Today in Green IT: Lessons for startups and MBA students

Corporate venture capital plays a key role in the startup world, including the cleantech sector. In his Today in Green IT post, the curator of our research service, Adam Lesser, highlighted the role of corporate venture capital and pointed to an article in the Detroit Free Press that gave an update of General Motors’ VC arm, which the automaker launched last year to a lot of fanfare.

Jon Lauckner from GM Ventures told the paper that his team has doled out $45 million to a wide variety of companies, including makers of electric car batteries, solar panels and biofuels. GM budgeted $100 million for the VC fund. GM is one of several companies that have launched venture capital funds in the pats year. In January this year, NRG Energy, Conoco Phillips and General Electric announced their $300 million fund to invest in areas from solar to coal conversions.

Here’s what else Adam is thinking about and reading:

  • Times are tough for many cleantech companies, so what can a startup do to weather the downturn? Focusing on simpler technologies and markets where it will find buyers more easily.
  • Business school graduates with “sustainability skills” are getting more job offers. The trend has prompted more MBA programs to offer classes such as carbon accounting and corporate social responsibility.

To read long-form reports, research notes, quarterly reports and more curated links by Adam, check out GigaOM Pro.

Image courtesy of Bright Automotive