Thursday, December 27, 2007

Advanced Technology Ventures looks for cleantech opportunities in Israel

"Globes" reports that Andrew Friendly, a Boston-based senior associate at US venture capital fund Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), and a specialist in cleantech investments, was in Israel earlier this month to look at the sector and the opportunities the local market has to offer. Friendly previously spent five years at the White House in a variety of positions including personal aide to President Clinton. During the last three years he worked as a director at Idealab in Pasadena, CA, where he specialized in evaluating energy and cleantech technologies for possible investment and company creation.

ATV, which was founded in 1979, manages $1.4 billion in assets, and invests in software, telecommunications, medical devices, life sciences, and, in the last five years, also cleantech. The fund has not yet made any investments in Israeli companies.

Andrew Friendly was in Israel as a guest at the second annual Cleantech Investment Forum, conducted by law firm Herzog, Fox & Neeman, with the participation this year of Boston law firm Mintz Levin. The forum focused this year on the potential for overseas investment in Israeli cleantech. In her speech at the conference, Dr. Ruth Dagan, head of the Environmental Law practice at Herzog, Fox & Neeman, reviewed current trends in the sector. "Israel is characterized, at least at this point in time, by a wide range of investment platforms in the field - venture capital funds, private investors, and holding companies. As investors accrue more knowledge in the field and global activity in it expands, interest spreads from investments in mature companies already posting sales of their own to research into companies now in the preliminary stages of technological development," she said.

Friendly was also in Israel for a series of business meetings, as he explains: "The reason for the visit is to get to know the Israeli deal flow, the companies which are active, the R&D centers and the service providers. Israel has a worldwide reputation as a leader in research, and a location with an ability to incubate ideas. I want to see what's going on here in the solar energy and water fields. We did look at a number of Israeli water companies once, but we didn't make any investments."

Click here for the rest of Globes' interview with Andrew Friendly.