I visited the Stockholm Cleantech Venture Day. Swedes are enormously innovative but the innovations will not have any value if the rest of the world won’t find them. This day was a good way of showcasing solutions both for sellers and potential clients and investors. The US is a role-model in getting the government to support cleantech investments (a billion dollar market). Two of the keynote speakers this day emphasized the importance of governmental support, also stating that Swedish cleantech is already attracting international attention, by this giving hope to innovators venturing to create Swedish green dollars.
The main innovations presented during the day were solving – or deliver value for – mother nature’s resources in the field of clean and renewable energy sources such as solar-, wind- and water power, biogas, etc.
I asked investors what they where looking for in the companies they were thinking of investing in:
1. The Team (read: Management, know-how).
2. Innovation (read: The maturity and development stage).
3. Demand (read: Commercial potential. Does it solve ore replace a well-known demand or need today?)
The points mentioned above were the Swedish investors’ top clues to investing or not. The German investors used the same steps but in the opposite order.
Two innovators that got a lot of buzz and interest from investors were Solvatten and HiNation.
One investor said that is was important that the solution made sense. If people don’t understand how it works it will not be a success, for example myFC that even if they deliver a smart solution it isn’t as easy to grasp as the solutions of Solvatten and HiNation. Maybe the solution to this would be to design a “make sense dimension” into the innovation?
If Swedes where equally good at selling and marketing cleantech, as they were at coming up with new great ideas, the cleantech sector would create more jobs than any other business field in Sweden. But for this to happen we need to active the Green Vikings™ and really start exporting – so that Swedish green tech also can turn into green dollars for Sweden.