Company: RockPort Capital
Source: Mass High Tech
Boston-based Rockport Capital Partners is a venture capital firm focused on cleantech. One of the firm’s general partners, Charles J. “Chuck” McDermott has been in the cleantech space for more than 20 years and has investments in companies such as Advanced Electron Beams Inc., Project FROG and Renaissance Lighting. He shared his thoughts on the direction of cleantech with Mass High Tech managing editor James M. Connolly.
In terms of cleantech, what lessons did we learn from the economic mess of the past year and a half?
We learned that the macro drivers for cleantech remain very powerful, not the least of which is that we now have a global population of 6.8 billion people, billions of which are becoming energy consumers for the first time.
So in terms of just the global provision under a sustainable framework of energy, water, food, all of those basics, the drivers remain strong from that perspective.
Corporate behavior, absent regulatory dictates, has been unprecedented in the last four or five years. The oft-cited examples of Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and some others, their commercial and environmental footprints are sufficiently large that when they make decisions about reduction in packaging and the efficiency of the buildings that they use and things like this, it moves the needle. So corporate America has been very important in creating demand for cleantech.