After 4 years of exuberant (and often naive) heavy cleantech investing, capital efficiency is winning the day. What will this mean for the grid, which companies develop faster than others, and how are corporate giants getting into the act?
Kevin Skillern, Managing Director of Venture Capital, GE Energy Financial Services
Kenneth Davies, Cleantech Advisor, Google Ventures
Navin Chaddha, Managing Director, Mayfield Fund
Navin Chaddha is a proven serial entrepreneur and venture investor. Navin Chaddha was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009, ranked on the Forbes Midas List of top 100 dealmakers as #11 in 2009, #10 in 2008 and #58 in 2007.
He invests in the energytech, internet/digital media, enterprise, semiconductor, and service provider sectors in the U.S. and leads Mayfield's investments in India. Navin Chaddha has made over 25 investments in the past, of which 9 have had IPOs and 6 have been acquired. Prior to joining Mayfield, Navin Chaddha was a Partner at Gabriel Venture Partners and EIR at Mobius Venture Capital. He was founder and CTO of VXtreme, a streaming media software company that was acquired by Microsoft and became Windows Media. He served in various management roles at Microsoft after that. Navin Chaddha was also the co-founder of iBeam Broadcasting (NASDAQ IPO) and CEO and founder of Rivio (acquired by CPA2Biz). Navin Chaddha holds an MS degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University (received the Stanford and IBM Graduate Fellowships) and a B.Tech. degree in electrical engineering from IIT Delhi (received the Director's Medal for being first in his class) and was honored with the prestigious distinguished IIT Alumni Award in 2006.
Navin Chaddha is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs and holds over 35 patents.
Kenneth joined Google in the fall of 2008 to help lead Google.org's energy and cleantech initiatives. In addition to working with Google Ventures, Kenneth is responsible for developing the energy procurement strategy for Google's global data centers. As part of this initiative Kenneth leads the newly formed entity Google Energy LLC. Immediately prior to Google, Kenneth worked as an energy and economic consultant for Charles River Associates in Houston. His previous energy experience includes employment at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Rocky Mountain Institute. Kenneth earned his BS, summa cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering and MEng in Operations Research from Cornell University. He also hold a MS in Environmental Studies, with a focus on energy economics, from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
In addition to coordinating the CleanTech practice at Foundation Capital, Paul's primary focus is on helping early-stage start-ups go from zero to $100M in revenue. He helped take public two venture-funded software start-ups, Kana Communications (KANA), and Pure Software (RATL). Paul currently serves on the board of directors for Bella Pictures, CalStar Products, Serious Materials, Coverity, Chegg, Ketera, and Serious Materials. Prior to joining Foundation Capital, was senior vice president of worldwide sales at Kana Communications. Paul went on to build a team of over 350 people, helping Kana become one of the top ten IPOs of 1999. Before Kana, Paul was a vice president and general manager for another highly successful start-up, Pure Software, helping raise their market value from $2 million to over $1 billion in his five-year tenure there. Paul received an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley; an MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia; and a BS from James Madison University.
Kevin Skillern leads GE's venture capital team focused on the energy and water industries. This includes opportunities across the energy value chain, including renewables, power infrastructure and oil and gas technologies. The venture capital group at GE Energy Financial Services is one of the most active investors in energy technology markets, with a seven-person team with presence in San Francisco, Munich, Boston and Stamford, CT. Prior to joining GE, Mr. Skillern spent eight years working with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where he focused on strategy development and corporate finance issues for energy companies in the United States and Europe. Kevin holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Owen Thomas is the executive editor of VentureBeat. His career has ranged from Suck.com to the Red Herring, from Time to Valleywag, but he's consistently been interested in the transformative effects of innovation on business and culture. Also, he loves you but has an odd way of showing it.