Tuesday November 3, 2015 0 comments
DENVER -- Leaders from Colorado’s cleantech sector filled the History Colorado Center on Monday evening as Colorado Cleantech Industries Association honored some of the organization’s most dedicated and innovative during the sixth annual Colorado Cleantech Awards Celebration.
“The partners are all here tonight to celebrate the positive impact of everyone’s work,” said Chris Shapard, CCIA’s executive director.
“You are creating jobs, changing lives, creating wealth, finding solutions and you are being role models. In short, you are our inspiration.”
CCIA handed out six awards on Monday:
- Emerging Cleantech Company of the Year – BASIC 3C
- Breakout Company of the Year – Waste to Energy Partners
- High Impact Cleantech Company – Terralux
- Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year – Andrew Coors, Steelhead Composites
- Legislators of the Year – Jim Wilson and Rep. Tracey Kraft-Tharp
Keynoting the event was Nancy Pfund, DBL Partners managing partner, who talked about “impact investing” in companies – including cleantech – that can make a positive difference in the world while also achieving a strong profit return.
Pfund described investments by DBL, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, that have provided top-tier financial returns while making a positive and meaningful social impact.
Those companies include revolutionary car maker Tesla Motors and solar systems manufacturer SolarCity, both co-founded by green visionary Elon Musk.
Pfund said such companies today are quickly providing amazing investment returns.
“These companies are doing in a decade what some of the nation’s older companies have done in a century,” she said.
Pfund cited the example of Tesla, which was founded in 2003 and now employs more than 12,000 workers.
“Whole regions of our country are being transformed by the factories going up to support them,” she said.
Pfund noted that new energy companies are overtaking traditional energy companies as the nation moves away from fossil fuels.
“Today, the solar industry employs more than the coal industry,” she said. “Clean energy companies are creating jobs.
“These companies offer us a no-sacrifice ticket to the future, a future we can gladly pass on to our children.”
Pfund said investing in new clean technologies is the wave of the future and is no longer being dismissed by savvy investors.
“When people tell you you’re nuts, that’s when you know you’re on to something,” she said.
“If you don’t balance your portfolio with what’s happening now and in the future, you’re going to miss some big opportunities.”
Pfund, whose company’s mission is to use the power of venture capital to promote social change and improve the environment, said everyone attending the awards celebration has a responsibility to help move that needle forward.
“It’s up to us to continue the legacy of those who came forward to build a world that is not only livable but worth living in,” she said.
Sponsors of the event included InnovatioNews, NREL, Wells Fargo, Navigant, Chubb, EKS&H, ravenbrick, Xcel Energy, Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, Denver Water, CSU Ventures, Clear Comfort, Inside Energy, Ion Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, School of Energy Resources, Colorado Business Bank, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., AEII, and the Denver Office of Economic Development.