August 10th, 2010

UPDATE: Top 10 US Cleantech Cities, Is Your City Falling Behind?


I created the ‘TOP 10 US Cities for Cleantech Report” about a month ago. The goal is simple: crowdsource the research on cleantech resources across the US, then rank the information from 1 to 10, then provide it free to the community for people to use.

Story and Purpose of the Report

At first, the goal was selfish and for my own purposes. I know what’s happening in Boston very well because I’ve lived here for 2 years. But I wanted to be able to go to NYC, Boulder, San Fran, or (insert any US city here) and get plugged into the cleantech scene in a week, instead of the 3 months it would normally take. + Continue Reading

July 21st, 2010

Getting Social in the Boulder Sustainability Scene


I moved to Boulder, Colorado a little over a month ago from Madison, Wisconsin. All I had to my name was a few hundred bucks, a Toyota Yaris packed with everything I (decided) to own and a drive to make a fresh start on my career and overall life in a beautiful, thriving place.

Luckily I had some resources already in the area where I was moving to: my girlfriend, a cousin and some friends from the Boulder Startup Week that I had met when visiting in May. I’ve become somewhat of a proficient social networker with my past experiences in social media, so I figured that the strong base I had established when visiting Boulder Startup Week would help me get into a renewable energy or cleantech company easily. + Continue Reading

June 30th, 2010

SURVEY: Who are the Top 10 US Cities for Cleantech? Need Your Input


Here’s a question I’ve been getting asked a lot about lately and have been personally wondering myself: What is the best city for the cleantech industry in the United States?

If you work in the cleantech industry, I need your help for a couple moments! We’re going to crowd source the compilation of the information that will be useful to everyone in the industry and then make it free to the community. I know a lot about the information in Boston, but not so much about other cities, that’s where you come in :)

Goal Of the Survey

Based on your responses to my little survey,  I’m going to publish a yearly report and make it free to the community. The goal is that the survey will rank each city based on a simple criteria and provide a complete list of cleantech resources, government policies, companies, and investors in each city. We’re going to continue to collect the information and release the report every year, which will be especially useful as the industry grows and changes.

In this context, I’ll define cleantech as anything associated with; renewable energy, energy efficiency, water, green building, clean transportation.


Two years ago it seems like the answer might have been pretty straight forward, but things have changed a lot since then. Cities and states are passing new policies aiming at attracting new investment, large companies are investing in CSR, and many more universities are beginning to change their curriculum.

My first thought was to answer this question by creating an as-you-go type documentary and travel to a bunch of cities and do interviews with companies, city official, and at universities and continually write and post photos and videos on my blog.

Information We’re Looking to Collect

I’ve created a simple form below with some basic information that I’m looking to collect. I tried to keep the survey very short and simple for the first try.

If you have a second, here’s how you can help:

  1. Depending on the city where you are located, please fill in any and all information that you have.
  2. If you have colleagues in other cities please forward it to them.
  3. If you can just fill in one part, no problem, any and all information will be useful. You’ll be asked to rate each criteria for the city you’re located in and then provide SPECIFIC examples to back up your rating. These examples will be used to compile the resources in each city that we’ll provide in the report.

City Specific Information:

1) Quality of Investor Community:

-Cleantech specific investors in your city (angel networks, VCs, etc)

2) Cleantech Talent

-Universities with cleantech oriented programs

-Think tanks

-Local training programs

3) Resources

-Government Polices

-Green Incubators

-Non-profits/Industry Associations

-Business Plan Competitions

-Local Events

4) Existing Cleantech Companies. Please list companies you’re aware of located in your city.

-Large Companies (Public)

-Middle Size Companies (Large but not public)

-Small Businesses


I’m very excited about this project as I think we’ll be able to collect some great information, but I can only do it with you help :)

Thank you in advance for your help!


June 2nd, 2010

How to become a Clean Energy Infovore


Chris had a post on the Top 10 Boston companies killing it on Twitter.  I thought I’d add on to that with a post on the blogs and news feeds I use to stay abreast of the industry.  There’s no shortage of terrific news and analysis on energy and climate issues and I don’t intend for this list to be comprehensive.  But hopefully it will offer a starting point – or many starting points – to readers looking to keep up with the sector.  I also hope to hear from others about sources I may be missing.  (Quick plug: follow @GreenLDistrikt and @NECEC on Twitter!)

So here goes…

Local cleantech news: MassHighTech and Xconomy

MassHighTech is “the Journal of New England Technology” and covers much more than energy.  I make sure to at least skim everything they publish on both Energy and Envirotech.  Looking for a once-a-week news roundup in your inbox?  Sign up for MHT’s GreenFlash newsletter.  It’s as close to a one-stop-shop for local cleantech news as you’re going to find.

Xconomy is a great, hyper-local news site that covers all things innovation in Boston, Detroit, San Diego, and Seattle.  If you use RSS, you can sign up for feeds by either technology area (energy) or city (Boston).

The business of Boston: the Globe and the Boston Business Journal

Still don’t have your fill of business news?  I make sure to at least scan The Boston Globe’s Business section. Ditto with The Boston Business Journal.  Perhaps most importantly, I recommend you start reading Globe columnist Scott Kirsner’s blog, Innovation Economy.  Though it’s not always about cleantech, it’s a can’t-miss inside look into Boston’s start-up ecosystem.

Getting outside of Boston: a whole lotta cleantech news

These are all great feeds to keep up with the cleantech sector beyond – but including – New England.  I’d love to go into detail about what I like about each of these, but there are too many so I’ll just reel them off: CNET’s GreenTech by Martin LaMonica, Cambridge-based Greentech Media, VentureBeat’s GreenBeat, Earth2Tech, Green Energy Reporter, The Cleantech Group, and Clean Edge.

Beyond business: the science, policy and politics of climate & energy

The New York Times’ Energy & Environment feed is a good place to start.  So is their Green blogDot Earth, another NYT blog by former reporter Andy Revkin, covers the many implications of an increasingly strained planet.

For even more news and analysis on energy and environmental issues I keep tabs on the Washington Post’s Post Carbon blog, The New Republic’s The Vine blog, and Yale’s Environment 360.

I also highly recommend Climate Progress, by Joe Romm of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.  Regardless of whether you agree with Romm’s politics, his blog is a must-read.  If nothing else, his daily news roundups are highly valuable.

If you’re interested in wonking out a bit on climate & energy policy not to worry – I have just the feeds for you.  Check out Harvard economist Rob Stavins’ blog along with Michael Levi’s at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Finally, if you want to keep up with the latest in energy technology, check out the energy page at MIT’s Technology Review.

‘There is no such thing as information overload’

…Only filter failure.  So says new media guru Clay Shirky.  The links above constitute most of my daily energy-specific reading.  There are a number of great individuals and organizations not included here that I follow on Twitter and count on to provide good links.  And my list is always changing.  But hopefully this gives you a starting point if you’re looking to keep up with all things clean energy.

I personally use Google Reader to manage all this.  If that doesn’t work for you, you could create a dashboard with iGoogle or NetVibes, sign up for email alerts, find these sources on Twitter, or just use old-fashioned bookmarking.

What great sites and feeds am I missing?  There’s more great energy info out there than anyone has time to read, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try!

May 14th, 2010

Top 10 Boston Clean Tech Companies Killing It on Twitter


Recently, I’ve been getting asked more and more who and what companies to follow on twitter. So, I’ve decided to put together some lists.

BEWARE, if you’re not familiar with twitter you may have no idea what I’m talking about.

Today, I did my first #FollowFriday for my favorite green people around Boston. It went something like this:

@GreenLDistrikt: My first #FF for #Boston’s #green scene @hollyfowler @asheen @morganmm @CleanPursuits @goodnaturegirl @mangojess @renewacycle

Those focused on my favorite people but these are the companies that are using twitter the best in and around Boston, and sometimes New England area in no particular order.

@firstwind – Although First Wind does HUGE wind development and thus their customers probably are not on twitter, they provide great news, information and resources to the twitter community interested in wind.

@millvillegreen + @millvillegreen2 : Laura and Helen are doing some great work with green strategic marketing and program implementation and are great at using their twitter feeds to communicate what’s happening in the are and nation.

@greencollarguy – Kevin Gulley has created the largest B2b Green Directory on the web, an impressive feet. The directory will allow companies to research and find the most profitable ways to become green.

@newgenenergy – New Generation Energy kicks butt in the twitterverse, always providing great information. They provide innovative financial tools that help people invest in greening their communities. Keep an eye on these guys, I think they’ll be national one day.

@HarvestPower – Harvest Power’s customers are not twitter per se, but I feel like their presence on twitter is in large demand. Organics recycling is something most Americans don’t have a clue about so any and all education on the subject is much appreciated.

@energycircle – Peter Troast is the energy efficiency man as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never seen a better site that educates homeowners better on energy efficiency, hands down. Also see @energycrclgoods for some deals on good stuff

@Jeff_groSolar – Jeff the CEO of groSolar has had a twitter feed for sometime now. It’s amazing to me that more solar CEOs don’t have twitter accounts especially if they’re selling to residential because homeowners are on twitter. I like hearing Jeff’s tweets, they’re a good mix of business, pleasure, news and life.

@emergentenergy – Emergent Energy Group doesn’t have the most active twitter account at the moment, but usually have some good info on on renewables and community development.

@evcast – Hands down the BEST resource, podcast, blog, news whatever you want for information about electric vehicles. I’d say they’re the Energy Circle of Electric Vehicles, or maybe it’s the other way around? Regardless, if you want to keep up to date on what’s happening with electric vehicles (my vote if on Better Place) follow these guys

@reworld – Like @evcast and @energycirlce, Renewable Energy World, in my opinion, is hands down the best renewable energy news resources that exists on the planet and they are located close by in New Hampshire.

Well, that’s my list. I agree, whether twitter is actually a useful tool or not is arguable and it depends on an organizations business model and who their customers are. I can say without a doubt that twitter has changed my life for the better and I’ve met some amazing people through it.

For those green, renewable energy, clean tech folks. Do you use twitter? Why?

If yes, how do you think we can use twitter to drive the movement forward?