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Summary:

With their dotcom and broadband-based winnings in tow, serial entrepreneurs of the information technology age have been taking the plunge into the energy and cleantech markets, looking to recreate their e-successes. Some are finding more success than others, and some are, frankly, finding no success at […]

With their dotcom and broadband-based winnings in tow, serial entrepreneurs of the information technology age have been taking the plunge into the energy and cleantech markets, looking to recreate their e-successes. Some are finding more success than others, and some are, frankly, finding no success at all. But these are new(ish) markets for innovation, and someone’s bound to find the Google of cleantech out of all these biofuel, solar material, water purifier and wind turbine firms. Will it be one of these 25?

  1. Shai Agassi, Founder, CEO Project Better Place.
  2. Bob Metcalfe, Partner, Polaris Venture Partners, CEO GreenFuel.
  3. Vinod Khosla, Founder Khosla Ventures.
  4. Sunil Paul, Seed investor, early stage cleantech, Nanosolar, Oorja.
  5. John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins.
  6. Elon Musk, Chairman, Tesla, Chairman, CEO SolarCity
  7. Steve Jurvetson, Partner Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
  8. Bill Gross, Founder Idealab.
  9. Ray Lane, Partner Kleiner Perkins.
  10. Al Gore, Chairman Generation Investment Managment, Partner Kleiner Perkins.
  11. Raj Atluru, Partner Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
  12. Steve Westly, Founder The Westly Group.
  13. Dan Whaley, Founder, CEO Climos.
  14. Martin Eberhard, Founder, former CEO Tesla.
  15. Martin Roscheisen, Founder, CEO Nanosolar.
  16. Martin Tobias, Former CEO Imperium Renewables.
  17. Manny Hernandez, CFO SunPower.
  18. Jonathan Gay, CEO of GreenBox
  19. Jeff Skoll, Founder Skoll Foundation, investor in Tesla, Nanosolar.
  20. Mitch Mandich, CEO Range Fuels.
  21. Bill Joy, Partner Kleiner Perkins.
  22. Larry Gross, CEO of Edeniq.
  23. Bruce Sohn, President First Solar.
  24. David Kaplan, Founder V2Green.
  25. David Cope, CEO of PurFresh.

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  1. Environmental Capital – WSJ.com : Green Ink: Pollution and Bad Hair Monday, May 5, 2008

    [...] Earth2Tech has a roundup of information-technology entrepreneurs entering the cleantech market looking for the next “Google of cleantech.” [...]

  2. Rory Gawler Monday, May 5, 2008

    Why are there no women (or very few – some I couldn’t tell) on this list?

    A somewhat sad commentary, is that not?

  3. Something all these infotech people should remember regarding computer technology vs. energy technology:

    Infotech is basically a technology of the abstract: bits per second, operations per second; Gbytes per sector. All of these are abstractions of logical 1’s or 0’s which fundamentally, could be represented with the presence or absence of a single electron. That is to say; their technology is not closely related (at least theoretically) to physical limits, at least not yet anyway.

    Compare this to energy. A watt is a watt. You get something to produce 100 watts; you can’t simply change your lithographing strategy and increase its yield by a factor of 10. You have to fight for every bit of improvement. Welcome to the REAL, real world.

  4. 25 Who Ditched IT for CleanTech – GigaOM Monday, May 5, 2008

    [...] 25 Who Ditched IT for CleanTech [...]

  5. Paul Latix Monday, May 5, 2008

    Well said Jim.

  6. Brok Enheimen Monday, May 5, 2008

    I noticed that most of your stories focus on USA backed companies, but here in Germany there is a very large emerging economy around green science. The University in Salsbury has large green science and economics department. Someone should do a list of which countries are the most green taking education, finance, and law into consideration. You will USA is among the worst.

    1. Hello Brok,

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  7. Estonian Internet Gurus Launch Clean-up Project « Earth2Tech Monday, May 5, 2008

    [...] mean you’re only interested in creating businesses that make huge profits — though our list of 25 that ditched infotech for cleantech are certainly still trying. Estonian entrepreneurs Ahti Heinla, a Skype guru, and Rainer Nolvak, founder of MicroLink and [...]

  8. I don’t think ‘jim’ the sarcastic knows what he’s talking about!
    Cleantech, whether it’s building EVs or power plants is a direct result of advances in IT and is directly related. Large scale production of Li-ion batteries for laptop computers and high powered IGBTs from semi conductor companies inspired the first high performance EV demonstrator the tzero. Software will become an increasingly important part of EVs as they become totally dependent on microprocessors to run everything from battery management to their AC motors, brakes and even automated vehicle dynamics.
    How about Sterling solar dishes that have to track the sun from dawn to dusk, only really possible with PID routines run on cheap silicon chips. Even PV solar, which are mostly made from silicon. It’s still all about technological development with what ever the current level of technology allows and it’s the same game of guessing where the future might lead and pushing the state-of-the-art to get an edge on the competition.

  9. ScribeMedia.Org | 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    [...] always on-it earth2tech crew has a run-down of 25 entrepreneurs who crossed over from the bubblicious infotech markets to [...]

  10. electronrun.com » Blog Archive » Moving from IT to green tech entrepreneurship – Why? Friday, May 9, 2008

    [...] for risk capital opportunists, and has indeed paid off for some of them quite handsomely. Earth2tech has a list of 25 successful IT entrepreneurs that have now turned to environment related [...]

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