New York’s Cleantechs Aren’t Cleaning Up

According to Crain’s, the rest of the country is leaving New York State in the dust when it comes to the cleantech industry. Cleantech companies (manufacturers of any product or providers of any service furthering natural resource conservation) received $2.9 billion in venture capital in 2006, up 78% from 2005. However, from 1999 through 2005, [...]

According to Crain’s, the rest of the country is leaving New York State in the dust when it comes to the cleantech industry. Cleantech companies (manufacturers of any product or providers of any service furthering natural resource conservation) received $2.9 billion in venture capital in 2006, up 78% from 2005. However, from 1999 through 2005, New York State attracted only 3.45% of the total amount invested in the cleantech sector nationwide. During that period, 42 New York cleantechs raised a mere $235 million, while California saw 278 cleantech companies receive $2.7 billion in capital. These figures were released in a report entitled Cleantech: a New Engine of Economic Growth for New York State.

Nevertheless, the report is optimistic about the future of cleantechs in New York, noting the potential impact that New York City’s Local Law 86 and the $4 billion in green building projects currently underway throughout the state should have on the sector. Two companies that have had recent success raising capital are Brooklyn-based IceStone, a manufacturer of durable surfaces from recycled glass (see image above), and Gaia Power Technologies of Manhattan, a manufacturer and installer of alternative energy systems. The companies have raised $6 million and $3.25 million, respectively, and IceStone will provide countertops at One Bryant Park (Durst’s LEED-Platinum Bank of America Building in Midtown). In the Crain’s article, Gaia co-founder Bige Doruk notes that “[i]t would have been easier for us to raise money if we were in California. . . . New York is getting better, though.”

Here’s hoping that all of New York’s green projects looming on the horizon keep the state, and the city, moving in the right direction when it comes to attracting venture capital for green building practices.

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