Analytics, Cleantech, Life Science, Observation Deck, Quarterly Economic Report, Startups, Technology

 

Quarterly Economic Report
July 12, 2010 Posted by
It’s been interesting to watch the markets set up for alternating scenarios through this downturn. Several times during the last 22 months since Lehman went under, fears of inflation have swept in like waves on the beach. Just as quickly the water receded from the shore.
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Observation Deck
July 01, 2010 Posted by
The Federal Open Market Committee has once again reiterated the proverbial “extended” remark, regarding leaving the target interest rate unchanged in the range of zero to 0.25 percent. It is becoming more likely that the first rate increase is about a year away. Here's why.
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Cleantech
June 03, 2010 Posted by
On April 8-9, 2010, Silicon Valley Bank broughttogether 104 experts from the entrepreneurial, venture capital, energy,academic and policy worlds to discuss critical issues affecting the long termgrowth of the energy generation, storage and efficiency markets.  Here are our key takeaways from this set ofinvigorating, closed door discussions.
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Observation Deck
June 01, 2010 Posted by
The global economic recovery remains in question, as evidenced by the instability in the euro zone and 10 percent unemployment in the United States. Although the U.S. is seeing robust hiring in the manufacturing sector, the impact is diminished because the service sector constitutes 70 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Complicating the global recovery scenario will be Europe’s prolonged period of relatively weak economic performance due to austerity measures imposed as result of the nearly $1 trillion rescue package.
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Observation Deck
May 03, 2010 Posted by
What’s a securities broker to do? The boards and CFOs that have employed them to manage corporate cash have largely and perhaps permanently lost all appetite for the products that were once so lucrative for brokers to sell.
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Startups
April 19, 2010 Posted by
Coming off of one of the most difficult years in memory for small businesses, conditions for startup technology companies are showing signs of modest improvement.
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Cleantech
April 09, 2010 Posted by
The last year has seen a wave of investment and utility interest in home and business energy intelligence tools. Power providers and companies that supply infrastructure envision a smart grid that will provide significant improvements over the current utility distribution grid. Targeted improvements include automated meter reading, faster outage detection and repair, demand response tools to reduce energy usage during peak usage times, and load shifting capabilities to distribute power to high demand areas in real time.
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Cleantech
April 09, 2010 Posted by
The magnitude of opportunities in global energy markets is enormous, but scaling up a new technology to “utility” scale also presents unique challenges for the venture model. The leap from initial product demonstration and small scale manufacturing into production or assets in the hundreds of megawatts (and hundreds of millions of dollars) largely exceeds the capacity of venture equity financing. Given the current state of capital markets, start-ups are wondering what sources of lending are available for initial large scale manufacturing or projects and what role can and should government play (for example, through loan guarantees and grants) in “picking winners” and lowering the hurdle for new clean energy technologies to attract commercial capital and gain traction in the market.
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Cleantech
April 09, 2010 Posted by

Much has been made of the potential role of emerging cleantech markets in driving the economic recovery and renewing U.S. leadership in technology innovation. The mobilization and retraining of displaced workers for jobs in the new “green collar” workforce was a primary motivation behind federal stimulus funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid. Yet, among cleantech venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, there is a decided ambivalence about the role of the sector in creating national competitive advantage. Indeed, the very notion of national competitiveness can take on divergent overtones in a world where capital from all over the world, flowing through investors in Silicon Valley, supports companies based around the world, with networks of manufacturing, supply chain, and markets located wherever economic logic may dictate. As one VC in our discussion put it, “Global markets are great if you’re an entrepreneur or investor, but I have to put on my nationalistic hat” for discussions about competitiveness. In short, capitalism and economic nationalism make strange bedfellows in today’s globally interconnected economy.  ­

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Cleantech
April 09, 2010 Posted by

The increasing integration of intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar onto the grid has the potential to negatively impact overall electric reliability. Utilities and regulators at the state and federal level have promoted a number of pilots to explore new grid storage technologies, including flow batteries, compressed air energy storage, and flywheels. However, the benefits to the grid straddle jurisdictional boundaries between generation, transmission, and distribution. How should storage be paid for and by whom? What will be the public reaction in terms of siting, permitting, and local NIMBY resistance? How big a role can storage ultimately play in achieving renewable energy mandates, such as California’s 2020 RPS?

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