Most cleantech entrepreneurs have ambitious goals: solve major environmental challenges with new, often unproven technologies—all while making money for themselves and their shareholders.
Entrepreneurs all too often have to confront the that fact that building a cleantech company can quickly get expensive, and that capital markets have a limited appetite for writing big cheques and staying committed for the long haul.
Access to capital is generally more challenging for a cleantech firm than for a software company because cleantechs tend to be more hardware-intensive. The problem is bigger for more capital-intensive cleantech sectors such as energy storage, advanced materials, waste-to-energy and bioproducts, where tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in investments may be required to build a commercial facility.
“While the high capital requirements and market complexity have scared off many cleantech investors, Canada has still emerged as a cleantech powerhouse and launched some of the most promising, globally competitive cleantech companies.” says Zoltan Tompa, Director in BDC’s Cleantech Practice.