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SCALEit Cleantech Track

In Denmark we see an increasing number of promising Cleantech Companies emerging – this program sets out to help them harvest their potential for global Scale by exposing them to the unique eco-system of Silicon Valley and the large market opportunities in California.

What do we consider Cleantech?  

In the SCALEit Ignite Cleantech program we use the term “cleantech” in the broadest sense. In essence we are looking for scalable companies that either expand the use of clean energy or increase resource efficiency in industry, business processes or every day activities. 

This includes but is not limited to technology companies in renewable energy, energy storage, water, recycling, energy efficiency, smart grid as well as software companies who are leveraging IT infrastructure (sensors, cloud, big data, mobile, social) in Cleantech applications. It is important to recognize that energy is the next industry to be transformed by software, representing not only a path towards solving the global energy crisis and resource constraints but also a very large investment opportunity that can scale. 

Why Cleantech and Silicon Valley? 

The region of California, and especially Silicon Valley, has emerged as the epicentre of America’s Cleantech industry. In 2012 the top six ranked American cleantech cities were all found on the west coast, and the golden state has a long history as the preeminent early market for technology related to energy efficiency, clean air and renewable energy. This is due to unique ecosystem of Silicon Valley, which has attracted international cleantech companies, investors, entrepreneurs, large corporations and other industry stakeholders looking to develop and deploy innovative new solutions. All of this combined allows the bar for entrepreneurship in cleantech to be set ever higher in the search for solutions for some of the worlds most pressing issues. But the journey is far from over - and this is where your idea and your company comes in.



Approximately 50% of US venture capital investment in cleantech takes place in California. In 2012 Cleantech companies globally raised $6.56 billion of venture capital, $5.07 billion of these investments were made in the US with Silicon Valley leading the way. Since 2009 over $6.1 billion in VC funding has been invested in Silicon Valley cleantech companies. Top sectors receiving investment include energy efficiency, smart grid, energy storage and solar among others.

In California you will find some of the most promising cleantech companies in the world coming from a range of subsectors including water, solar, wind, smart grid, building energy management, biofuels, fuel cells, EV and EV charging infrastructure and much more. California has made itself known of creating and attracting companies at the forefront of cleantech innovation, who by business acumen of their founders and investors have a great chance of having a global impact by solving environmental challenges while generating economic growth. Some of the most notable cleantech companies coming out of California shown above.

Silicon Valley’s ecosystem of top research institutions, entrepreneurial companies and investors has also attracted the technology scouting and corporate venturing divisions of many of the leading global industrial companies who are looking to partner with innovative new companies and technologies. This is the single largest concentration of partnership offices of this type and includes global players from a variety of industries.

Market Opportunities in California?  

While progress with federal climate legislation and renewable energy inititatives for the US as a whole continues slowly in fits and starts, California has had a consistent leadership role in enacting polices that aggressively create market based opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced water technology companies. California’s Cap and Trade Climate legislation with took effect in 2012 aims to reduce emissions in the state by 80 % of 1990 levels by 2050. Furthermore a renewable Portfolio standard for utility companies requires that 33 % of their electricity generation must come from Renewable energy sources by 2020. Below you will find cross-section of the initiatives being taken, all paving the way for a promising cleantech market.

  • All new residential construction will be zero net energy by 2020
  • All new commercial construction will be zero net energy by 2030
  • Over 7 million currently installed with most gas and electric meters to be replaced with smart meters by 2012
  • Time of use pricing for commercial and industrial in 2011 and residential in the next 5 years enabling real time demand side management. 
  • Over $1 billion annual investment in Demand Response and Energy Efficiency
  • Federal and state incentives for electric vehicles totaling $13,000 per vehicle
  • Highly clustered EVs and distributed solar in certain neighborhoods creates demand for smart grid solutions


    We would love to talk with you

    Lene Sjorslev Schulze

    Co-founder of SCALEit & Deputy Director at Innovation Center Denmark

    US:+1 415 812 6646
    Mail: [email protected]
    Skype: 'lsjorslev'

    Alex Portilla

    Director of SCALEit & Senior Cleantech Advisor at Innovation Center Denmark

    US:+1 650 543 3180
    Mail: [email protected]
    Skype: 'AlexICDK'

    Søren Therkelsen

    Co-founder of SCALEit & founder of
    US: +1 415 702 8935
    DK: +45 2536 1620
    Mail: [email protected]
    Skype: ''