TiE Hyderabad organized the ‘Largest Gathering of Cleantech Companies in India’. The conference was held in partnership with Nexus, SONG and New Ventures India. The event was a focused “no-frills” networking event of investors and entrepreneurs. The day was divided into 4 sections: Smart Grid, Energy Efficiency, Recycling and Renewable Energy. Companies operating in each area presented their business story in a small presentation to the audience and investors also talked about their investing interests.

Acumen Fund, Applied Materials, Atlas Advisory, Breathe Ventures, GEF, IDG, IFC(W), Lightspeed, Mumbai Angels, Nereus Capital, Siemens Venture Capital, SIDBI and YES Bank were the investors who attended apart, of course, from Nexus and SONG. That’s 15 investors all seriously interested in cleantech in India.

The morning sessions on Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency merged into each other as is the nature of business in this end of the Cleantech spectrum. Satyam, CEO of NeoSilica, who also played a key role in organizing the conference in his role as the TiE SIG head, presented the overall picture. The remote data collection and control idea was found in:
• Connect M, a IDG and Sasken company, develops applications that collect data remotely targeted at a broad set of businesses but also to utilities
• Autoboxx provides remote monitoring with respect to energy usage in air conditioned areas.
• Neureol which provides remote monitoring of infrastructure in telecom towers and power utilities.

The smart metering idea found resonance in:
• PowerMax Global which develops communication products that enable smart metering.
• Analogics which focuses on efficient metering and communication solutions.

The energy efficient theme was found in:
• Kakatiya Energy Systems develops lighting controls for energy efficient lighting.
• Unidyne which manufactures energy efficient air conditioning systems.
• NEST which manufacturers efficient solar lanterns.

The recycling section had the following highlights:
• E waste recycling by Ekoreco which has been one of the pioneers in this field and Greenscape. Inspite of the lack of mandatory regulation there is a market for several players in this field.
• Plastic waste to oil up-cycling by Samki Teck

The transportation sector was held up India’s pioneer in the area of electric bikes: Eko Vehicles.

The renewable energy section had several flavors. First among them was Biomass Gasification. The two presenters in this were Ankur Scientific, one of the technology pioneers in India and AllGreen Energy, which is using the technology for rural electrification.

The Biofuels section was led by Nandan, India’s leader in jethropa R&D and Indian Bio- Diesel Corporation, Baramati which is building local communities that will manufacture bio-diesel.

The hydro section had SCG India as the lone participant who is trying to develop micro hydro sites in Himachal Pradesh.

The solar section had representation from Nuetech Solar, the 4th largest player in the solar thermal area, Sharada with a broad range of products in solar and SuRe which is innovating in the solar PV area.

A presentation that was not enterprise or investor related was that of Ashok Das, representing World Bank InfoDev which explored the possibility of setting up a Innovation Center to foster and support the cleantech ecosystem.

We also had an interesting presentation from Higgs Advertising – building cleantech markets is a critical challenge.

The closing presentation of the day was made by Razvan Maximiuc of the Cleantech Group, who made the really sobering point that the pace of Cleantech in India did not match up either to the size of the opportunity or the requirements from a climate change standpoint.

Incidentally, that was probably the only time “Copenhagen” was mentioned in the conference. The challenges to cleantech entrepreneurship are closer to home.