Will cleantech startups be bigger than Google or Cisco?

Summary:Will Tesla Motors be bigger than Google? Will BrightSource solar be bigger than Cisco? VantagePoint CEO Alan Salzman thinks so.

Will the cleantech industry grow bigger than the infotech industry?

Alan Salzman thinks so. The CEO of VantagePoint Venture Partners -- a venture capital firm that invests in clean technology startups such as electric car maker Tesla Motors, solar panel maker BrightSource and LED light maker Bridgelux -- says the move to greener technology is just a matter of time, and his firm is positioning itself to be on the right side of the wave when it comes.

According to Salzman, innovations such as electric vehicles and renewable biofuels are in their early days -- expensive and limited, much like when flat-screen televisions and chunky mobile phones carried price tags that were far beyond the reach of the average consumer.

But if Tesla is an example of how quickly innovation has taken hold in the space -- the electric car is now half as expensive as it used to be and one "half" step away from mass affordability, in the space of just three years -- it's clear that a cleantech wave is coming.

Salzman says it will "transform the largest industries on the planet." To read how, head over to SmartPlanet's Smart Takes blog for the full rundown and interview.

Topics: Cisco, Google


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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