Thursday, September 28, 2006

Clean-tech start-ups tout wares for VCs

For a few hours Tuesday, city hall became a microcosm of Silicon Valley. Eager entrepreneurs mingled with venture capitalists, all of them there to find and fund the best ideas in green technology.

What drew many of these people from the valley was the California Clean Tech Open, a competition held for the first time this year to discover the best businesses working to make the earth a cleaner and in some cases more affordable place to live.

The event also had a larger purpose. As with information technology, California is already commercializing more green technologies than anywhere else in the world, according to experts in the field, and it intends to keep that lead.

The potential is enormous. According to venture industry tracker VentureOne, last year venture capital firms invested more than $1.5 billion in clean-tech companies. According to Cleantech Venture Networks, a clean-tech membership organization, venture investment in green technologies is expected to grow to $10 billion in the next three years in North America alone.

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