There are many smart green VCs in Europe and the US that back startups in energy, mobility, buildings, cities, materials, food and circular economy to create impact as well as financial and strategic returns for their fund investors (LPs). In the VC food chain, early stage investors prefer to invest, at lower valuations and higher risk, in the Seed, Series A and Series B rounds of young startups working on product market fit and traction (users, customers, revenues). On the other hand, late stage VCs like shorter holding periods and time-to-exit and, consequently, advanced startups with more than €5M revenues, experienced management teams and fast growth. The existence of KPIs, ideally going up over time, makes the life of every investor easier. At the same time, the majority of corporates have adopted open innovation and corporate venturing strategies in order to invest in and do business with startups, too. The result are different and, in some cases competing, investment strategies and portfolios that startups should know before pitching. Let’s co-invest and build smart green unicorns made in Europe.Read more
Corporates play an important role for startups and VCs and often combine direct and fund investments to get access to external innovation. After a 2-year fundraising journey that even included the bankruptcy of one LP, the Dutch VC Icos Capital announces today the first closing of its third fund Icos Capital Fund III at €50M. The fund investors comprise the City of Rotterdam and the corporates Akzo Nobel from the Netherlands, Bühler from Switzerland and Wuppermann from Germany. Peter van Gelderen, one of the 3 GPs managing the fund, describes their investment philosophy as collaborative corporate venturing and emphasizes the close cooperation with the 3 multinationals that don’t have inhouse corporate VC units. According to Peter, new corporate relationships take a lot of time and many meetings until the board makes an LP commitment in your VC fund.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Johan Reynaert presents the European Investment Fund (EIF) and shares their LP lessons learned at ECO14 London. EIF is the biggest fund investor in Europe and a major LP in 16 sustainability VC funds such as Munich Venture Partners, Environmental Technologies Fund, Demeter, Capricorn, VNT Management, Aster Capital, Emertec, WHEB and Icos Capital. According to Johan, sustainability as an asset subclass within venture capital is maturing. GPs and LPs have learned from the past and nowadays focus on capital efficiency, value creation and cooperation with corporates in their startup portfolio. A new trend – that we just discussed with Johan’s colleague Patric Gresko at the Cleantech Forum in Florence – is the interaction of impact investors and smart green VCs. The deep integration of impact investing into the investment strategy and portfolio management enables VCs and startups to tap into a lot of new capital from family offices and other impact investors.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Dutch smart green VC Peter van Gelderen presents Icos Capital and the art of collaborative corporate venturing at ECO13 London. Founded in 2006, Icos Capital has got €75M under management and manages a portfolio of 8 cleantech startups. One of the best performing portfolio companies is Greenclouds that aggregates idle IT resources in the cloud. Recently Icos exited Resteel and currently they are on the fundraising trail for their new cleantech fund. The Amsterdam-based VC is focused on the early stage and close cooperation with their LPs of which many are corporates with deep industry expertise and an open innovation strategy. In the past, Peter has learned that cleantech means complex markets that need industry expertise, the most promising startups often need massive support and many follow-on investments and corporate LPs bring technology insight and are able to validate market demand for the startups’ products. However, the relationship between a corporate LP and the VC only works if the corporation is willing to spend a lot of time with the portfolio companies while leaving the financial decisions to the fund manager.Read more
Smart green lean startup panel with Cleantech Invest, Savosolar, Wellington Partners, Icos Capital and Ben Energy
Ecosummit TV: Tarja Teppo (Cleantech Invest) moderates the smart green lean startup panel at ECO13 Berlin featuring Jari Varjotie (Savosolar), Bart Markus (Wellington Partners), Peter van Gelderen (Icos Capital) and Jan Marckhoff (Ben Energy). Given that most cleantech startups are capital- and time-intensive, we believe that the lean startup philosophy is the right medicine. Lean startup is all about resource efficient product development with fast iterations to achieve product market fit without wasting too much time and money. While lean startup works well for software startups, the question is whether it can also be applied to hardware startups. For the strategy discussion between the startup management and their VCs, lean startup also means to take smart make or buy decisions to maintain focus and, for example, outsource manufacturing or distribution to reduce CAPEX and OPEX. During an inspiring discussion, our panelists share their experience with being lean while being clean.Read more
Ecosummit TV: Peter van Gelderen is a Dutch piano-playing cleantech investor who pitches his VC firm Icos Capital at ECO12 Düsseldorf. Founded in 2006, Icos Capital has got €75M under management and a portfolio of 9 cleantech startups. Peter likes to point out that his firm is an early stage investor because this is where the fun is and smart green company builders are needed the most. To be successful as early stage Cleantech VC, close relationships with corporates are a key success factor. Peter is Ecosummit Advisor and currently raises a new fund to which he invites German corporates as new LPs. Whether you are a corporate or startup, go and find Peter to discuss the art of early stage cleantech investing and the benefits of working together.Read more
Europe’s cleantech scene meets at the Langen Foundation. 15 sponsors are joining.
Press release – Berlin, 24 October 2012: Ecosummit is the Smart Green Business Network for startups, investors and corporates. Europe’s cleantech scene gathers at Ecosummit Düsseldorf 2012 on 14 and 15 November at the Langen Foundation. The international conference focuses on competitive cleantech, resource efficient business models, renewable energy, sustainable mobility, smart green city, venture capital and Lean Cleantech Startup.Read more
Europas Cleantechszene trifft sich in der Langen Foundation. 15 Sponsoren sind dabei.
Pressemitteilung – Berlin, 24. Oktober 2012: Ecosummit ist das Smart Green Business Network für Startups, Investoren und Konzerne. Europas Cleantechszene trifft sich auf dem Ecosummit Düsseldorf 2012 am 14. und 15. November in der Langen Foundation. Auf der internationalen Konferenz geht es um wettbewerbsfähige Umwelttechnologien, ressourceneffiziente Geschäftsmodelle, erneuerbare Energien, nachhaltige Mobilität, Smart Green City, Venture Capital und Lean Cleantech Startup.Read more