US Government Support for Clean Technology vs. Venture Capital

We hear a lot of comparisons at ANZA TechNet about the support Australian entrepreneurs get from the Australian government vs. the lack of support US entrepreneurs get from their government.

While US entrepreneurs have long been able to rely on VC funding to take their businesses to the next level, Australians do not have much of VC community at all. That’s why they come to the US. But a slight change has been brewing in the US, particularly in the clean tech sector.

According to this Wall Street Journal story “Venture Capitol: New VC Force”, there’s been a shift in clean tech funding in the US from VC to government.

The DOE [Department of Energy] hopes to lend or give out more than $40 billion to businesses working on “clean technology,” everything from electric cars and novel batteries to wind turbines and solar panels. In the first nine months of 2009, the DOE doled out $13 billion in loans and grants to such firms. By contrast, venture-capital firms — which have long been the chief funders of fledgling tech firms, taking equity stakes in the start-ups that will pay off if they go public — poured just $2.68 billion into the sector in that time, according to data tracker Cleantech Group.

This is indeed a very interesting trend to keep an eye on. (Read more)

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