A little over a year ago, gbNYC noted a report in Crain’s that the rest of the country is leaving New York State behind when it comes to the cleantech industry. In 2006, cleantechs received $2.9 billion in venture capital- a 78 percent increase from 2005. However, from 1999 to 2005, the Empire State received 3.45 percent of the total amount that was raised by cleantechs across the U.S. During that period, 42 New York cleantechs raised a mere $235 million, while California saw 278 cleantech companies receive $2.7 billion in capital. These figures were released in a report entitled Cleantech: a New Engine of Economic Growth for New York State.
In this week’s issue of Crain’s, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers identifies six-year-old Everpower Renewables Corp., a Manhattan-based developer of utility-grade wind power projects, as the recipient of $55 million from Good Energies, Inc. during the fourth quarter of 2007. In fact, Everpower raised the most money of any company in New York last year. While the overall amount of venture capital flowing into New York decreased from 2006 ($2 billion to $1.7 billion), David Silverman, managing director of PwC’s New York venture capital group, told Crain’s that the New York market “continues to look healthy.” Previously, we noted a quote from Bige Doruk, co-founder of Gaia Power Technologies, a manufacturer and installer of alternative energy systems, that “[i]t would have been easier for us to raise money if we were in California. . . . New York is getting better, though.”
Statistics don’t tell the whole story and Mr. Silverman did not comment on Everpower’s efforts, but it’s significant that the local pacesetter last year was a green power developer. Still, Everpower’s $55 million is 23 percent of all the venture capital that New York cleantechs raised between 1999 and 2005, so it seems hard to argue that New York isn’t on the right track in terms of attracting venture capital for green business.