Venture capitalists go 'green and clean'


In these tumultuous financial times, there are few certainties when it comes to where to put your money.

"Most places involving clean tech investments are going to do well," said Paul Holland from Foundation Capital.

Going 'clean and green' is more than just an idea. It's also a money-making way of life for several Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

"If you invested in energy efficiency, if you invested in smart grid, if you're invested in green materials, anything related to efficiency and getting more out of the energy we're already creating, we think that's a phenomenal marketplace," said Holland.

Those at Foundation Capital not only invest in clean tech start ups, now they're surrounding themselves with the concept.

The company's Menlo Park office has gone green -- meaning, it's made with recycled materials and the building is energy and water efficient.

Part of being clean and green means having low energy, long lasting lighting and this place is filled with it. Out here, hi-laid lamps, and inside every office, fluorescent and the desk area has an LED lamp.

"It's important to practice what you preach," said Adam Grosser from Foundation Capital.

But it's not just venture capitalists getting on the green bandwagon.

Vocational schools are as well. In Oakland, the Cypress Mandela Training Center is creating so-called 'green collar' jobs, by teaching classes on green building principals.

The city gave the school a $250,000 grant on Monday.

"There's a virtual circle that's developing around the entire green industry," said Holland.

From the green concept and investment, to the labor force that brings the idea to market. It's an industry that'll continue to grow as long as the demand does.

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