SOURCE: PRIME Coalition

August 20, 2015 07:15 ET

PRIME Coalition Unveils Investment Committee

Prominent Leaders From Venture Capital, Family Office, and Government Postings Will Evaluate PRIME Investments for Charitability

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - August 20, 2015) - A seasoned group of climate finance experts has gathered to serve on the investment committee of PRIME Coalition, a 501c3 non-profit bringing philanthropy to fill capital gaps for energy innovation. In aggregate, the ten members of PRIME's Investment Committee represent billions of dollars of value creation in the field and have backed cleantech's biggest success stories, including Nest, Tesla, and SolarCity. Members of the 2015 Investment Committee include:

  • Kristina Burow, ARCH Venture Partners
  • Arun Majumdar, Stanford University and former ARPA-E Director
  • Dan Miller, The Roda Group
  • Matthew Nordan, MNL Partners
  • Nancy Pfund, DBL Partners
  • Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge Venture Partners
  • Dipender Saluja, Capricorn Investment Group
  • Jeffrey Weiss, Clean Energy Venture Group
  • David Wells, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

"Meeting the challenge of climate change means fueling breakthrough start-ups with the capital they need to launch, which in turn helps build a growth industry for the long term," said Nancy Pfund, founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners. "As foundations and family offices increasingly seek out impact investments, providing accessible, attractive, and additive investment opportunities for the philanthropy community is a key part of the solution."

The role of the Investment Committee will be to serve as the last step in PRIME's investment process - designed to highlight a shortlist of the most attractive early-stage investment opportunities for charitable investors, and maximized for climate impact potential. PRIME does the legwork for climate-interested philanthropists that aim to fill capital gaps, while making sure charitable dollars are supporting viable companies and projects that have a real likelihood to reach scale and achieve vast greenhouse gas emissions.

"We believe that a small set of new ventures related to resource innovation will scale to become the most profitable companies for generations to come. Importantly, a subset of those will also play a catalytic role in driving large-scale reductions in global greenhouse emissions," said Arun Majumdar, the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University and formerly the Director of ARPA-E. "While the federal government has made it clear that energy innovation is a high priority area, government grants cannot support this type of R&D alone."

Over the past year, PRIME aggregated a registry of more than 1,400 early-stage U.S.-based companies across all areas of resource innovation - energy, agriculture, waste and water. PRIME staff then conducted company-by-company climate impact assessments to select for companies with potential to achieve significant global greenhouse gas reductions. From there, the Chairman's Select Committee prepared dossiers for each company under consideration. Final selections will be made at the Investment Committee's annual meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 24, 2015. Afterward, PRIME staff will work closely with the finalist companies to syndicate philanthropic investors around Seed and Series A fundraising rounds.

"PRIME demonstrated its innovative funding approach earlier this year, with an initial proof-of-concept investment in energy storage start-up Quidnet Energy," explained Matthew Nordan, Managing Partner at MNL Partners and Chair of the PRIME Investment Committee. "We hope to replicate this many times in the years ahead, using recoverable grants and program-related investment capital to support transformational resource innovation."

About PRIME Coalition:
PRIME is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower philanthropic foundations and families with the critical tools they need to support new ventures that promise vast reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. PRIME is a two-sided, purpose-built intermediary, connecting philanthropists on one side to promising companies and projects on the other. The goal: Bridge the innovation valley of death and accelerate the commercial deployment of technologies that can mitigate climate change. Learn more about PRIME at primecoalition.org.

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