not networking. If you’re the type that’s into running around a conference and passing out business cards, GLD isn’t right for you. We believe in long-term friendships, as opposed to “networks”.
  2. Useful content, not bragging or PR releases. We don’t mind if you share what you’re working on or what you’ve learned, as long as it’s useful information that others can benefit from.

Current Success

Proof of concept in Boston:

  1. We’ve recruited around 10 industry insiders in Boston that have been writing feverishly.
  2. We’ve hosted 3 Cleantech Kingpins speaker series where we’ve invited local experts (those pesky excutives we were talking about before!) to answer a question about the development of the industry. Hosted 12 speakers and over 200 attendees.
  3. We host insider meetups and privite collaboration groups. All the insiders meet up every couple months to share insights and help one another.

Expansion Goal for 2011

Looking to spread to other US cities in order to increase collaboration in specific cities (in Boston for example) and between cities. Imagine being able to travel to Boston, NYC, San Fran or London and get instantly plugged in the cleantech community, events, and resources with the help of local insiders. Now that is powerful.

  1. Expansion into 3 US cities with 5 local industry insiders.
  2. Expansion into 1 international city.

Who we’re looking for

  1. Youth. Yes, we are age prejudice, but it’s just the opposite of all those “C-Level” only type of events we’re all so familiar with. I won’t put a specific age on “youngness” I’ll leave that up to you.
  2. Experience/Work in the Industry. Critical to the success of creating quality content is that it’s coming from within the industry. Again, you make your case and convince me your perspective is worthwhile.

Expectations of Industry Insiders

  1. One Post Per Month. Around 500-800 words, submited on a day of your choosing.
  2. Being a local evangelist. Spreading the word to your peers who, like you, love the industry.
  3. Utilize the GLD blog for your own career goals. We want every GLD insider to get at least as much or MORE from the community then they put in.
  4. This goes without saying: helping other insiders with their projects, research, questions, and brainstorming on blog posts. We have a secret place where this happens, it’s really cool.

Benefits of Being an Industry Insider

  1. Access to the GLD community. Right now, we’re a small but awesome group, just in Boston. But as the community grows, access to the members will be at your disposal for research, resources, services and other items that you may need for products, projects or whatever you’re working on. As long as it’s cool, people will be willing to help.
  2. Building a personal brand. Putting your thoughts into a public domain will give you more credibility and exposure in your professional career with whatever you’re working on.
  3. Access to any conference as press. We all know that getting into conferences is key for learning and meeting other professionals face-to-face. If you want to get into a conference, you shouldn’t have a problem as a blogger. I’ve gotten into at least 8K worth of conferences through GLD. Below is a recent email regarding a conference The Economist is hosting that would have cost me $1700 to get into, but is now free.


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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.

  • Miles Ryan

    Nice work defining the vision. Not 100% sure on how I feel about the lack of age definition – maybe you could mention the current average age of all the insiders/members. I would guess something like 26?

    Also – is there or will there be a way to be a “member” but not an insider?

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

    Miles,

    It’s around 26, I’d say under 35 but at the risk of not insulting anyone I just let people decide. However, I could put it in there.

    Good distinction about being a member vs insider. Right now, no. I’m working on the page for GLD pro right now – which will be paid – but I like the idea a membership, just don’t know what it will entail. Suggestions?

    Chris

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