On February 27, 2008, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner announced the selection of three venture capital firms to participate in the pilot of DOE’s new Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program.
The EIR pilot program will place three entrepreneurs (one selected and sponsored by each of the three participating venture capital firms) into three DOE National Laboratories to help bring promising new clean energy technologies developed by these laboratories to market. Among their activities, the entrepreneurs will conduct technology assessments, evaluate market opportunities, and develop business cases. The DOE is providing up to $100,000 for each entrepreneur to help defray salary and other expenses and each participating VC firm will match the DOE funding and may contribute additional funds to support its entrepreneur’s work.
Once a laboratory-developed technology is identified for commercialization, the entrepreneurs and their VC sponsors will negotiate with the DOE to license the technology. It is intended that the VC sponsors will eventually form and finance a start-up company to commercialize the licensed clean energy technologies.
The three VC firms selected to participate in the EIR pilot program (and the associated DOE National Laboratory that their entreprenuer will work with) are as follows:
- Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (to work with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
- ARCH Venture Partners (to work with DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory)
- Foundation Capital (to work with DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
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