The Rise of Clean Technology

The National Venture Capital Association (US) reports that Clean Technology is the hottest thing on Sand Hill Road. During the first three quarters of 2007, VCs poured $2.6 billion into clean tech startups, compared to $1.8 billion for all of 2006, and a mere $533 million in 2005…

Technology clearly got us all into this mess — let’s hope the VCs are backing some tech that can get us out.

Velocity is working with two clients with strong green benefits:

Bright Green Technology which is replacing fluorescent tubes in backlit advertising displays with cleaner, leaner, greener solid-state systems based on LED.

VNL makes solar powered GSM network infrastructure that will bring telecoms to rural India (and beyond) for the first time — and do it with minimal environmental impact (think solar).

Both are exciting companies that will make a difference and make profits on the way. In working with them, we’ve realised that green tech presents some interesting challenges that don’t always apply to general B2B tech marketing:

The need to balance the social and environmental messages with a strong commercial story.

The need to engage with an extended market ecosystem that includes not only customers, partners, the media and opinion-formers but governments and NGOs too.

The need to under-promise and over-deliver on all green claims. Sticking your head up and talking green makes you more of a target than companies who don’t even claim to give a damn (we call it ‘Parapet Risk’ because if you stick your head above it, you might just get it shot off).

We’re enjoying our work with our green clients enormously and are actively seeking more.


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