Investment firm will unite corporations with energy startups

By Luke Geiver | October 02, 2012

A recently formed investment firm may make commercialization for cleantech and startup energy companies a little bit easier. Based out of New York City, Broadscale Group LLC will unite major energy and utility companies like Duke Energy, General Electric and National Grid with startup firms that offer innovative technology but lack a strategic partner or the capital necessary to succeed in large markets.

In addition to Broadscale’s work with firms like Duke Energy, the investment firm has also formed a strategic relationship with Pegasus Capital Advisors LP, a private equity fund manager that will invest in deals identified by Broadscale, according to the company. Pegasus already manages a $2.7 billion portfolio of energy and sustainable business investments.

According to Andrew Shapiro, founder of Broadscale, his firm will help address market challenges “that have made it difficult for many groundbreaking energy companies and products to achieve mainstream success.” The combination of significant capital requirements, complex regulations and long adoption periods that prevent startups from passing through the pre-commercial stage referred to as the valley-of-death, will be the focus of the new investment firm.

The company will offer access to strategic sources of capital for the startups, while also giving large corporations access to well-screened investment opportunities and innovations, according to Broadscale. “Capital is necessary, but not sufficient,” Shapiro said. “New models of collaboration are needed to scale up breakthrough solutions.”

Before his work at Broadscale, Shapiro was the CEO of GreenOrder, a strategy and consulting firm that worked with over 100 large corporations on energy and environmental innovation. And, Shapiro also founded GO Ventures, an investment firm that works with cleantech startups.

There are currently no startup company collaborations in the investment firm’s portfolio, but the company does note that more network partners similar to Duke Energy are coming soon.