Basic framework to understand the clean tech business


Feasibility study 

Determine if you actually need to conduct a feasibility study. If a company is already doing the same thing that you plan to do and they are making a profit, your business idea is feasible and you don't need a study to prove it. However, if you have a novel idea or a new take on a current business, a feasibility study is warranted. 

A feasibility study can be one of your most valuable marketing tools when you are searching for investors to fund your business' start up. This is why you should know how to conduct a feasibility study. 

This involves two stages – prefeasibility study analyzing the market conditions and the opportunities and then the technoeconomic feasibility study. 

Things to be included in the feasibility study: 

  1. Create an outline for your feasibility study
  2. Describe your products and/or services and the technology used
  3. Describe your industry, market environment and the competition
  4. Draft your business model along with the marketing and sales strategy; production and operating requirements. 
  5. Describe the management and personnel of your business.
  6. Describe the intellectual property that your company will develop and utilize. 
  7. Describe the regulations and environmental issues that your company will need to address and any critical risk factors, like economic stability and forecasts, investments, internal organization of the company, etc.
  8. Outline your start-up schedule
  9. Provide documentation for your financial projections
  10. Describe your capital requirements and your strategy
  11. Outline your final findings and recommendations
  12. Draft your executive summary to reflect what will be included in the feasibility study. 

Financing - Sources of financing; Provide a list of VC's that have funded for clean tech businesses. 

Various kinds of financing

  • venture capital investment, angel investment, private equity
  • project finance
  • government funding 

See to the sectors that are most funded in recent years 

$1.9 billion in venture capital invested in 180 clean technology companies in 1Q10 ( – transportation is the top sector by amount invested while energy efficiency attracted most deals. 

Venture investment by technology sector

  • TRANSPORTATION - $704 million in 27 deals
  • SOLAR - $322 million in 27 deals
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY - $217 million in 39 deals 

Venture investment by world region

  • North America accounted for 81% of the total, a three-year high for the region
  • Europe and Israel accounted for 14%
  • China 4%
  • India 1%.


1Q 2010 Most Active Cleantech Venture Investors (Preliminary Data)

Venture Capital Firm

# of rounds


DraperFisher Jurvetson


 Genomatica, Konarka Technologies, Power Assure, Prudent Energy, Scientific Conservation

BraemarEnergy Ventures


  Ciris Energy, Enerkem, Luminus Devices

Carbon Trust Investments


 AeroThermal, Marine Current Turbines, Oxsensis

Foundation Capital


Azure Power, CalStar Products, Purfresh

Good Energies


Agile Energy, Konarka Technologies, Nexamp

Intel Capital


Cymbet Corporation, SpectraWatt

Nth Power


CalStar Products, Propel Biofuels, Tempronics

Rho Ventures


Ciris Energy, Coulomb Technologies, Enerkem

Sequoia Capital


Achates Power, Prudent Energy

VantagePoint Venture Partners


Adura Technologies, Better Place, Ze-gen

                                          Source: Cleantech Group (

  • Feasibility study
  • Forming the core team
  • Lab (if applicable)
  • Pilot project (if applicable)
  • Commercial-scale project
    • getting all the necessary legal, regulatory and environmental approvals
    • acquiring land
    • constructing the building
    • vendor evaluation and selection
    • implementing the factory
    • recruiting the staff
Operations & support
  • Monitoring the progress and making suitable changes
  • Deploying new and emerging technologies as appropriate 

Marketing - Finding out the evolving customer profiles and devise market and distribution strategies based on the target audience. 

  • Leverage media outlets to drive consumer demand
  • Increase company visibility at conferences and industry events
  • Facilitate company exchange with thought leaders in the field
  • Use new media such as Internet, social media appropriately
  • Identify market influencers and benefit from the association 

How to adapt traditional marketing to cleantech marketing 


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