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Clean and Cool 2015 day 3

reporting all week on the Clean and Cool Mission from San Francisco...

Today was the day when the companies pitched to a room of investors and advisers and they didn't disappoint. The two minute presentations they had honed over previous days came out perfectly and we had one of those great Mission days when companies started saying the whole trip had been worth it for the short conversations that had started something big. Our thanks to Silicon Valley Bank and Cleantech Group for organising the event.

I tried to capture each pitch in a Tweet through the day (follow the #cleansf hashtag) and have listed them here (so my interpretation):

@ADFerTech turn anaerobic digesters into fertiliser factories by converting the liquid residue

@AzoticTech have a non-GM bacterial coating for seeds helping any crop to fix its own nitrogen from the air - reducing fertiliser

@BBOXX_HQ bring energy systems to off-grid customers using solar power

@BuffaloGrid bring power and internet to off-grid mobile phone users (~1 billion people) that they can pay for with a text message

Cumulus Energy have the tech for the lowest cost grid level battery to store power - equiv to pumped hydro

CHESS enable fossil fuels to be part of a climate change solution with a process generating energy from gas while capturing CO2

@DemandLogicUK have a health monitor for buildings and can identify where the biggest efficiency gains are

@carboncleansolu have a carbon capture technology that out-performs current solvents and doesn't need specialist plant

@gfbiojet are making sustainable jet fuel a reality - they already fuel Kate and Will's Aston Martin!

@LibertineFPE dramatically simplify power generators with their linear system - enabling decentralised power

NGB Biogas have developed a highly engineered anaerobic digester that is faster and more efficient than existing systems

@perpetualv2g solve the problem of vehicles needing to idle to power onboard systems such as refrigeration or communications

@renovagen save lives with solar power with a rapidly deployed rollable solar panel that can power e.g. remote hospital

@sefaira make software for high performance building design, helping architects manage the systems that fight each other

@upsideenergy pay people to not use energy by coordinating existing backup batteries & elec vehicles as a virtual power station


After pitching the group headed to the JPMorgan Building and the Mind the Bridge incubator to hear about how they support start-ups including ones from Europe. The non-US programme works as a bridge to the EU (and has partners such as Nesta in the UK) and seeks to help European start-ups scale by working with big companies. This meets the needs of San Francisco which has a war for talent and an overflow of capital meaning decently priced deals are hard to come by in the Bay area. It also tackles the problem of a lack of exits in Europe.

We learned about Angel List (and that all start-up companies should be on it) and then met with local start-ups at a reception hosted by the MInd the Bridge team. The night ended with a social dinner as everyone relaxed after a day of pitching and bonded as a group.

Mike Pitts


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