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Distribution of VC Funds for Clean Tech Across California

Los Angeles has a shortage of venture capital

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2007-According to the Los Angeles Times, technology funding is distributed with an "at my backdoor" strategy.

By rights, L.A. should be a tech-industry powerhouse, given that it's the home of Caltech and seven other engineering schools, as well as the headquarters of four of the nation's top 10 civil engineering companies. Yet a furious effort to make the city a destination for Web and multimedia start-ups during the tech boom of the 1990s -- remember when boosters were trying to one-up Silicon Valley by nicknaming the L.A. area the Digital Coast? -- was mostly a bust. After the dot-com bubble burst, few of the survivors were in L.A.

The problem, then as now, stems from a shortage of venture capital. U.S. venture firms invested a record $2.6 billion in clean-technology companies in the first quarter of 2007, compared with $1.8 billion in all of 2006, according to the National Venture Capital Assn. California accounted for by far the biggest share of any state, raking in $726 million so far this year.

But 84% of the money went to Silicon Valley, while L.A. companies took in only about $42 million.

Some of the nation's top clean-tech investors, like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers or Khosla Ventures, are based near Palo Alto, and they like to keep their money close to home. That's too bad for L.A., and shortsighted for the investors that are giving life to the green market.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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