We’ve heard an awful lot about lean startups lately. Now it’s time to focus on Phat Startups — companies willing to take big risks to solve big problems — like clean energy and nuclear waste remediation, according to Jamie Goldstein, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners.
MIT Tech Review’s annual list looking at 35 innovators under 35 always has gems for the energy sectors. This year’s list is no different and the publication highlights three under-the-radar entrepreneurs at startups including ultracapacitor company FastCAP, geothermal drilling startup Foro Energy and battery company Wuhe.
Early-stage, high-risk, and potentially game-changing — those are a few things all the companies that have been funded by the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program have in common. I’m at the ARPA-E Summit this week and here are 10 companies to watch for.
Geothermal power projects are “heating up” reports Jenn Kho due to increased backing from the U.S. government and new business models bringing projects online more quickly than in previous years. Kho cites numbers from the Geothermal Energy Association that says U.S. geothermal power projects grew 46 percent in 2009, up from about 30 percent in 2008, and geothermal projects represent 3.15 GW of installed capacity in the U.S., and more than 10 GW globally.
But while the stimulus package has allocated $400 million for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program, venture capitalists and private equity investors are still largely keeping this technology at an arms length. Kho penned a report for our GigaOM Pro subscription service this week, Cleantech Financing Trends 2010 and Beyond that explains that conventional wind and solar projects by far account for the largest amount of renewable energy projects getting backed by investors. “According to private equity firm U.S. Renewables Group solar and wind projects made up 75 to 80 percent of the clean energy projects getting financing in the U.S,” Kho writes.
Read More about Geothermal Might Be Heating Up, But Still Tepid for Investors
Updated: After writing extensively about how cell phone providers want to boost their business by offering wireless access for emerging devices, such as electric meters or e-readers, I decided to check with the nation’s four largest carriers to see what they consider to be some of the most interesting devices that run on their networks. I was looking for products that don’t resemble traditional computers or cell phones that we commonly use for data today. A lot of these gizmos fall into the people-tracking category, but some use the cellular network for sending video files, real-time data and even photos. Here’s seven cool devices that piggyback on cellular networks. Read More about 7 Gadgets That Prove the Cell Network Isn’t Just for Phones