West Coast Green announced that will they be working with PCBC, and that West Coast Green will be part of PCBC’s event in San Francisco from June 22 – 24, 2011. As part of this collaboration, you can receive free access to the exhibit hall AND general session keynotes from Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford School of Business and Guy Kawasaki, Co-founder of Alltop.com & Garage Technology Ventures. Visit http://www.pcbc.com/go/freepass and use discount code WCGREEN during the checkout process.
The Green Jobs & Entrepreneurship Fair is an event taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area in February that is designed to provide information, resources, and networking opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs who are interested in social or environmental responsibility. It will include panel sessions and a Resource Fair with employers, education & training institutions, and organizations serving the entrepreneur community. This program is organized by Green Jobs Network (which also publishes this blog) and is sponsored by the recruiting firm Redfish Technology.
This event will take place at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, California on February 16th from 1:30 – 5:30 pm. This event will be immediately followed by East Bay Green Drinks from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. A couple of offers are available for readers of Green VC:
- A limited number of tables are available to organizations that would like to participate in the Resource Fair. Interested organizations should send an e-mail to events [at] greenjobs.net
- Attendees can receive 50% off tickets (use code "greenvc")
Additional event information and registration is available at http://www.greenopportunitiesfair.com/
On January 27, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) will present a Government Strategies Workshop. An overview of this program is:
Leveraging the government as a funder and/or partner can be a powerful competitive advantage and a way to circumvent the traditional venture financing process. However, for many resource constrained start-ups it can be a massive diversion and not worth the time and effort required to be successful. In this workshop you will learn about formulating a strategy when working with government at the local, state and federal level, how to identify and evaluate resources available when applying for grants, and an overview of the grant-making process including best practices that will increase probability for success.
The presenter for this program will be Kyle McCue, VP New Ventures at Prescience International. This event will take place starting at 11:30 am at the EBC Training Room, 10 S. Third Street, San Jose, CA. Thanks to our friends at EBC, readers of Green VC can obtain discounted tickets when registering in advance by following these steps:
Editor’s Note: This ia a guest post by Dan Unter, attorney at Cleantech Law Partners, a law firm that serves the unique legal needs of renewable energy and cleantech companies in the United States and around the world. Mr. Unter can be contacted at dunter[at]cleantechlawpartners.com
As a lawyer working for many many startups, I’m often asked for the logical progression from an idea, product, or service to a business. Below you’ll find a summary version of this roadmap. Look for future guest posts where I’ll expand upon these areas.
- Business Plan. I see this countless times — a business without a proper plan outlining the issues, challenges and reasonable numbers will flounder. It does not have to be done by a professional, just an honest assessment that has been reviewed by at least someone else other than you.
- Idea Protection. You do not have to spend $30,000 on a patent, and you don’t have to keep your idea under your mattress and never tell anyone about it, but you should take steps to protect yourself. First, use a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) for potential investors/partners/suppliers/etc., and only give a digest of your idea to people you are just meeting. The NDA is for the next phase of discussions. Loose lips do sink ships, but tight lips also don’t help. Find a balance.
- Contracts. Put all people working on the business under contract (employment, consulting, etc) which should contain provisions including “work for hire,” confidentiality and limits on liability provisions and clearly define roles and responsibilities.
- Value your company or product or services. This is a tough step to do, but a necessary step as you go out and either seek investment or customers. When I set up companies for clients, valuation is always a huge issue. It should be noted, if you don’t already know, that valuation goes UP after you sign customers or bring on key people.
- Form a Company. The limited liability aspect of a corporation or LLC is appealing, but expensive. A regular sole proprietorship or partnership with the right amount of insurance can give you the same protection in many cases. This will be the subject of a future post.
- Operating Agreement. Define who owns what and the roles/responsibilities. No matter what type of company you form, this document is a necessary component to entities of two or more people. It should outline contributions, duties, ownership share, voting rights and many other items that will help you run your business with as little confusion as possible.
Again, this is from a lawyer’s perspective. So, essentially these are the checkpoints that I usually hit, which may change depending on the situation. For the most part, documents like the ones outlined above start or spur the essential conversations that all companies must have, no matter how good the idea is or how much (or little) money is behind it. Hopefully they do the same for you!
Disclaimer: Legal information is not the same as legal advice — the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. Consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that any information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.
For those interested in tracking gree funding, there are a number of news sources including:
Green VC is building a directory of organizations that provide services to green entrepreneurs and small businesses. An initial list of service providers follows below. If your organization would like to be included please contact us.
I. Legal Services
Cleantech Law Partners (CLP) is a law firm that serves the unique legal needs of renewable energy and cleantech companies in the US and around the world. CLP guides clients through green projects including licensing wind farms, permitting solar energy systems, negotiating power purchase agreements, drafting land leases, reviewing construction plans, securing intellectual property rights and managing financial transactions.
Green Pro Bono helps climate change-driven non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs identify their legal needs and connects them with free legal assistance necessary for their success.
II. Financial Services
ProFounder is a new company that enables entrepreneurs to raise money from friends, family, their communities, and the public. The company also provides an opportunity for the public to invest in entrepreneurs and small businesses.
More service providers coming soon!
The Green Jobs Award is a new program presented by SJF Advisory Services and Green For All that is designed to identify, recognize, and promote private sector companies that are leaders in quality green job creation. Award winners will be recognized at an event in New York City in mid-November and receive a package of business services.
Companies with at least $500,000 in revenue and a business model that preserves or enhances environmental quality are eligible to apply. The application deadline is August 31, 2010. Additional information is available on the Green Jobs Award website.
–cross posted from Green Collar Blog
West Coast Green will take place from September 30 – October 2 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. This conference and expo focuses on green innovation and is expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees. Highlights include:
Thanks to our friends at West Coast Green, readers of Green VC can receive a 30% discount off full conference or one-day passes by visiting this page.
For more information:
This area will highlight enterprises that focus on social or environmental responsibility that are seeking investment. More details coming soon!
Just a brief note — Green VC was mentioned earlier this week in The Wall Street Journal as a resource to assist entrepreneurs who are focused on environmental and social responsibility. The complete article is available here.