Tag Archives: Josh Becker of New Cycle Capital

Apr. 23, 2010 SDF Teen Tech Titans of Tomorrow

On April 23, 2010 in Mountain View at Microsoft, SDForum held the fourth annual “Tech Titans of Tomorrow: Teens Plugged In 2010.” The focus was on being more socially and environmentally responsible and using social media. Text from DJCline.com

The opening keynote was given by Josh Becker of New Cycle Capital. Becker is a Green Energy Entrepreneur who for over twenty years has worked at the nexus of community activism, technology, environmentalism, and social justice. He co-founded New Cycle Capital, a pioneer in building socially responsible businesses. Josh also co-founded the Stanford Board of Fellows program, which trains students to serve on the boards of local non-profits, engaging them in social progress at the beginning of their careers, rather than the end. He thinks there is never a better to time to make the world a better place.

Mike Cassidy of the San Jose Mercury News moderated the first panel with college students Matthew Roeckel of Santa Clara University, Sol Tran Santa Clara University, Alvin Tse of Stanford and Nima Wedlake of UC Berkeley. His Silicon Valley Dispatches column looks at the entrepreneurship, diversity and risk-taking tradition that make the valley a place like few others in the world. While seldom watching television they may carry more than one mobile device to surf or text.

Anne Hardy of SAP gave the first corporate spotlight. Hardy leads Technology Innovation initiatives for SAP’s Technology Strategy group. She looks for critical enabling technologies that might disrupt SAP’s platform business.

James Bickford of Tigo Energy gave the first teen success story. After graduating from Santa Clara with a degree in mechanical engineering, James Bickford co-founded Valence Energy to develop energy efficiency software. He gave a hilarious talk about moving a solar house across the country. Bickford became the Marketing Manager at Tigo Energy. Their technology significantly boosts the amount of energy harvested from any solar panel.

Bruce Klafter of Applied Materials gave the second corporate spotlight. Klafter is the Senior Director of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and also serves as Head, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability for Applied Materials. Applied Materials is one of the leading suppliers of equipment and services to several industries, including the semiconductor, flat-panel display and solar photovoltaic industries.

Emily Gran and Julia Sommer of Menlo-Atherton told their success stories saving energy by changing behavior with high schools. Gran got involved in the environmental movement and spread the message to her peers about climate change and encouraging people to get involved.

Shreya Indukuri of The Harker School told her success story. She co-founded SmartPowerEd, a network seeking to connect schools with smart energy-tracking systems to cut carbon emissions and energy costs. She was a youth climate representative at the Governor’s Global Climate Summit and her project was part of a UNICEF documentary. She is currently on the Youth Advisory Board for Alliance for Climate Education, who awarded her project a $5,500 grant for on-campus green initiatives in 2009.

Allison Leopold Tilley of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated the fireside chat “Learning Lessons from Young Entrepreneurs” with Ken Elkabany of PiCloud and Simon Montford of Vibio.

Ken Elkabany graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, getting the William Everitt Award for Excellence in 2007. He co-founded HotSwap, a video ecommerce pioneer. He is the CEO of PiCloud, providing true utility computing in the cloud. He is also a published academic researcher in biomedical engineering.

Simon Montford is a British serial entrepreneur born in London. Some of his ventures were Corsellis-Montford Interactive, acquired by New Media Industries Group in 2000 and icollector Plc, purchased in 1999 by Able Auctions Inc. He left London to become an Entrepreneur in residence at Edinburgh University in 2007 and is currently founder and CEO of Vibio (UK) Ltd and Vibio Inc.

After lunch there was the “Call to Action: Teens Reach Out.” Teen entrepreneurs and developers gave their thirty second pitch on their projects.

Crystal Yan of Monta Vista High School told her teen success story. Yan is the Founder of Torque Media Group (design agency with a nonprofit branch that offers pro-bono design packages to startups/nonprofits), Co-Founder of Social Startup Summit (high-impact social entrepreneurship unconference for youth), Co-Curator of What’s Next: 25 Big Ideas from 25 Gen-Yers Under 25 (an e-book with big ideas from under-25 entrepreneurs/activists), and Founder of EconForAll (media campaign to with tools to make learning fun for K-12 educators and nonprofits). She is a trilingual Chinese American student entrepreneur in the San Francisco Bay Area. She talked about ways to eradicate polio.

Alison van Diggelen of Fresh Dialogues moderated the second panel with high school students from local Bay Area high schools discusses how they use technology and their personal interest in technology and entrepreneurship.

Amy Strande of Microsoft gave the third corporate spotlight. Strande is a Director with the Student Audience Marketing team.  She has launched connected the digital experiences of website, mobile and  competitions to reach students and give them low cost software, career advice, and school success tips.

Chris McCann of Startup Digest told his teen success story. McCann is an entrepreneur, writer, and general activist in the entrepreneurial community of Silicon Valley and San Luis Obispo. He has led the entrepreneurial programs at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he started an alumni led incubator Innovation Quest. He leads social media strategy for TEDx Silicon Valley.

Matt Thompson of Microsoft moderated the third panel Ben Narasin of TriplePoint Capital, Gamiel Gran of Sierra Ventures, Eli Chait of Alsop Louie Partners. They listened as teen entrepreneurs pitched to investors and experienced entrepreneurs, got advice and input on their projects. Text from DJCline.com

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 5, 2009 SDF Clean And Green

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On February 5, 2009 in Menlo Park at Orrick SDForum held “Green & Clean Tech in the New Administration” exploring the players and technologies in the immediate future. The promise of reinvigorating the economy through strategic government investment is appealing.

Obama’s economic recovery plan centers on redefining industries with green technology to rebuild infrastructure. Innovation across hardware, software and networks can drive this recovery. First we must define realistic goals and determine what technology is appropriate to fund. The proposed federal funding will have long-term effects on state and local economies.

Gregory Heibel of Orrick moderated panelists ranging from an advisor to the Obama campaign, Rick DeGolia of Green Wireless Systems, to local and state governments like Nanci Klein of the City of San Jose and Dan Pellissier of California Environmental Protection Agency, to investors such as Josh Becker of New Cycle Capital as well as the press like Matt Nauman of the San Jose Mercury News.

Rick DeGolia worked on the Obama campaign’s energy and environmental goals. They intend to invest 150 billion dollars to generate 5 million new jobs in green technology. Within ten years they intend to essentially reduce the amount of oil we currently import to zero. They want one million hybrids on the road by 2015 that get an average150 mpg. They hope to generate ten percent of our electricity by 2012 from renewable resources. They want to implement a cap and trade program by 80 percent by 2050. Over the past thirty years, California led the country in energy efficiency. It uses fifty percent less of the energy on a per capita basis than the rest of America. These standards established by California over the last thirty years will now be applied across the country. The challenge is persuading a state like Ohio that generates one hundred percent of its electricity from coal to adopt a cap on carbon. They need help to update their infrastructure. He has managed to cut his electricity consumption in half. He also thinks there are great opportunities in water conservation.

Josh Becker sees a strong commitment from the Obama administration by the appointments of qualified technology experts. He sees 54 billion targeted for energy technology. We currently spend 8 billion on DOE energy policy. That amount may triple over the next two years, with energy policy rivaling the Apollo program. Weatherization saves energy and creates green collar jobs. Smart grid will get 4.5 billion dollars. Two billion is for battery technology. There is 400 million for geothermal. Solar and wind is dependent on tax credits. Fuel cells and nuclear will not get as much. He thinks in the short term that weatherization may stimulate the economy. A thirty percent rebate to purchase energy efficient appliances will help a great deal. Stay involved in the political process to drive the new policies and stimulate the economy.

Nanci Klein talked about how these policies affect the city of San Jose. In fifteen years they intend to create 25,000 green jobs, cut per capita energy use by fifty percent, and generate one hundred percent of their own electricity. Government policy creates the goals and market for companies to invest. They want to incubate startups and attract existing companies to San Jose like Tesla.

Matt Nauman wonders how these projects will be funded given the current crisis, but expects renewed interest after it is over. He worries that California will not benefit from national policies because it has already picked the low hanging fruit of conservation. As a long time observer of the auto industry, it may be difficult to retool Rust Belt industry overnight. It may take a generation of car buying to shift over to electric cars. He thinks that smart monitoring devices, smart grid technology or other green tech hold promise to stimulate Silicon Valley companies. He sees employees driving conservation at work. It can be simple as not buy another incandescent bulb.

Dan Pellissier says California is blessed with tremendous natural resources. The Mojave Desert gets more solar radiation than any other place in the country and it is near twenty million people who need electricity. There are potentially geothermal 5000 megawatts that we only are using 1500 of now. We have wind power that we are generating near Tracy and Edwards. Funding and building requires creating a regulatory environment so everyone knows the rules to play by and benefit. Costs will go up and people do not want to spend more money right now for a payback many years later. There are practical limits that must be solved before you make money. Bureau of Land Management currently has 150 clean energy projects but it will take two years to approve them. He is concerned that federal guidelines will not be as strict as California’s and may be de-positioned in competing with other states.

New policy means new opportunity. To change one thing is to change everything.
Here are some pictures from the event.


Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.