13 battery startups to watch in 2013

Here’s 13 rare battery startups working on next-generation manufacturing, chemistry and printing technologies. These battery companies could create innovation that could revolutionize electric cars, the power grid and how we charge up our gadgets and cell phones.

Bill Gates-backed Liquid Metal Battery is now . . . Ambri

Liquid Metal Battery — a promising battery startup backed by Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and oil giant Total — has changed it’s name to Ambri, a shorter and less literal word that’s a nod to Cambridge, where the company was founded.

Biochemical company Elevance raises $104M

Despite that venture funding for cleantech is cooling off, some companies are still able to get money for growth. For example, biochemical company Elevance Renewable Sciences has raised a $104 million Series E round from oil giant Total’s investing arm, and Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad.

Report: Konarka’s failure wasn’t a solar market problem

Solar startup Konarka’s bankruptcy, announced last week, wasn’t just the latest case of the solar industry being hit by the dropping cost of silicon, and cheap modules and panels from China. The company’s technology just “could not compete on cost, efficiency, or lifetime,” says Lux Research.

Organic solar thin film maker Konarka files for bankruptcy

Konarka Technologies, a maker of organic solar thin films, said Friday it’s going bankrupt, an announcement that may not be so surprising to many who have watched and waited for the venture-backed company to try to build a viable business.

Ouch: SunPower to close solar cell factory

SunPower, whose fight for survival forced it to find a new owner and embark on a significant cost-reduction plan, said on Monday that it will stop producing cells at one of its factories to save money.

The story of how Bill Gates discovered (& backed) a battery startup

Investors and entrepreneurs don’t always connect via the standard VC pitch. According to Phil Giudice, the CEO of a battery startup called Liquid Metal Battery, his company found their most high profile investor, Bill Gates, through a more unusual way: the classroom.

SunPower going ‘on the offense’ in 2012, CEO says

SunPower said on Thursday in its earnings call that it will be going on the offensive in 2012, aggressively selling solar projects and residential leases, and developing more efficient solar panels.