Monday, October 1, 2007

Conversation with Justin Label from Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP)

Executive Green: CleanTech is an investment theme. How does Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) describe CleanTech?

Justin Label: BVP describes CleanTech as any technology or service that improves sustainability (examples: wind, solar, construction).

EG: Why is CleanTech an interesting investment category?

JL: This is a 30+ years’ trend that will roll out incrementally. The immediate drivers are related to the carbon crisis (i.e., the demand for fossil fuels and the need to decrease CO2 emissions).

EG: What types of investments do you find interesting?

JL: Types of opportunity will evolve. Only a handful will map into venture investing.

There are a number of venture investment opportunities in companies that help produce or manage clean energy solutions. Consumer, government, and business are looking for solutions today.

Also in the near term, investments in companies that innovate more Green Building practices will gain momentum. The thin wedge of leading decision makers that are driving the growth of clean energy will also move to Green Building.

EG: Do you have concerns that the market for CleanTech investing is overhyped?

JL: I do not have a strong view on the market as a whole; we are at the earliest stages.

Decades from now when we look back we will see that the investments made in innovation today are just a small percentage of the solutions that will be delivered.

The investment community is operating in the dark. The outcomes to date do not prove that we are in a solid state for venture investing.

EG: What is your personal interest in CT?

The investment category is intellectually fascinating and an area that is still developing. Following long-term trends with a firm like BVP and helping solve really big problems that will address society’s needs is exciting.

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