Trend Spotting: 12 Greentech Startups to Watch in 2012 includes two of our portfolio companies

December 29, 2011  source: GreentechMedia

Nat Goldhaber
Nat Goldhaber
Paul Straub
Paul Straub

 All of us at Claremont Creek Ventures are happy to congratulate our portfolio companies EcoFactor and Project Frog for making Greentech media’s top startups to watch in 2012. As an early stage investor in EcoFactor and Project Frog, we have been involved with the companies since the outset. Read the excerpts from Greentech Media’s article below or click here to read the full article at Greentech Media.

Trend Spotting: 12 Greentech Startups to Watch

by Yoni Cohen, Greentech Media

Each year, a handful of greentech companies become the talk of the town. Some engage in a competitive and oversubscribed fundraising round. Others announce a development partner that makes competitors take notice. Still others grow sales or flop in a make-or-break year.

What follows is a glance into a crystal ball, clouded by uncertainty and qualified by the sources of information — often interested parties — with visibility under the hood of 12 buzz-worthy greentech companies across the technology spectrum. (I deliberately left firms that will generate buzz via an IPO — e.g., Silver Spring Networks and Mascoma — off the list).

 “The reality is that unless a company has opened the kimono and they are actively fundraising and you’ve had time to look at the numbers […], it is hard to really understand what is going on under the hood,” said Evan Lovell of Virgin Green Fund, mixing his metaphors…


EcofactorEcoFactor. You don’t need me to tell you that NEST, the smart thermostat company, is hot — or that more broadly, adoption of home energy management systems has been slower than expected.

But California’s EcoFactor may soon stand out from the crowd of HEM and HAN firms, or so funders RockPort Capital Partners and Claremont Creek Ventures hope. The company’s cloud-based analytics platform aims to make thermostats smarter and to realize energy efficiency savings. A new CEO is tasked with getting EcoFactor’s promising technology to market.


Project Frog logoProject Frog. California-based Project Frog designs and builds modular green buildings. The company has already constructed a high-profile project at San Francisco’s Crissy Field. Other projects include schools in Oahu, Hawaii and Hartford, Connecticut, as well as GE’s John F. Welch Leadership Development Center in Ossining, New York.

Project Frog’s LEED-eligible buildings are built from pre-engineered components. The company’s buildings not only use at least 25 percent less energy than traditional stick-built buildings, they also cost less than their conventional counterparts. Savings are gleaned from two approaches: thoughtful design that maximizes a building’s use of natural light during daylight hours and modular construction through which building components are manufactured off-site before being assembled on-site.

In September, GE, RockPort Capital Partners, Claremont Creek Ventures and Greener Capital Partners invested $22 million to accelerate Project Frog’s growth. In 2012, Project Frog plans to begin constructing multi-story buildings, double its total built square footage and add household names as building occupants.