Angel investors of the Pacific Northwest collective Element 8, which focuses exclusively on early-stage clean tech companies, put nearly $3.3 million into 17 startups this past year.
That’s the smallest investment made by the angel group since 2011, though co-chair Eric Berman says that clean tech investing is rebounding after hitting a recession in the latter half of the 2000s.
“Clean tech has really hit a turning point,” said Berman in an interview with GeekWire. “Years ago, the kinds of people doing the sustainability thing were doing it out of a green ethos, a desire to be sustainable. Today, partly because costs have come down, you can make the argument for clean tech totally on economics. That’s a game changer…to be able to say you should install solar panels not because you care about your carbon footprint — though if you do and act on that, more power to you — but…because it saves you money on your electric bill.”
- Companies receiving first-time investments from the Element 8 angels during 2015 included: Apana, Axiom Exergy, Building Energy, ConnectDER, Energy Storage Systems, IntelliHot, PotaVida, and Honeycomb.
- Follow-on investments included: SparkFund, TBF Environmental Technology, Indow, Empower Micro Systems, WISErg, and Green Canopy Homes and associated funds.