52 Comments

Summary:

Martin Tobias Background: Exec at Microsoft, CEO/Founder of LoudEye, Venture Partner with Ignition Partners Current: former CEO Imperium Renewables, Tobias spent a good decade in information technology before making the leap to cleantech — six years at Microsoft and four years as the founding CEO of […]

Martin Tobias

Background: Exec at Microsoft, CEO/Founder of LoudEye, Venture Partner with Ignition Partners

Current: former CEO Imperium Renewables,

Tobias spent a good decade in information technology before making the leap to cleantech — six years at Microsoft and four years as the founding CEO of streaming media company LoudEye. He went on to lead biodiesel producer Imperium Renewables, though he left the firm shortly before the company put its IPO plans on hold.

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

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  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?

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  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.

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  4. [...] 25 Who Ditched IT for CleanTech [...]

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  5. Paul Latix Monday, May 5, 2008

    Well said Jim.

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  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.

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    1. Hello Brok,

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  7. [...] 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 [...]

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  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.

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

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  10. [...] 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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  11. [...] 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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  12. Jim, IT goes hand in hand with green tech, and if you were right, it would be narrow minded to discard them.

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  13. [...] 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech « Earth2Tech Stem of voeg toe aan :   Mooie quote uit Livre Tags: duurzaam ondernemen, [...]

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  14. bob dobalino Saturday, May 10, 2008

    they are going to lose their shirts er skirts

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  15. [...] solar thermal funding from Google.org. In March the news was out that the Goog branch invested in Bill Gross’s solar thermal startup, eSolar. Google is looking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into [...]

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  16. [...] and Braemar Energy Ventures to fund its carbon-storing plan. Now Climos’ CEO Dan Whaley (whom we named in our 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech) tells us that the company is looking to raise another round in the fall to help it meet regulatory [...]

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  17. [...] whom we put at No. 6 on our list of 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech, does have a business reason for making such a prediction. Beyond being the chairman of electric [...]

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  18. [...] streaming media company Loud Eye. He was also one of the early dotcommers to go green (and was our No. 16 pick for 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech), leading Imperium all the way up to considering an IPO, though the company pulled its public [...]

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  19. [...] Gross have been busy investing in solar thermal power plants, so why not eBay’s founder? (Perhaps we should add him to our list of 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech). And former eBay President Jeff Skoll has invested in thin-film solar startup Nanosolar. New [...]

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  20. [...] Staff, Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM PT Comments (0) Those that forged infotech are going green in droves. The latest is eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who has just invested in Hawaiian startup [...]

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  21. [...] Bill Gross have been busy investing in solar thermal power plants, so why not eBay’s founder? (Perhaps we should add him to our list of 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech). And former eBay President Jeff Skoll has invested in thin-film solar startup Nanosolar. New [...]

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  22. [...] compatriots leveraging their tech skills into sustainability. Some others switchers are noted in this listing of 25 who “ditched infotech for [...]

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  23. well done for those 25. Great story

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  24. [...] a few other articles scattered around on the subject, as well, like Earth2Tech’s hit-list of 25 execs who moved to cleantech, and Newsweek on blue-tinged green collar jobs. But the best advice is probably in personal stories [...]

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  25. [...] are a few other articles scattered around on the subject, as well, like Earth2Tech’s hit-list of 25 execs who moved to cleantech, and Newsweek on blue-tinged green collar jobs. But the best advice is probably in personal stories [...]

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  26. [...] It’s reassuring to think electric vehicles could follow the same type of grassroots disruptive path. And who better to see the similarities than the old infotech leaders, who all seem to be coming back around to pick their favorite green technologies. (Read our 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech). [...]

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  27. [...] nombrado en el puesto nº 6 de la lista de los 25 que cambiaron la tecnología informática por la tecnología limpia, tiene una razón para hacer tal predicción. Además  de ser el presidente de Tesla, y el [...]

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  28. [...] obviously big believers in greentech or cleantech here at TTMYGG, so it was interesting to see this list of high-tech luminaries who have made the changeover. There are some big shots on the list, which shows that cleantech is getting [...]

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  29. [...] obviously big believers in greentech or cleantech here at TTMYGG, so it was interesting to see this list of high-tech luminaries who have made the changeover. There are some big shots on the list, which shows that cleantech is getting [...]

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  30. [...] obviously big believers in greentech or cleantech here at TTMYGG, so it was interesting to see this list of high-tech luminaries who have made the changeover. There are some big shots on the list, which shows that cleantech is getting [...]

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  31. [...] Kevin Rose’s Next Startup to be Cleantech? — Could Kevin Rose be latest convert from info tech to cleantech? In a recent video blog post, the Digg founder fleshed out an idea for making managing the power [...]

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  33. [...] Shai Agassi, Founder, CEO Project Better Place. [...]

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  34. [...] This is the time of cutbacks and layoffs, but that is only the one side. At O’Reilly’s Web2Expo Europe some days ago I heard Robin Daniels (Salesforce.com / Cloud Computing: Freedom to Focus on Innovation”). One of the messages was: “Don’t optimize, but innovate!”. So don’t worry to much, for example sustainability will be a sustaining issue. The economy has to be transformed – and on a global scale. There is no alternatiIve – world economy has to go eco, better sooner than later (see my solar stuff posts). This is a time of decisions, actions and making a brave jump. Need more arguments? Look for example to the change in the valley, where bright minds started switching before spring 2008. 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech « Earth2Tech [...]

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  35. [...] morning that it is bringing in David Aldous, a former Royal Dutch Shell exec, as its CEO. Former CEO Mitch Mandich, who was previously senior VP of worldwide sales for Apple, will remain connected to the company as [...]

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  36. This is the real deal. Guys like Mitch are hard to come by. A real money maker and that is all that will make this industry go!

    Another great post from Earth 2 Tech

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  37. [...] 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech: We started looking at the intersection between infotech and cleantech back in May with this list of [...]

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  38. Skoll, via Capricorn, is also in REVA, btw.

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  39. [...] in January 2008 and said he wanted to move away from the business responsibilities. We also put him on our 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech List. [...]

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  40. Shai Agassi, Founder, CEO Project Better Place.

    i beg to differ….he got passed for the top job at SAP and and no other place to go

    lance

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  41. Money is fungible! Most of the folks on this list simply switched where they were putting their dollars. I think the more interesting story is about those who switched from IT or other tech careers into working in cleantech roles – not just as CEO or ‘money man.’

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  42. Lance – Agassi was never in the rumning. He was Plattners choice, not Kagermanns. Also there are not many Israelis running DAX 30 companies.

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  43. This site is interesting to me as a new student of Going Green & just hearing about Smart electric meters with Googles’ help to see where the money goes regarding power hungry electrical appliances in our home & how we can save as well as consume less energy. People switch careers as that’s where jobs & companies are going – green. Whatever a CEOs gender is shouldn’t debilitate the ability to innovate with any of these 25 CEOs listed.
    If anyone would like to share an alternative mode for watching the spikes in whatever power hog is representative in my home, since our electric company is still in the planning stage, please let me know. Software for monitoring your home for an individual homeowner is expensive & is only part of the monitoring system, I learned today. Thanks to Future Facts for your post.
    Jim, thanks for your imput on computers & Infotech.

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  44. [...] il y en a d'autres tout aussi prestigieux. Ici les 25 principaux recensés par Earth2tech.com AKPC_IDS += "71,"; Tags : Better Place, BP, Google, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, moto, [...]

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  45. [...] the way, Earth2tech has a great list of 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech.  Earth2 Tech has profiles of each in which their path to cleantech is [...]

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  46. [...] 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech: A bunch of folks that made the successful transition from infotech to [...]

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  47. [...] We often cover semiconductors that require less energy, but we rarely talk to the companies behind those chips to find out what else they might be doing to reduce their power consumption. However, Norm Fjeldheim, chief information officer for Qualcomm, recently shared a few tidbits about what the cell phone chip maker is doing to keep corporate consumption down — and it all starts with information technology (not everyone is jumping ship to build “cleantech” firms). [...]

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  48. [...] the legacy that then-CEO David White (who was eventually replaced by David Cope – one of our 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech) put in place is still going strong, the company is still also raising money five years after its [...]

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  49. [...] 22, 2010, 6:40am PDT 1 Comment      0 Two years ago we launched our first 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech list, where we profiled 25 entrepreneurs and investors who had taken their dotcom and broadband-based [...]

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