Kleiner’s Gore and Doerr Pitching Green Growth Fund

Kleiner Perkins, the green-leaning venture capital firm, is reportedly raising a “green growth” fund of more than $400 million for investment in later-stage, less risky cleantech startups, says Pehub.com (full story on Pewnews.com). The firm has already allocated a good third of its $600 million main fund to technologies that aim to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and this additional money makes the firm’s purse for cleantech one of the bigger among its green VC peers.

The folks at Pehub.com say Kleiner partners John Doerr and Al Gore have been actively pitching the fund, which would do both private and public investment, to potential limited partners. And the firm has reportedly already hired an exec from Goldman Sachs to help manage the fund.

Several venture firms and angels that focus on cleantech have been investing a lot of funds into very early stage, risky startups, with promising technology in the lab but a long and questionable timeline to product, let alone profitability. Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Mohr Davidow come to mind as notable early investors.

Perhaps focusing on later-stage, already-established companies that have already started generating revenue will turn out to be a smart move for Gore and Doerr’s new fund. The firm didn’t exactly hit any home runs last year.

3 Resources for Switchers

Of course, for web workers “switcher” generally means one thing: people who used to use Windows PCs who are beginning to use a Mac instead. We’ve certainly seen our share of switchers here at WWD: a number of our staffers have made the transition to the Mac life, and we hear from readers who have started down the same road – or who want to – fairly frequently. Market share numbers bear this out; though it’s still a fraction of Windows use, Apple use has been steadily growing.

But despite this trend, switching is not as easy as the hardcore Mac fanboys would have you believe. Despite propaganda to the contrary, OS X is not completely intuitive (no operating system ever is). If you’re in the early stages of switching, you can learn how to use your new Mac the hard way, by pounding your head against things, pressing random keys, and doing lots of Google searches. Or you can look for shortcuts. Here are three resources that you might find useful.
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Swapping optical for battery on X300: you’ll need a screwdriver

If you’re planning to take advantage of the Lenovo X300’s swappable bay, make sure you have a screwdriver handy. That’s the magic tool needed in order to release the optical drive or battery from the bay in case you want to switch modules. The procedure is quick, painless and easy as shown the Lenovo folks in the video above. Simply flip your X300 over, undo and remove a single screw, and then use the screwdriver to release the optical drive or battery inside. Once you swap, you just need to replace the screw… and put your screwdriver in a safe place so you don’t lose it for the next swap.Although easy to do with a tool, it’s a shame that some button or latch mechansim couldn’t have worked in this case. The more you have to carry, the less mobile you become and isn’t mobility the point of the X300 to begin with? Not a major issue, but for perspective buyers that plan to take advantage of the optical drive and 3-cell battery option, this is good info to have.(via Small Laptops and Notebooks)

Rise of the Dormitory CEO

Michael Dell may not be much loved in Silicon Valley for his super-efficient model and promoting the concept of Moore’s Claw, but he is clearly inspiring a generation of dormitory entrepreneurs. Associated Press chronicles the start-up experiences of college students who have started their own businesses. Lance Larson who graduated from San Diego State University started OC Hosting while attending college, and now does about a million dollars in revenues. There is Anthony Casalena, a senior at the Univeristy of Maryland, runs SquareSpace.com, a hosted blogging service, which I have tried and found more snappy and easy to use than other programs. “School work is not nine to five — you can kind of push it around,” said Casalena. The article while inspiring misses to highlight the key trends that have helped these young stars establish their business. The Internet as a distribution channel is new way of doing things, and gives even the smallest guy an even playing field. Or how about instant markets from all the new platforms that are cropping up – wireless phones, PDAs and home networks for example.

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