Sunday, March 18, 2007

Brown Tech Investing: Mohr Davidow Ventures

"“High prices of oil facilitate more oil discoveries and more innovations that get more money out of oil,” he said.
In Silicon Valley, there’s a word for that kind of investment.
"It’s called browntech," said Erik Straser, a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. One of that venture firm’s investments is in a start-up called Panasas, which has developed computer storage technology to help oil companies become hyperefficient at finding new places to explore.
Mohr Davidow invests in energy markets, he said, because they are big, and have big profit potential, not foremost because they offer an opportunity to help the environment.
"I’m here to make the kind of green my limited partners can spend,” Mr. Straser said.
Mr. Straser said that he, too, was interested in environmental concerns. He sits on the cleantech committee of the National Venture Capital Association, an industry trade group, which is creating policy initiatives to promote investments in alternative-energy start-ups.
In 2006, venture capitalists put $727 million into 39 alternative energy start-ups, compared with $195 million in 18 such firms for 2005, according to the National Venture Capital Association."

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