Clean Energy Week Preview: Of Green Ties and 52 Startups

We’ve noticed a slowing of venture investment in cleantech and other aspects of energy here in New England. But put any green investment pessimism on hold this week—as today marks the start off what’s being touted as the third annual Clean Energy Week here in Massachusetts. In a week of charged-up presentations from Springfield to Boston, we’ve got networking, investor pitches, a “green tie” gala, and LOTS of startups. In fact, I’ve counted 52 startup pitches across the week, and that’s not counting the 10 finalists in the Ignite Clean Energy Competition, who will be at the State House in Boston on Tuesday, and any others I have missed.

It would be hard for anyone to make all these events. But below are some highlights, and you can find a more complete overview here.

Monday (today)

—A short walk from Xconomy’s offices at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA, is the sole event of the day, the Clean Energy Applied Research Discovery Workshop put on by SETsquared’s Clean Energy Mission to Boston. SETsquared is a research collaboration between four British universities: Bath, Bristol, Southampton, and Surrey. (I can’t figure out from the website if the event is open to the public, so I’m guessing it isn’t. But Xconomy staffers and friends can often be seen after work in the Bambara restaurant bar in the Marlowe.)


The pace of events really picks up on Tuesday.

Clean Energy Connections, an all-day career and business development conference in Springfield, MA.

Boston Cleantech Venture Day. This event, which takes place at the Boston offices of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, is put on by a coalition of various international chambers of commerce and business groups “to assist European Cleantech companies in exploring and taking advantage of opportunities in the US.” All told, some 17 European companies have come over to present at the conference, and the closing keynote speaker is Howard Berke, founder of Konarka Technologies.

—The highlight of the day will likely be the finals of the Ignite Clean Energy business plan competition put on by the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge at the Massachusetts State House. You can find the business plan summaries of the 10 finalists who are vying for the $35,000 grand prize here. This event looks great, but it is sold out. Here’s what the website says about walk-ins: “If you choose to Walk-In we do not guarantee entrance into the event, will be based upon capacity of the room. Pre-Registered seats will be released at 12:50pm (20 minutes after presentations begin)…”


University Research Briefing Day. This Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center event, held at MIT’s Tang Center, will feature faculty from Massachusetts institutions who will present their clean energy research. This is always a great event—and I hope to be able to make it.

Green Tie Gala. This is the second year the New England Clean Energy Council has organized this event at the JFK Library & Museum. I don’t have a tux, but Wade does—and plans to be there. The keynoter is Congressman Ed Markey. The event is sold out, according to the registration page, even the $3,250 tables.

Thursday and Friday

—The week’s piece de resistance is the two-day Conference on Clean Energy organized by the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center and the Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition at the Hynes Convention Center. Keynoters include Steve Koonin, under secretary for science at the U.S. Department of Energy, Governor Deval Patrick, and Ian Bowles, the state’s energy czar. MTTC director Abi Barrow says 35 companies from a variety of energy sectors will present at the conference, including four foreign firms—one from Norway and four from Britain.  The Sunday Times of London was very excited about the four from Britain and wrote this piece. And you can find the speaker list and bios here.

Wade hosted a podcast in advance of this conference—as he puts it, “previewing some of the themes that will be featured prominently at the event, ranging from the state of energy investing to the role of stimulus funding for energy startups.” You can find the podcast here.

—Also starting on Thursday and concluding Friday is the 17th Annual U.S.-Canada Energy Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. The theme of this year’s event is “North American Energy: Forging ahead in the current economic and environmental climate.”

Bob is Xconomy's founder and chairman. You can email him at [email protected] Follow @bbuderi

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One response to “Clean Energy Week Preview: Of Green Ties and 52 Startups”

  1. Thanks for this Bob. We need to rally around this industry! (keep up that anti-pessimism)

    There is a video interview opportunity on Thursday for anyone going to the Hynes for the

    Our partner, Captains of Industry, are taking footage to help tell the great Boston CleanTech story!

    The goal? Stronger businesses and a better earth.

    Contact me if you can participate:
    David Cutler
    [email protected]