5 Silicon Valley Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Making an Impact


While Silicon Valley remains the birthplace of some of the best tech start-ups, what’s good about the valley (and North California in general) is that has one of the highest levels of eco-consciousness.

I’d like to point out 5 such entrepreneurs who’re running successful green tech companies in the valley, and making us all proud.

1. Tom Skazy & Jon Beyer Terracycle:

Terracycle 5 Silicon Valley Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Making an ImpactThe brain child of Tom Skazy and Jon Beyer, Terracycle deals with one of the world’s most pressing ecological problems: Waste disposal.

Skazy and Beyer’s idea was to recycle the waste and turn it into products. While it may sound impossible, he found a way to do it successfully. By using a composting method called vermicomposting, they managed to turn the waste into organic fertilizer for plants.

Terracycle, established in 2001, had very modest beginnings where Tom and Jon collected waste from local restaurants and university dining halls. Now they run campaigns at schools and colleges to collect waste from them.

Apart from organic fertilizers, they also make urban art pots from crushed computers and fax machines, as well as furniture, bags, pencil cases etc. Because of the success of their venture, they’re now expanding their operations overseas.

2. Lyndon & Peter Rive Solar City

Solar City1 5 Silicon Valley Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Making an ImpactSolar City is a clean tech company that provides solar panels as an alternate source of energy. Brothers Peter and Lyndon managed to set up Foster City in California powered by solar panels.

Since being in the valley means being “closely watched by VCs”, Elon Musk (co-founder of Paypal) invested $10 million in the company.

The aim of Solar City is to make the installation of solar panels as easy as ordering a satellite dish for their roof.

The company encourages customers to pay for the initial capital to set it up and then just rent it out (instead of buying it). Now that’s a serious commitment to providing sustainable energy, and giving people incentives to finally make the switch.

Their current customers include home owners, schools and universities, US government departments as well as corporate giants such as Intel, British Motors and eBay.

3. Harrison Dillon & Jonathan Wolfson – Solazyme

Solazyme 5 Silicon Valley Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Making an ImpactFounded in 2003 by college friends Harrison Dillon and Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme is a biotech company that comes with a lot of difficult scientific terms to describe what it does.

To put it (rather) plainly, Solazyme processes algae to produce oil which is then passed onto other green bio-tech companies to turn into fuel. Their aim is to create substitutes for diesel and crude oil.

The company’s focus is on engineering and processing algae to produce bio fuels. Under the leadership of Dillon and Wolfson, Solazyme left its competitors biting the dust when it came up with a cost effective way to produce algae oil in sufficient quantity.

The company caught the interest and imagination of Silicon Valley VCs who’ve invested heavily in them, giving them the funds to strengthen and grow their company.

4. K. R Sridhar – Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy 5 Silicon Valley Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Making an ImpactDr. Sridhar founded Bloom Energy after he designed a solid oxide fuel cell while working for NASA. The solid oxide fuel cell is emissions-free, making it a natural ally of green technology.

Bloom Energy was raising $150 million in funding earlier this year, and is now working on producing regenerative fuel cells. It is backed by a very prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who’ve been the leaders in investing in green technology.

5. Dick Swanson & Tom Werner Sun Power

Sun Power 5 Silicon Valley Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Making an ImpactThe company was founded by Dick Swanson who is the company’s President and Chief Technical Officer, while the CEO of Sun Power is Tom Werner who was brought in 2003 to run the business side of the company and head it’s growth.

Sun Power is a solar cell and panel producing company. They claim that their cells and panels produce 50% more power than conventional solar technology.

Their solar cell technology has been used in some high profile projects such as the NASA helios solar powered air craft.

More and more green entrepreneurs are making headlines with innovative products that solve complex problems. Who is your hero?

This post was written by:

Green Marketing TV

Green Marketing TV is the business channel for green business owners and social entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs who care about people, profits, and the planet. We offer news, tips, insights, and compelling interviews that empower entrepreneurs create and grow their triple bottom line business.


Enjoy this post?


Use the social buttons below to add it on your favorite social sites or send it via email. Also, subscribe to posts via RSS or by email to get the latest on blogging tips, social media, and other information for successful bloggers.


 

The Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit

Dear Readers,

You are invited to the Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit - a virtual, week long, alternative Green MBA designed to take you through the stages of green entrepreneurship, while providing you with practical strategies, tactics, and tools to succeed.

Whether you are an aspiring green entrepreneur or have a sustainable business you want to take to the next level, you will get valuable information just by attending this event series.

You'll discover how these fascinating people came up with brilliant ideas, and against all odds, succeeded at creating successful sustainable businesses and social enterprises that are transforming the world.

Click Here to Attend this FREE Event

Comments

  1. Great article, Lorna! I’ve been following Dr. Sridhar and Bloom Energy for several months already, and am deeply interested to see if he can develop a residential server with a 30-year shelf life, and lower price point. If so, this will be a game changer (with some intelligent marketing)!

    Question: How is the Solar City model different from companies such as SunRun?

    I’m hooked on sustainability business models and innovations, and am always keen to help initiatives that seek to provide commercially, economically, and socially viable solutions to the challenges facing our highly imbalanced society.

Speak Your Mind

*

Related Articles

 

Join Our Mailing List

 

www.greenmarketing.tv
Buffer