Solar

April 13th, 2011

Surfin’ Solar | How to Deal When the VCs Leave

Adam Standley

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TOPICS: BOSTON, Solar

BOSTON -

I worked for Wakonda Technologies for a couple years and I am often asked what happened to the company.  Why did we go under? In short, we had a great idea, an amazing team, and a few years to make a solar cell. We missed some milestones and our investor group fell like a row of dominos that was shaken by a fart. But that story is no fun to tell at the bar—it’s a bland piece of gum at this point, so I stopped chewing it.

The real flavor is in how I managed through these changes, and how it affected my view of entrepreneurship in cleantech.  I know a lot of people are going through similar things, so I hope I can help with this short story.  Since I’ve surfed new England for about as long as I have been working in solar, it’s only appropriate I tell it in metaphor with the sport I confided in when times were toughest.

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March 30th, 2011

Carbon Offsets: An Unearthed Treasure or Pain in the Asset?

BOSTON -

It’s like driving a car, attempting to follow a complicated map with no straightforward directions: so frustrating! Then along comes the modern day GPS system that is easy to use; you enter data and it spits out your destination. Easy as pie.

This is the analogy that Tom Kineshanko gave, when describing his company’s carbon offset identification and monetization software platform, a tool called OffsetID. Habitat Carbon Assets, founded two years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia, is on a mission to help Cleantech sellers benefit from carbon offset revenue from the sale of their technology.

Like all of his life’s work– Kineshanko is also involved with several other clean energy nonprofits– Habitat’s overall mission is to decrease carbon emissions quickly, by encouraging more and more businesses to transition over to clean energy fuel.

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March 25th, 2011

Reflections on Then and Now: Growing up in the Growing Solar Industry from East to West Coast

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I got my humble start in solar in the Northeast as a student in the early 2000’s interested in sustainability and self-sufficient living. My original goal was to learn about these topics enough so I could go back to the land, too, and continue my work as a renewable energy and sustainability advocate.

Instead, my fortune changed in a very unexpected way.

In the Beginning

I was a product of the tie-dye t-shirt and sandals days of solar; when what mattered was that you were a True Believer In The Cause. I spent a lot of time reading Home Power Magazine, volunteering at sustainability-related events, and bending the ears of the old guard environmentalists who were among the minuscule percentage of people to live off the grid with solar. In the late 1990’s in the Northeast: this was about as close as you could get to solar without going back to the land yourself.

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February 16th, 2011

Does Jeff Lyng’s Rise in ASES Suggest Turnover to Young Solar Leadership?

Pam Cargill

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TOPICS: Solar

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The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has named Jeff Lyng the new chairman of the board. Normally, this would not be breaking news in my world except that he does not look the part of the leadership traditionally reflected of other executives in the solar industry. In fact, his appearance marks a possibly exciting turn.

He’s young. + Continue Reading

February 14th, 2011

3 Reasons Why Prototyping Services are Essential to Solar Startups

Adam Standley

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TOPICS: BOSTON, Solar

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Solar startups pioneering photovoltaic materials are forced to make a choice when it comes to outfitting their lab with processing equipment. Do I buy new? Do I buy used? Or do I outsource R&D? These are tools and setups that cost hundreds of thousands–up to millions of dollars of investment.  I have found that the best solution to startups confronting this problem may be Cleantech Prototyping.

Cleantech Startups | What they Need

Cleantech startups need prototypes to increase (investor) confidence.  Confidence is built in a technology when it shows desired results with some reproducibility in an affordable, scalable process environment. After that, it’s easy to justify the nice equipment price tag. From my experience, cleantech prototyping is usually needed on three fronts:

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