Green VC

News & resources for social entrepreneurs

Category: Green Living

Abe’s Market Obtains Angel Financing

Abe's MarketAccording to a recent article on TechCrunch, Abe's Market, a Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based online marketplace for natural products, obtained angel financing from Index Ventures / Saul Klein, The Accelerator Group (TAG), Toby Coppel (former head of Yahoo Europe), David Honig (Vison Ventures) and Mark Esiri (Venrex UK).  The amount of financing was not disclosed.

Abe's Market was launched in 2009 by Richard Demb and Jon Polin and is an online marketplace that connects consumers with sellers of natural products in categories including Baby & Kids, Food & Drink, Home & Pet, and Personal Care. The site emphasizes the stories of participating merchants, as can be seen in this list and in the video below.

Adina for Life Receives $1 Million from Good Capital

Adina for Life

Good Capital, the San Francisco-based manager of the Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, recently announced that it closed a $1 million investment in Adina for Life, a lifestyle brand focused on organic, Fair Trade coffee drinks, and other healthful beverages. This investment is part of a $9 million round, part of which was announced earlier this year and was led by Sherbrooke Capital

“Demand for our delicious, life sustaining drinks has been growing tremendously and is now at an inflection point," said Greg Steltenpohl, Chairman and Co-founder of Adina. "We are taking our organic and Fair Trade beverages straight to mainstream American consumers.  We are excited to have Good Capital’s investment because of their unique focus on growing businesses that also contribute to positive social change."

Adina was founded in 2004, launched its first line of juice coolers in 2005, and introduced its organic, Fair Trade Certified(TM) ready-to-drink coffees and teas in 2007.

For more information:

HIP Investor to Present Roundtable on Sustainable Apparel on September 9

HIP Investor

On Tuesday, September 9, HIP Investor will present the next program in its Investor Roundtable Series.  This program will be on the topic of sustainable apparel.  Speakers will include:

This program will be held from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm in downtown San Francisco.  Additional information can be found on the event registration page.  For more information:

SVASE to Present Program “Clean Tech: Green Buildings and Green Construction – What’s In It For You?” on April 17


On Thursday, April 17, the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE) will present a program entitled Clean Tech: Green Buildings and Green Construction – What’s In It For You?, featuring a panel that will provide insights into challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in the green building and green construction sectors. The panelists for this event are:

This program will be held from 6:00 – 8:30 pm at Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, 3175 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304.  The advance registration cost for the program is $20 for SVASE members and $49 for non-members.  The price is an additional $10 if you register at the door.  For more information:

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Up to $2.4 Million to New Group of “Solar America Cities”

Solar America Cities

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced at the New Frontiers in Energy Summit on March 28 that DOE will provide up to $2.4 million to 12 cities ($200,000 each) as part of the Solar America Cities program.  The program is an activity of the Solar America Initiative and is designed to provide support to cities that are ready to take a comprehensive, systemic, city-wide approach to solar technology that facilitates mainstream adoption and provides a model for other cities.

Cities selected in the Solar America Cities program receive financial and technical assistance to develop a city-wide solar implementation plan to:

  • Integrate solar technologies into city energy planning, zoning and facilities
  • Streamline city-level regulations and practices that affect solar adoption by residents and local businesses (e.g. permitting, inspections, local codes)
  • Promote solar technology among residents and local businesses (e.g., outreach, curriculum development and/or implementation, incentive programs, etc.)

The newly selected cities are listed below. Profiles of these cities are available in the report 2008 Solar America Cities Selection (PDF).

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Houston, Texas
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sacramento, California
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Jose, California
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Seattle, Washington

In addition to receiving $2.4 million in financial assistance, these cities will receive technical assistance estimated at $3 million (subject to Congressional appropriation).  Combined with industry cost share and funding from each city, the total investment in the 12 cities is approximately $12.1 million. 

The 12 newly selected cities join an initial group of 13 cities (listed below) that were selected in 2007 (click for profile of each city):

For more information:

RecycleBank Closes $30 Million in Series B Funding

RecycleBank. a Philadelphia-based company that provides financial benefits for households to recycle, has closed a $30 million round of series B venture capital financing, according to VentureWire (via Private Equity HUB).  This round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with series A investors RRE Ventures and Sigma Partners also participating.  RecycleBank has also previously received seed funding from Columbia Universitys Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship and a $2 million investment from The Coca-Cola Company.

As described by RecycleBank, its core service framework is as follows:

  • Households receive a cart embedded with an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip and all recyclables are placed into the cart for curbside pickup.
  • Recycling trucks retrofitted with RecycleBank technology read the RFID chip and record the amount the household recycles.
  • The weight and participation is then translated into RecycleBank Reward Points which households can view and redeem at
  • These Points can be used with more than 400 national RecycleBank Reward Partners such as Coca-Cola, IKEA, Starbucks Coffee and Kraft Foods, as well as local reward partners such as restaurants and grocery stores.

RecycleBank was founded in 2004 and currently provides service in more than 35 municipalities in the states of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.  The company states that more than 36 million tons of recyclables have been diverted from landfills through use of its services.

RecycleBank is planning to expand nationally in 2008 and in February announced the addition of Doug Lebda (President and COO of IAC; Founder of LendingTree) to its Board of Directors in furtherance of these plans.

The video below provides a brief overview of RecycleBank:

For more information:

“Advancing the New Energy Economy in California” Summit to Take Place in San Francisco on January 14

On January 14, a summit entitled "Advancing the New Energy Economy in California" will take place in San Francisco.  This event is hosted by the California Public Utilities Commission, the Willie L. Brown Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Policy, the California Clean Energy Fund, the Apollo Alliance, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

The goal of this summit is to advance long-term investment, job creation, and financial growth within the green technology industry in California, with a focus on engaging low-income communities.  There will be participation from leaders in diverse and relevant sectors including investment, cleantech / greentech, workforce development and public policy. 

Key summit sessions are listed below.  For addition information on this event, including registration, please visit

Welcome/Opening Address
• Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. (Master of Ceremonies)
• Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, California Public Utilities Commission
• San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

Preparing for a Booming Clean and Green Economy
• Phil Angelides, Chairman, Apollo Alliance (moderator)
• Van Jones, Co-founder, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
• Peter A. Darbee, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, PG&E Corporation
• Nancy Pfund, Managing Director, JPMorgan
• Dr. Marshall Drummond, Chancellor, Los Angeles Community College District
• Jay Hansen, Legislative and Political Director, State Building & Construction Trades Council

Advancing Investments and Innovation to Commercialization and Jobs
• Special Topic Address: Speaker Fabian Núñez, California State Assembly
• Dan Kammen, Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley (moderator)
• Julie Blunden, Vice President, Public Policy and Corporate Communications, SunPower
• Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, (invited)
• Nancy Floyd, Founder and Managing Director, Nth Power

Afternoon Keynote "Grening the Golden State: Committing to an Eco-Economy in California"
• Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, State of California (invited)
• Miichael R. Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission

Bridging the Gap: Clean Energy Investments and a Diverse Workforce (Interactive Session)
– Tim Rainey, Director of the Workforce and Economic Development Program, California Labor Federation
• José Millan, Vice Chancellor of California Community Colleges Economic Development and Workforce Preparation Division
• Bernadette Del Chiaro, Director of Global Warming Programs, Environment California
• Paul Frankel, Director, Aquillian Investments

Pathways and Partnerships: Steps to New Investment, Jobs and Growth in the New Energy Economy
• Special Topic Address: Congresswoman Hilda Solis (invited)
• Bob Epstein, Co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2); Director, New Resource Bank; Trustee, Natural Resources Defense Council (moderator)
• Raquel Pinderhughes, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Studies, San Francisco State University
• Peter Liu, Founder and Vice Chairman, New Resource Bank
• Dr. Philip R. Day, Chancellor, City College of San Francisco
• Tom Martinez, National Electrical Contractors Association

Living Green and Driving Growth in The Green Sector
• Ed Begley, Jr., Green Reality Star, Host of "Living With Ed," Author of "Living Like Ed"

ThinkGreen Conference by ThinkEquity Partners is December 5 – 6

ThinkEquity Partners will present ThinkGreen: A Clean Technology, Alternative Energy, and
Green Living Forum
in San Francisco on December 5 and 6.  This event will feature business leaders, investors, and other individuals involved in green technology and green living.  Speakers include:

  • Vinod Khosla – Founder, Khosla Ventures
  • Dr. Yogi Goswami – Director, Solar Energy & Conversion Laboratory, University of South Florida; Past President, International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
  • Michael Chiarello – CEO of NapaStyle and Host of FoodTV’s Emmy Award-winning "At Home with Michael Chiarello"
  • Michael Marks – CEO, Tesla Motors
  • Joseph Desmond – Former Chairman of the California Energy Commission & Senior VP, External Affairs, NorthernStar Natural Gas

You can view the complete conference agenda and register onlineWebcasts will also be available.

Update [12/04]: You can obtain a 25% discount on the registration fee via a discount code.  Please see Earth2Tech for more details.

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