Sunday, July 15, 2007

Green BAIA

Last week I had the opportunity to participate to an event organized by BAIA, the Business Association Italy America. It was my first event there, and, I have to admit, I was pretty well impressed by the quality of the discussion. The topic of the event was the super hot “Solar and other alternative clean energies”.

Michele Appendino (whose path I had crossed a few time in my past lives, here in the picture) opened the discussion. Michele, founder of one of the fist VC in Europe, is now spending his energy promoting Solar Ventures, a general management firm for handling large solar panel projects. The fact that the idea is coming from one of the few Italian high-risk financial entrepreneurs, speaks plenty about how much of a business opportunity clean energy is becoming.
By the way, in the last months Michele co-started Face2Face and First Generation, two great initiatives, supported by the US embassy to promote the connection amongst first generation Italian entrepreneurs in order to spur innovation.

The SF department of environment showed a few interesting projects the city is undertaking and a great website for planning solar panels installations for residential users (I’m one of those…)

However, the big hit of the panel was apparently Karel Vanheusden, CEO of InnovaLight, a very hot, multi honored startup. Karel presented the ultra-low cost thin film solar power modules, going in deep technical details, but clearly communicating that the price/performance ratio for Solar panel will dramatically decrease in very short time.

Net, net, I felt so green that, coming home, I planted some new basil plans.