Generate’s Jigar Shah tapped to rev up the Department of Energy’s loan office. The lending program, mostly moribund for the past four years, “is back in business,” declared Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Shah pioneered no-money-down solar installations at SunEdison and went on to co-found Generate, an investor, owner and operator in microgrids, HVAC systems, biogas converters, charging depots, wastewater treatment and other categories of sustainable infrastructure (see, “Generate Capital raises $1 billion to scale sustainable infrastructure-as-a-service”). The department’s loan programs office has $40 billion in capital to speed the low-carbon transition. “He’s going to help us put together an indomitable portfolio of investments for American taxpayers, that will help us tackle climate change and create jobs,” Granholm said. “We’re ready to invest in advanced vehicles, carbon capture, advanced reactors and so much more.” The office, established by the 2009 stimulus bill, supported solar makers – including, famously, Solyndra – and helped Tesla build its first factory, but languished under the Trump administration. Shah will step down as Generate’s president. Scott Jacobs remains CEO; chief investment officer Matan Friedman will re-join the company’s board.
Sponsored by Conduit Capital and Conduit Connect
A new fund to launch the decade of purpose. Looking to meet the appetite of retail and professional investors for genuine and measurable impact investments, Conduit Capital and Ascension Ventures have launched The Conduit EIS Impact Fund to invest in high-impact businesses sourced by Conduit Connect.
Dealflow: Follow the Money
Chicago-based venture funds aim to bridge funding gaps for overlooked founders. Three-quarters of the record $130 billion in U.S. venture capital funding last year went to startups in California, New York and Massachusetts. Chicago Ventures, Lightbank and Cleveland Avenue are looking to even the playing field with new funds based in and focused on the Midwest.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
Michael Herskovich is named global head of stewardship at BNP Paribas Asset Management… Prime Coalition is hiring a director of impact in Cambridge and a partnerships associate in San Francisco… UN Women is hiring a strategic partnership specialist in New York... Google is accepting grant applications from Black tech startup founders in Europe… Tideline’s Ben Thornley hosts “Climate Investing with True Impact” with Nuveen’s Allison Spector, Prime Impact Fund’s Amy Duffuor, Brookfield Asset Management’s Natalie Adomait and Rede Partners’ Jeremy Smith, Tuesday, March 9.
“It’s a great time for new entrants, but for those of us who’ve been doing this for a while it is equally urgent to raise our game right and to not get complacent,” said Margot Brandenburg of the Ford Foundation.