Ray Rothrock, famed Venrock VC who has made multiple investments in advanced nuclear, together with Ellen Hughes-Cromwick and Farah Benahmed, discuss the critical role that professional venture capital (VC) has long played in accelerating innovation. While the nature of VC has changed over time, the goal of providing precious capital to great entrepreneurs with world-changing ideas for solutions against big problems, remains the same. But now, rather than a handful of rich families, there are over 1,000 VC firms deploying about $100 billion a year to ventures of all kinds.
The record of success by VC is borne out by research which shows that 43% of today’s public companies were venture-backed, representing 57% of the public market capitalization, 38% of all employees at public companies and 82% of all the corporate R&D.
As fossil fuels fail and investors look ahead to the next phase of energy, many investors and VCs are once again looking to innovators and understanding both the threats and risks but also the opportunities that will come with a clean energy transition. While encouraging, we need to accelerate the pace by which clean energy innovators get capital and figure out the ways to unleash a wave of capital toward clean energy.
Read more in Third Way: “Innovation Sparks Advances Toward a Clean Energy Future”