Green technology spurs VC funding on New York’s Long Island

Long Island Business News: After years of missing the mark for venture capital investing, experts say Long Island could be in for a jolt from the green technology sector. Venture capitalists are increasingly focusing their efforts on the green and clean energy industries as more and more start-up and middle-market businesses focus on technology that’s supposed to help preserve the planet.

A recent survey of investors, entrepreneurs and analysts by accounting firm KPMG found 24 percent of respondents said clean energy technology would receive the most investment money in the next two years, the highest percentage for any sector.

Nationally $2.2 billion in venture capital flowed into the clean technology industry in 2007, up 47 percent from the year prior, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

“Investment capital in green energy is about where investment in [information technology] was in the 1980s,” said Rep. Steve Israel, D-Huntington. “I think green energy represents the next huge investment boom in our economy, similar to the laptop computer, cell phone and Google.” And local investors and technology experts say Long Island has a lot to offer in the field of green.

With Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center – expected to be a focal point of green research and technology commercialization – under construction, and some advanced energy companies already in operation, experts are hopeful the Island is on the verge of a transformation. “I believe Long Island could economically reinvent itself by focusing on energy technologies,” said Jeff Bass, chairman of the Long Island Capital Alliance.

…Despite the skeptics, many investors are moving down the green path. More than 200 clean technology companies received venture dollars in 2007, and New York City-based Everpower Renewables Corp., a wind energy developer, received the biggest investment of any New York metro area company – netting $55 million – in the fourth quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report.

New York City and the beginning of Long Island, from the Space Shuttle Columbia, NASA, Wikimedia Commons

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