When you visit the Khosla Ventures website, you are greeted with a quote that articulates the spirit of the movement that we are trying to capture at the Inspired Economist. It reads, “Innovative bottom up methods will solve problems that now seem intractable- from energy to poverty to disease. Science and technology, powered by the fuel of entrepreneurial energy, are the largest multipliers of resources we have to solve our many social problems.” Brilliant words from a VC firm that is helping to finance many of the companies of the New Economy. Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures, and was also the keynote speaker at the 2008 Algae Biomass Summit held last week in Seattle, WA.
The focus of the conference was on the potential for Algae as the biofuel of the future. One of the most obvious benefits of algae versus other types of biofuels is that it does not rely on some form of agriculture. Algae can can be grown in ponds or industrial-sized tanks. This is an encouraging prospect for some investors, however, Khosla is not quite ready to step up to the table. Some experts believe that mass production of any Algae-based biofuel is still five to 10 years away. While Khosla may be right to wait, there are still a handful of noteworthy deals and companies in this space, which are highlighted below:
- Taking Algae Biofuel to the Next Level: Solazyme Gets $45 Million in Funding to Reach Commercial Scale
- OriginOil Develops Portable Modular Round-the-Clock Algae Biodiesel System
- China Shows Green Aspirations With New Algae Biodiesel Facility
Photo Credit: By Photo Credit: gms’ via Flickr’s Media Commons