Austin, Texas [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Clean Energy Council recently announced that investment opportunities for clean tech start-up businesses are on the rise with help from state funded programs and angel networks. The state’s green investment potential builds off the $211 million of venture capital (VC) that was allocated to clean tech companies across Texas last year, according to PWC MoneyTree reports.
To date, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) has granted clean technology companies $5 million of the state’s $9.1 million total available funds for Central Texas businesses. The purpose of the Texas ETF is to develop and diversify the economy in areas that have been slower to develop.
Austin’s angel and VC communities have further aided these development efforts. Austin Ventures, which funded Austin-based green tech companies ColdWatt and nanoCoolers, was recently ranked 11th on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top VC firms backing early stage companies with 11 deals in 2006.
“Angel investment is critical for early stage companies because it gives them the opportunity to reach profitability before going to market or securing venture capital,” said Jamie Rhodes, CEO of Perceptive Sciences and founder of the Central Texas Angel Network. “As a nonprofit angel network founded in 2006, we are working harder than ever to coordinate local, state, and national angel efforts to raise the visibility of green investment potential in the Austin region. We must raise the awareness that we have and are ready to utilize our regional assets that are ideal for clean energy development.”
In related news, Austin Energy is more than doubling its portfolio of wind-generated power by adding another 225 megawatts (MW) of wind generating capacity to its renewable energy portfolio. Once the new capacity comes online by December 2008, Austin Energy will be getting about 11% of its power from renewable resources.
The additional wind-generated power will come from two separate West Texas wind farms, both being built by Renewable Energy Systems (RES). About 100 MW of the energy generated between the two projects will be used to help complete a key goal of the City’s Climate Protection Plan: to power all city facilities with renewable energy.