In this era of tightening travel budgets, mounting time constraints and Skype, it’s growing harder to justify expensive trips to industry events and conferences. But as entrepreneurs and investors get bogged down in ever-more emails, Tweets, blogs and Bloomberg terminals, it’s more important than ever to break through digital screens and meet future business partners face-to-face.
How can busy venture capitalists decide which conferences offer the best bang for their buck? We’ve compiled a list of the five most important industry events during the second half of 2013.
Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF-Wall Street), June25 – 25, New York City
Organizer: Euromoney and ACORE
Ticket Cost: $2,499
This high-level finance conference, “the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.” meets for its 10th year in 2013. It attracts over 600 senior decision makers including CEOs, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors and venture capitalists.
Topics will include: Clean transportation; increased collaboration between natural gas and renewables; innovative financing solutions; renewable energy corporate finance; and state policy developments.
Top Speakers: Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, David A. Cohen, Managing Partner, E7 Ventures, “Skip” Grow, Managing Director – Head of Clean Technology Group, Morgan Stanley,Lyndon Rive, Chief Executive Officer, SolarCity, Pat Eilers, Managing Director, Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, Jeffrey Eckel, Chief Executive Officer, Hannon Armstrong.
Renewable Energy Finance Forum—West Coast, Sept 16-17, San Francisco, CA
Organizers: Euromoney and ACORE
Ticket Cost: $2,499
This event, in its sixth year, focuses on West Coast developments. Last year it attracted 400 industry leaders.
Topics to be discussed include: Project financing, venture capital, financing smaller projects, equity financing, renewable power generation, and emerging and established technologies.
Speakers will include:Dan Adler, President, CalCEF, Michael Butler, CEO,Cascadia Capital,Colleen Calhoun Senior Executive Director, Energy Ventures of GE, Ira Ehrenpreis General Partner Technology Partners, Nick Eisenberger Founding Partner, Pure Energy Partners, Terry Grant Managing Director Marathon Capital, Dan Oros, Partner, Kleiner Perkins, Nancy Pfund Managing Director, DBL Investors, Ethan Zindler Head of Policy Analysis, BloombergNew Energy Finance.
South By Southwest ECO, October 7-9, Austin, TX
Cost = $325
Cheap! Big! This event attracts about 2,000 people every year, with a focus on connecting people across all sustainability sectors. In addition to a diverse set of presentations from the public, private and academic sectors, this conference will include a hackathon and a startup showcase with new companies across the greentech, cleanweb and social impact categories. Topics include: energy, design, entrepreneurship, conservation, restoration, food and agriculture, policy, technology, water.
Judges for the startup showcase include: Rachel Barge, Greenstart, Brook Porter, Kleiner Perkins and Ryan Kottenstette, Khosla Ventures, Blake Burris, The Cleanweb Initiative.
Global Cleantech Summit and Gala, Oct 9-10, Washington, DC
Organizer: Cleantech Group
Each year, the Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Gala brings leading entrepreneurs together with the corporations, government leaders, investors and service providers who are shaping the way clean technologies are financed and deployed. The Cleantech Group also announces its Global Cleantech 100 List and associated report on the top 100 private companies in clean technology.
Verge, Oct 14-17, San Francisco, CA
Organizer: GreenBiz Group
Ticket Cost: $1,475
This event brings together innovators, entrepreneurs public officials to explore the opportunities for radical efficiencies created through technology advancements in energy, buildings and transportation. Topics will include: resilient cities, sustainable mobility, next-gen buildings, and the food-energy-water nexus
Speakers so far include: Lyndon Rive, Founder and CEO, SolarCity,Matt Rogers Founder and VP of Engineering, Nest Labs and Amory Lovins Co-founder, Chairman & Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Industry Growth Forum, Dec 4-5, Denver, CO
Ticket Cost: $1,200
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is the nation’s top laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency R&D. The Forum attracts leading cleantech venture capital and investment banks, and draws business development executives from global energy companies looking for strategic investments and partnering opportunities. It will feature presentations from 30 emerging clean energy companies, panels led by thought leaders, one-on-one meetings and networking opportunities.
**We’ve also updated our conference calendar with dozens of other industry events, check it out.