Friday, January 27, 2012

CCIA Welcomes New Board Appointments

(Left: Chas Eggert) (Right: Steve Hane)

The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) is happy to announce our 2012 board chair and vice chair appointments: Charles R. (Chas) Eggert as chairman, and Steve Hane as vice chairman.

Eggert and Hane, both CCIA founding board members, will fulfill traditional roles on the trade association board and bring unique cleantech and venture capital experience to the positions. For CCIA this will be a great opportunity to further take our organization into a leadership position for cleantech in the country.

Eggert is President and CEO of OPX Biotechnologies, a company that uses proprietary Leading EDGE™ technology to produce bio-derived chemicals and fuels to help industries better compete in the global economy with lower costs and higher returns. Prior to leading OPX Biotechnologies, Eggert was the president of Specialty Polymers Group, a $500 million revenue division of Akzo Nobel. He began his career with Monsanto Company where he progressed through a variety of leadership roles. Eggert also serves as a board director of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and is a founding director and past vice chairman of CCIA.

Hane will serve as the Vice Chair for CCIA’s board. Hane is currently president and CEO of Ampulse, a solar energy company that focuses on better efficiencies and performance for crystalline-silicon thin-film solar photovoltaic technology. Hane currently serves on the advisory board of the University of Colorado's Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, and is a founding board member of CCIA.

Both Eggert and Hane bring expansive executive and investment capital management experience to the cleantech industry.

“We’re excited to have such esteemed business executives assuming leadership of our board and bringing such a wealth of industry, fundraising and venture capital knowledge,” said Christine Shapard, Executive Director of CCIA. “The benefits will be great for CCIA as a whole and all our members.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

Can't Miss Events in January

CCIA has a big week next week! Below is a list of our sponsored events next week. Stay informed on efficiency, financing your startup and meet with investors.

Energy Connections – Focus on Efficient Buildings

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7:30 - 9 a.m.

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
1445 Market St., Ste 3200
Denver, CO 80202

Join us for the first Energy Connections Meeting of 2012. This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities of the green building market.

Guest speakers include:

Network, gather with like-minded CEC and CCIA members and share issues, develop partnerships, and make new connections.

This is an invitation-only presentation for CEC and CCIA members.

Register for Energy Connections or learn about how to join CCIA

Financing Your Cleantech Startup

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2:30 - 6:00pm

Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED)
14062 Denver West Parkway
Building 52, Suite 300
Golden, CO 80401

Get valuable information on how to finance your cleantech startup. Don’t just ask for money — ask for the right money and in the right way. Speaker Tim Reeser of Aravaipa Ventures will discuss the ins and outs of financing models, strategy and the challenges to cleantech startups. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insight to the business side of your cleantech startup.

Register now for Financing Your Cleantech Startup


Jan. 27 Deadline: CREED Investor Access Breakfast

Event Date: Feb. 16

CREED Headquarters
14062 Denver West Parkway
Building 52, Suite 300
Golden, CO 80401

Cost: CCIA Members $35
Non-Members: $50

It’s your chance to present your business to investors after a continental breakfast and presentations from our speakers. Applications to present are due by Jan. 27 and presenters will be notified by Feb. 10.

Register for Investor Access

For information about these and all CCIA events, visit our events page.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Becoming Part of the Advanced Energy Economy: A Q&A with CCIA’s Executive Director Chris Shapard

Recently, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association announced it was becoming a charter member of the Advanced Energy Economy. Described as “a chamber of commerce for clean energy businesses,” CCIA Executive Director Chris Shapard talks about what the AEE is all about:

Q: What is the Advanced Energy Economy?

A: AEE is focused on the creation and support of regional economic organization focused on advanced energy growth and innovation. The founding members believe that national energy strategy will be defined out of regional development – a bottoms up approach rather than a top-down push. The AEE is enabling a platform for states and regions to share best practices and build technology partnerships, much like we do in Colorado now, but on a national scale. It is our goal, through CCIA’s involvement with AEE, to elevate our regional cleantech successes to help create a national dialogue focused on economics, competitiveness and national security.

Q: Why do we need the AEE?

A: All energy discussions to this point either focus in favor of jobs or the environment. AEE transcends that discussion by focusing on the business and economic impact of all forms of clean technology. With global energy consumption projected to rise more than 50 percent by 2035, future prosperity depends on new ways to meet the world’s energy needs. Advanced energy includes any solution that moves us toward the goal of energy that is affordable, abundant, and secure. Rather than favoring specific technologies, advanced energy is inclusive in nature and to be judged by the benefits it provides in the field and in the marketplace.

The AEE will help us take industry best practices that we know work on a state and regional level to guide national policy creation. It’s a really timely effort for Colorado considering Governor Hickenlooper’s bottom’s up approach to economic development. In addition, AEE provides financial assistance to chapters along with communications, policy, research and data support. These additional resources will allow CCIA to expand its capacity in 2012, and helps to increase our efforts around commercialization support for the universities and roll out an executive education institute.

Q: How is the AEE funded?

A: It is funded by individuals, foundations and corporations. AEE has already reached funding in the eight figures and are on target to hit their funding goals over the next three years.

Q: How is the AEE working on the Federal level?

A: From our perspective, the AEE will give Colorado’s cleantech cluster a more substantial voice in Washington. The platform they are creating enables us to partner with other clusters to play a role in DC when it is appropriate. Furthermore, when AEE formed, they merged with the Clean Economy Network (CEN). CEN had a very active advocacy organization and we are fortunate to have the combined experience of the AEE and CEN teams to provide us with eyes and ears on the ground in DC.

Q: How is AEE working with other cleantech organizations?

A: AEE is working with other cleantech organizations in a variety of ways. Many organizations like ours – those that are already established, recognized clusters in their state or region – are becoming chapters of the AEE. These chapters are then the main conduit of contact between member companies and the national organization. In areas where there is not an established principal organization, AEE is actually helping to establish chapters. In yet other areas, where there may be multiple organizations, AEE is working with those groups to establish a single voice for the region. There are currently nine states within the AEE network, and by March of 2012 we expect the number of active chapters to have doubled.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Smart Grids Are a Feasible Solution But Major Education Initiative Needed

A recent study has suggested that some American consumers may be warming to the idea smart grids to manage utility delivery. Smart grid initiatives mostly focus on an attempt to modernize the current utility grids. However, there are several misnomers and inaccuracies in the information that is currently widely available to the general public. The disparate and at time incorrect information has divided consumers into distinct groups with varying degrees of support for smart grid initiatives.

The study found that most people fit into one of five categories: Concerned Greens, Young Americans, Easy Street, DIY & Save, and Traditionalists. Each of the groups represented ideals of mostly socio-economic sects and factors. The research found, for example, that the Concerned Greens were vehemently protective of the environment and completely open to smart grids, while the Traditionalists fell on the opposite side of the spectrum and recognized no reason for energy reform.

Furthermore, the research yielded results exposing the major motivations behind those in a great economic divide. For the Easy Street consumers with higher incomes, they were less motivated to alter their lifestyles or habits. Interestingly, the DIY & Save group also show little motivation for change as their main goal was to provide for their families. In both groups, a lower importance on the environmental impact of their lifestyles was evident.

Finally, and possibly the most influential group, Young Americans, disclosed that they were interested in change and willing to adapt, but needed more education about the environmental payoff and economic benefits of a smart grid initiative before they could rally behind the idea.

Understandably, a significant factor in creating more support for smart grid initiatives and modernizations will include a push for education. Public awareness of the benefits, the realities of the modernization efforts and a frank discussion of the environmental and economic effects will need to drive future rhetoric and efforts.