What is Cleantech?
Cleantech was popularized in large part through the work of Nick Parker and Keith Raab, founders of the Cleantech Venture Network (now Cleantech Group) from 2002 onwards beginning as a term to describe the "green and clean" technologies, especially including solar, biofuels, fuel cells, water remediation, and renewable power generation, that venture capital investors were turning to in increasing numbers as the next trend in technology investing after the collapse of the tech boom in 2001. The Cleantech Group developed and operates a popular conference series and investor membership organization for the category. They registered or acquired a large number of the cleantech related domain names, and a number of cleantech related trademarks, though no trademark exists for the term cleantech itself. The initial target of the conferences were venture capitalists and startup companies operating in sectors covered by the term. Since then the term has come into wide use in the media, broader investment community, and many of the underlying industries that make up the umbrella sector, and spawned numerous conferences, websites, magazines, indices, newsletters, and companies, growing into the third largest venture capital investment sector behind IT and biotech.
While no one person or organization is generally credited with coining the term for its current purpose, besides the Cleantech Group, attribution is sometimes also given to energy technology consultancy Clean Edge, whose principals include green business journalist, author and speaker Joel Makower, and Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, authors of the 2007 book Cleantech Revolution. Before it's popularization as an investment asset class and technology category, "cleantech" as a word typically referred to dry cleaning or cleaning supplies equipment, as evidenced by the fact that many cleantech related domain names are still owned by companies in those fields.
About the Speaker
Mr. Neal M. Dikeman is a Founding Partner of Jane Capital Partners LLC. Mr. Dikeman is a Founder and serves as the Chief Blogger of CleanTechBlog.com. He co-founded and was instrumental in launching five cleantech and alternative energy industry firms. Among them was state-owned Meridian Energy Limited. Mr. Dikeman provided advisory services for the first utility-scale photovoltaic solar electricity plant to connect to the California Independent System Operator's (CAISO) transmission grid under California's Renewable Portfolio Standards program. He co-founded Carbonflow, Corp. in 2006. Mr. Dikeman co-founded SC Power Systems, Inc. and its successor Zenergy Power plc. He served as Director of Business Development at Globalgate, where he headed mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Dikeman was an Associate at Doyle & Boissiere LLC. He has extensive experience with distressed and special situation transactions and financings. Mr. Dikeman has been involved in the acquisition and oversight of several businesses in the technology, aerospace, semiconductor, and manufacturing sectors. He began his career with the energy group of Bankers Trust, working on M&A, financing, and distressed situations in the oil & gas and energy service sectors. Mr. Dikeman serves as the Chairman of Greenhome LLC. He has served as a Director of several technology companies, edits the Cleantech Blog. Mr. Dikeman serves as a Director of Smart Wire Grid, Inc. and Waiterpad POS Systems. He has been a Director of American Electric Technologies, Inc. since August 8, 2011. He serves as a Director of Carbonflow, Corp. Mr. Dikeman has served as alternative energy advisor to a number of multinational companies. He holds a B.A from Texas A&M University.