Internet bigwigs are putting their money on cleantech

Some people know a good investment when they see one: Steve “Founder of AOL” Case, Bill “Founder of Microsoft and Stoopid Rich” Gates, and John “Early Investor in Amazon and Google” Doerr. Now they’re seeing in green technology what they once saw in the internet, and they’re putting their considerable financial clout behind “greentech” like car-sharing programs and ethanol refineries. Other tech-oriented big guns, like Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, are also getting involved, particularly in biofuels. The greentech sector is small but growing: In 1999, companies working on clean technologies attracted just 1 percent of venture capital investment funds; now that figure is between 5 and 8 percent. According to Doerr, who’s set up a $100 million green investment fund, “Greentech could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century.” Speak it, John!