We are in the process of building the most extensive, and broadest cleantech expert community. You might think of this as the first cleantech ‘Linked-in'. Our expert members will come from across academia, industry and professional organizations. Experts will be able to communicate with other experts through our growing social network.

Using OnGreen.com for Cleantech Investment Deals

Nikhil R. Jain | OnGreen.com


1)      What is the company mission behind OnGreen.com?
 
OnGreen is working to overcome the obstacles preventing a global transformation to a more sustainable future.  Many cleantech companies have faced difficulty in raising capital for development and growth as well as finding market opportunities for their products and services.  Additionally these companies have a difficult time finding the experts needed to develop their product, or the advice needed to build successful businesses – whether it is IP protection, legal, accounting, marketing and strategy.  
 
Potential investors have different challenges. Dealflow processes are manual in nature, are wrought with inefficiencies and vary dramatically across the many different sources of capital. The criteria for suitable deals varies greatly as well. All of this makes the search for the best opportunities cumbersome. And as suitable deals are discovered, expertise to assist in opportunity evaluation is not always readily available.

2)      Why did the cleantech ecosystem and cleantech investment space need OnGreen?  
 
Finding quality cleantech investment opportunities is no simple task. On average, less than 5% of cleantech business plans reviewed by the typical investment group end up being invited in for a meeting. Just 2% will reach the due diligence phase, less than 1% will be offered a term sheet and a paltry 0.3% will ultimately obtain funding.
 
 
There is a vast opportunity to connect early stage ideas to global capital.  As one example of the company’s strategy to bridge cleantech professionals and investors from around the world, OnGreen has partnered with the University of Michigan and Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE). The project OnGreen is spearheading will entail working with Chinese companies to invest in University R&D and patents in exchange for which they would acquire joint rights to the associated intellectual property. This joint research project would not only bring positive trade flow into the U.S. from China and create jobs, but also potentially help the U.S. bypass historic patent infringement issues in China.

What attributes are endemic to cleantech that make OnGreen relevant?
 
At OnGreen, you can:
  • Reduce the time, effort & cost associated with raising capital
  • Connect with potential investors specializing in your industry or technology
  • Find experts & mentors to help grow your company
  • Find ideas, challenges & competitions to help promote your company
  • Find board members & employees
  • Find service providers that specialize in your area of business
  • Locate potential partners
  • Get third party feedback and validation on your company or technology from experts
  • Research information, knowledge, grants and incentives related to your industry

3)     How does the site and system work?

The OnGreen platform is divided into three key areas:
  • Deal Marketplace - Where entrepreneurs seek funding for their cleantech businesses and investors make use of the search and filter capabilities to streamline dealflow. The site already hosts some 250 companies from 35 countries seeking a combined $1.9 billion.
  • Patent Exchange – Where inventors and companies post their intellectual property for sale or licensing and allow outside investors and enabling service providers to review them. The site already hosts more than 150 cleantech related patents from sources including USC.
  • Expert Community - Where business and technology experts promote their expertise, collaborate with their peers, engage in opportunity

4)     Do you anticipate an increase in cleantech investment, particularly in lieu of the recent nuclear crisis in Japan and the instability of the oil-producing states of the Gulf and Northern Africa?

No doubt after the terrible nuclear catastrophe going in Japan, all renewable energy domains will get a mega boost this year. More and more big countries have now stopped investing in nuclear power and are looking to invest a lot more in renewable energy like wind energy and solar power. Even Germany last week put on hold its plans to extend the life of its nuclear power plants and Swiss government’s also decided to suspend plans to build and replace its nuclear plants. There are several deals on OnGreen which represent renewable energy alternatives that serve as strong alternatives to nuclear.


5)     What part of the world are you seeing as most active in the cleantech arena?

In the US, there’s more innovation than there is available capital to support it. Especially in the early stages where the risk is higher. There are markets in the world that are just the opposite. China is a manufacturing powerhouse with a tremendous amount of wealth and available capital but they’re still early stages in developing an innovation. Based on the activity on our website, we’re seeing a lot activity out France, India, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, Russia, and Australia.


6)     Typically what kind of projects are you seeing so far with the new website?

Mainly renewable energy (wind, solar, etc) as well as energy distribution, water management, and agriculture. There are deals from around the world including a project from Kinetic Traction which is using a flywheel energy storage system to save energy, reduce peak power consumption while improving performance and ability to move more passengers at a lower capital cost. Another deal stems from Eliosolar thermal architectural shades aiming to protect buildings from the sun and generate solar hot water.


7)     What has the feedback on the site been while you were in beta?

Investors were seeing the level of deals accelerate on the beta site to the point they want to elevate the most fundable deals. That was the catalyst behind some of our redesign and launching the featured deals section as well as latest deal section. In addition, fifty percent of entrepreneurs surveyed before the redesign had responded they had gotten contact by a potential investor. However, they wanted to be able to interact more with users on the site, not just investors. This led to the new social features added to the newest iteration of the site


8)     Apart from investors and cleantech entrepreneurs, who can benefit from OnGreen?

We are in the process of building the most extensive, and broadest cleantech expert community. You might think of this as the first cleantech ‘Linked-in’.  Our expert members will come from across academia, industry and professional organizations.  Experts will be able to communicate with other experts through our growing social network.  They can find other innovators to work with and increase your network of contacts., provides you the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs, businesses, and others and offers the opportunity for you to inform others about innovations and concepts that you are developing.

In addition patent holders can benefit from our Patent Exchange. The Patent Exchange was built out of the need to provide universities, entrepreneurs and companies increased exposure to a broader global community. We’ve have already partnered with the USC Stevens Institute to  supplement their organic technology transfer efforts by improving its patents’ online search visibility and by leveraging OnGreen’s ever expanding reach into international markets.

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