Thursday, November 6, 2008

Launching the Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance

I moved from Tel Aviv to Boston last month to begin working as an associate in the Business Law Department of Goodwin Procter LLP, a law firm with a substantial Clean Tech Practice.

Boston, like Israel, is emerging as a leading hub for cleantech research, development, and entrepreneurship. The Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance will be working to connect cleantech investors, entrepreneurs, academic researchers and government officials in both places, and the group is helping organize a number of upcoming events.

Israel Cleantech Investor Conference

On October 28, 16 Israeli cleantech venture capital funds and startups traveled to New York and Boston to meet with private equity, venture capital, and angel investors.

Participating startups included Aquapure Technologies Ltd., Aquatal Ltd., Cequesta Water Ltd., CheckLight Ltd., Coriolis Wind Ltd., CQM Technologies Ltd., En Gibton Ltd., Engineuity Ltd., EPC Wastewater Solution Ltd., Leviathan Energy Ltd., and RealiteQ Ltd.

The Israeli cleantech funds were: AquAgro Fund LP and its parent Gaon Agro Industries Ltd., BDB Technologies & Hi-Tech Investments Ltd., Israel Cleantech Ventures, MIYA, Precede Technologies Ltd., and Whitewater Technology Group.

In Boston, each participant made a 10-minute presentation in the morning and had an opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors like North Bridge Venture Partners and Atlas Venture in the afternoon. A formal reception in the evening included a presentation by Booky Oren, CEO of MIYA and Chairman of WATEC 2009, and a keynote address by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

You can read press coverage of the events in the Jerusalem Post and Globes and view photos online.

Environmental Symposia Featuring Experts from Ben Gurion University

On November 12, three professors from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will be in Boston to give presentations on their respective cleantech-related fields of expertise. Prof. David Faiman, who is also CTO of ZenithSolar, will speak about solar energy; Prof. Isaac Meir will discuss "green" architecture; and Prof. Zeev Wiesman speak about biofuels.

You can find more information about the lunchtime and evening symposiums and RSVP at the Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance meetup page.

Biofuels: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - A Presentation by Dr. Isaac Berzin

Dr. Isaac Berzin is the founder of Cambridge-based GreenFuel Technologies -- a venture-backed developer of algae-based biofuels -- and the founding director of the Institute for Alternative Energy Policy at the IDC in Herzliya, Israel. Earlier this year, Dr. Berzin was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in politics, business, and science.

Back in June, I had the honor of hosting Dr. Berzin at a CleanIsrael meetup event in Ramat Hasharon.

On November 20th, Dr. Berzin will speak to an audience of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and graduate students at Harvard Business School. The event is sponsored by Goodwin Procter LLP and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), in collaboration with the HBS Business & Environment Club, Harvard Kennedy School's Israel Caucus, MIT-Israel Program, and the New England Israel Business Council. You can find out more and RSVP at the event's meetup page.

Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place

Shai Agassi of Better Place is scheduled to visit Boston on December 3rd and 4th. Stay tuned for more details.