Smart Grid IPO – Silver Spring Files

Venture capital backed Silver Spring Networks filed on July 7th to go public. Kleiner Perkins and Foundation Capital are among the leading investors. The tech IPO trend has been picking up after an extended drought. And, Silver Spring needs to pick up needed capital to expand its business while the financing window is open. We are looking forward to more clean tech IPO’s to propel more liquidity in this critical sector.


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Puralytics Wins the Cleantech Open National Award

Puralytics, the innovative water purification company from Oregon, won the national Cleantech Open award in a field of many excellent, emerging cleantech companies. www.puralytics.com

I had the pleasure of announcing Puralytics win as the Northwest Regional Cleantech Open finalist at the awards gala and moments later, we learned that it won the entire national prize. Seeing Mark Owen and his team win and receive the award was particularly gratifying as I’ve been keen on seeing a Northwest company win since my role as NW Regional Director was to encourage entrepreneurs to enter, compete, improve their businesses and win in more than one way!

Mark Owen, CEO, is the kind of entrepreneur who one can work with to build a successful company. They are gaining great commercial traction and philanthropic groups realize that their water purification technology can solve many disaster water needs as well as in less advantaged areas.

We did a celebration on December 2nd in Portland and will do one on December 9th in Seattle with the Cleantech Open NW regional group. Feel free to email me for information: byron@ascentpartnersgroup.com

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China to Provide Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy

China will indroduce a measure to cut taxes for renewable energy companies and implement price incentives for renewable power, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters in Beijing today, according to Bloomberg News. This is consistent with their economic policy to be the global leader in clean technologies. Perhaps the political debate in the U.S. over how to address the future of this important industry sector can be resolved in light of a global competitiveness issue.

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Brammo Brings In $12.4M in Series B To Date

Brammo continues to forge ahead with products (Empulse), manufacturing (Flextronics), funding (Series B), and distribution. The team in Ashland, OR is busy executing indeed!

(Following from One Racing Source) “Brammo filed the appropriate forms with the SEC yesterday stating that it has raised $ 12.4 million in Series B funds, in what is still an open round of financing. Brammo hopes to raise a total of $ 30 million in the Series B offering, with the use of funds likely going towards expanding Brammo’s reach into the Asian and European markets, as well as building out the company’s product line into other target segments.

Also in the Form D filing with the SEC we get a glimpse of the people behind the company’s management, which includes a presence from Brammo’s initial investors Best Buy & the clean-tech venture capital group Chrysalix, as well as Brammo’s CFO Bruce Gilpin. New to the ranks is David Kurtz from Alpine Inc., an oil and gas exploration and development firm that is leading the Series B round with another firm that is so far unknown.

It says something about the state of electric vehicles when oil companies start investing in them, so it doesn’t surprise us to learn that most of the remaining $ 17.5 million in the Series B round has already been committed, and could close in the new year. Brammo’s ability to raise this much capital is a good sign for EV fans and other EV companies alike. Despite tight coffers, venture capitalists and private equity funds are still investing in electrics, especially electric motorcycles.

Brammo joins the ranks of Zero Motorcycles and Mission Motors, both of whom have had to also file similar paperwork with the SEC, meeting threshold point in fundraising where they needed to disclose private offerings of stock. Yesterday’s filing has been the largest collection of capital so far in this space, with Brammo’s $ 12.4 million dwarfing the $ 7.3 million that Zero raised earlier in the year (here & here). To-date Brammo has raised $ 23 million ($ 41 million when this round is closed), with its $ 11 million Series A round taking place in August 2008.

The use of the funds according to CEO Craig Bramscher will go towards Brammo’s global expansion, product development, and day-to-day business. Coming on the heels of its announced partnership with Flextronics, the cash infusion puts Brammo as the first-mover into foreign markets in the electric motorcycle space. “It allows us to leverage our guerilla market tactics across the globe,” Bramscher said of the new funds.

Brammo’s coffers may be larger than what they were before, but few companies would consider anything under $ 100 million adequate funding for a global expansion. “The comparison with Tesla keeps coming up in the conversation,” says Bramscher. “We like that, but we’re trying to achieve the same goals with a lot less.” Being efficient with funds is critical in this market to woo investors, which Brammo says is one of the things that’s helped them bring in the dealflow.

Bramscher hopes one day to take Brammo public, taking a cue from Tesla’s recent IPO, but that stop on the Brammo roadmap is still farther down the road, and right now the company is focusing on this investment. “Our hope is that this gets us to black ink, that this gets us global expansion, and gets us marketing,” explained Bramscher. “We’re trying to find the right investors that really do bring the right kind of value to the company. So far, everybody adds value beyond just the money they’ve invested.”

For consumers, expect new Brammo-clad products to be announced. While we already know that the Brammo Empulse will make its production debut next year, other models are likely to come from the Ashland-based company. “With the better drivetrain and longer range, we’re able to go into other segments,” hinted Bramscher. “We’re looking at anything with volume.”

With volume being the key word, Brammo is very close to having its Asian market headquarters in China picked out, while the company is still looking for a location for its brick and mortar presence in Europe.”

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Cleantech Open NW Regional Awards & Expo Event

On October 4, 2010, from 4:30 to 7:30 PM, the second regional awards event for the Cleantech Open will be held at the Bell Harbor International Conference center in Seattle. This year’s group of diverse cleantech companies from around the Northwest offer a variety of products, technologies, and solutions which include biofuels, vehicles, water purification, wind and water power, and web solutions for reducing traffic. In addition, last year’s semi-finalists will be exhibiting. Come participate, network, see these companies, and find out who the three regional finalist will be who go to the national finals on November 17 in San Jose, CA. Go to Cleantech Open to register.

Byron McCann, Regional Director, Pacific Northwest

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Verenium Closes Sale of Cellulosic Biofuels Business to BP

Completion of this transaction is evidence that big oil continues to nibble away at the biofuel business. While this is a tiny bite for BP, it supports the future trajectory of cellulosic biofuel demand if only related to increased requirements by the EPA to bring ethanol up to 15% of the gasoline blend.

Company to focus on growing commercial enzyme business —

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept 02, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ — Verenium Corporation (Nasdaq: VRNM), a pioneer in the development and commercialization of high-performance industrial enzyme solutions, today announced the closing of the sale of its cellulosic biofuels business to BP Biofuels North America for $98.3 million, subject to the additional financial terms of the transaction announced on July 15, 2010.

In the transaction, BP acquired the Company’s facilities in Jennings, LA, including the pilot plant and demonstration-scale facility, the San Diego, CA R&D facilities, as well as cellulosic biofuels and cellulosic enzyme technology and related IP. In addition, BP retained select personnel needed to continue the cellulosic biofuels development program. BP also became the sole owner of Vercipia Biofuels and Galaxy Biofuels, the 50-50 joint ventures created by the Company and BP.

Verenium retains its commercial enzyme business, including its biofuels enzyme products, and has the right to develop its own cellulosic enzyme program. Verenium also retains select R&D capabilities, as well as the potential option to access select biofuels technology developed by BP using the technology acquired from Verenium through this transaction.

UBS Investment Bank acted as financial advisor to Verenium in connection with this transaction.

The material terms of the transaction are described in greater detail in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 19, 2010.

Verenium Corporation is a pioneer in the development and commercialization of high-performance enzymes for use in industrial processes. Verenium currently sells enzymes developed using its R&D capabilities to industrial customers globally for use in markets including grain and oilseed processing, biofuels, animal health and nutrition and other specialty industrial processes. Verenium has built a world-class R&D organization renowned for its capabilities in the rapid screening, identification, evolution and bioengineering of novel enzymes that act as catalysts for biochemical reactions. The company harnesses the power of nature and uses its unique, patented technology to create products that transform industries by maximizing efficiency while improving environmental performance. For more information on Verenium, visit http://www.verenium.com.

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Brammo – Wins Best Electric Motorcycle for 2010

Motorcycle.com ranked the Brammo Enertia as the “Best Electric Motorcycle” for 2010. See rankings list.

The Enertia was cited for its uncompromising quality of components and super low operating costs. While priced at $7,995, it remains a good value in its category beating out the competition. We’ll be watching to see how the high performance Empulse does when it is released. An innovative company with strong partners in Best Buy and Chrysalix Energy Ventures indeed. Brammo is also a “portfolio” company of the Northwest Energy Angels.

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Fisker Automotive Closes DOE $528.7M Loan Package

Fisker logo
Fisker Automotive hits a major milestone on the road to delivering advanced vehicles we can drive and enjoy eco-performance with the official closing of its sizable DOE loan package. The loan along with additional private equity will fund both the launch of the Karma later this year and the development of the next model called “Project NINA”. As oil prices start to creep up again, more attention will be paid to these innovative driving solutions that reduce our dependence on oil and are much more enviro-friendly, without compromising a superb driving experience.

Official Release:
The Department of Energy announced today the closing of a $528.7 million loan with Fisker Automotive for the development and production of two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The loan will support the Karma, a full-size, four-door sports sedan, and a line of family oriented models being developed under the company’s Project NINA program.

“The story of Fisker is a story of ingenuity of an American company, a commitment to innovation by the U.S. government and the perseverance of the American auto industry,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “The Boxwood Plant is opening again, employing workers in Delaware, and is serving as a roadmap for all we can accomplish if everyone works together. Thanks to real dedication by this Administration, loans from the Department of Energy, the creativity of U.S. companies and the tenacity of great state partners like Delaware – we’re on our way to helping America’s auto industry reclaim its top position in the global market.”

Fisker, a startup based in southern California, expects to manufacture the Karma and Project NINA lines at a recently shuttered General Motors factory in Wilmington, Delaware. Fisker anticipates that it will employ 2,000 American assembly workers. Industry experts expect that domestic parts suppliers and service providers also will increase employment substantially.

“Not only will the Fisker projects contribute to cleaner air and reduced carbon emissions, these plug-in hybrid cars will help put American ingenuity at the forefront of automotive design and production,” said Secretary Chu. “And they will bring innovative cars to the market place while putting American workers back on the job,” Secretary Chu added.

Fisker’s plug-in hybrid products will be among the first to market and will help to accelerate the introduction of fuel-saving electrified vehicles in the U.S. When full production is reached in 2015, Fisker estimates annual sales at up to 115,000 vehicles. Combining Fisker projected sales volume with the expected sales volume of the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S, sales of electric and PHEVs funded with DOE ATVM loans could exceed 300,000 annually.

Initially, Fisker Automotive will use the proceeds of the loan for qualifying engineering integration costs as it works with primarily U.S. suppliers to incorporate components into the Karma’s design. The engineering integration work will be conducted in Irvine, California, where engineers will design tools and equipment and develop manufacturing processes. The Karma is scheduled to appear in showrooms in late 2010. The second stage will involve the purchase and retooling of the former GM plant to manufacture the Project NINA line of PHEVs, which is expected to begin rolling off the assembly line in late 2012.

Fisker automobiles are driven by electric motors that get their power from a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, or, when that is depleted, by a generator driven by an efficient gas-powered engine. The Karma and Project NINA models will have an all-electric, tailpipe-emission-free range of 40 to 50 miles on a full charge, more than most Americans drive each day. The battery can be charged at home overnight. Using gas and electric power, Fisker plug-in hybrids are expected to have a cruising range of up to 300 miles.

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program supports the development of advanced technology vehicles with improved fuel efficiency that help reduce the nation’s dependence on oil. This is the fourth loan arrangement signed by DOE with an advanced technology vehicle manufacturer.


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Eco-Advanced: Fisker Unveils its Sunset Luxury Convertible PHEV

chicago-fisker-sunset It doesn’t get much better than a 100 MPG plug-in hybrid convertible with 400 hp that’s beautifully crafted by a company who is well focused on a successful formula for success in the global luxury automobile market that eco-advanced.

Check out the Luxist feature from the Chicago Auto Show:

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Brammo Gets on Cycle World Cover

Published on 15 February 2010 by in Blog, Clean Tech, News

Brammo Gets on Cycle World Cover

Front_3Q_Green 1000x667This innovative, all electric, performance motorcycle company continues to get great press on its Enertia bike. You can get them at Best Buy stores and they have reduced the price to $7,995!


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