Who should I approach about investing in a green energy project?

QUESTION:

Can you help me connect with anyone interested in investing in a green energy invention?  I went to a local colledge and spoke to a physics professor about the theory I have for my invention. To make a long story short,the physics professor said, “If it works, you’ll win a Nobel Prize!”

ANSWER:

Soody Tronson

Soody Tronson

by Soody Tronson, Founder of Soody Tronson Law Group

Finding the right investor is not easy … in fact, often, it is the biggest challenge for many entrepreneurs with great ideas.  Absent any additional information, I suggest, among other things, attending various conferences (such as Clean Tech Open coming up this Thursday, July 22nd, in San Jose, www.cleantechopen.com) focusing on your area of technology, identifying traditional investors by researching publications for reports of new investments, signing up with law firms with clients in similar space since by virtue of their services they come in contact with investors, etc., and networking. The less traditional investors will be known to you as you build your network.  Unfortunately, while a list of investors is not difficult to attain, it is personal introductions that build the way, and those introductions typically come by way of your network and those with whom you have relationships.

But I’d like to jump on another issue that came to my mind after reading your experience and that you had discussed your idea with a professor.  Please, never, ever, disclose your idea in any identifiable detail before you’ve secured your patent rights. Your premature and unprotected disclosure may prevent you from ever being able to obtain a patent.

When the issue of patentability arises, one of the first questions that an inventor will be asked is whether there has been a public disclosure of the invention. The timing of public disclosure may be the controlling factor in determining patentability of an invention.

Now there are differences between U.S. and international laws, but the bottom line is “don’t disclose before it’s time!” Make sure you have the appropriate confidentiality agreements in place before any identifiable disclosure is made. Of course, even with such agreements in place, you should be careful to whom you disclose.”

Comments & Advice:
  1. Naomi Kokubo says:

    Most of the major VCs in Silicon Valley now invest in clean energy. All you have to do is go to their websites and check out what sectors they are currently investing in.

    Here’s a list of 900+ venture capital firms that Founders Space has compiled:

    http://www.foundersspace.com/fund-raising/how-d

    You may also want to check out FountainBlue’s Clean Energy Entrepreneurs’ Forum:

    http://www.fountainblue.biz/cleanenergy.html

    I hope this helps!

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