Where's IBM dipping its green-tech toes? Check out these four companies

Harry and I have loads of fun poking around the Web sites of the big companies pouring lots of money into the green tech movement to see where their money is actually going.Recently, I had an opportunity to speak in some depth with one of those investors, Drew Clark, who is cofounder and director of strategy for IBM's venture capital group.

Harry and I have loads of fun poking around the Web sites of the big companies pouring lots of money into the green tech movement to see where their money is actually going.

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak in some depth with one of those investors, Drew Clark, who is cofounder and director of strategy for IBM's venture capital group. (Harry spoke over the summer with Clark and his colleague, Peter Williams, IBM's CTO for "Big Green Innovations.) As Harry mentioned previously, the IBM team isn't investing directly in these companies. Rather, it works in tandem with venture capitalists to identify companies that might extend its own green tech portfolio, or ecosystem, if you will.

One of the companies in that ecosystem is Synapsense, which produces technology for capturing and acting on data from wireless sensors that measure data center environmental conditions such as heat or humidity. IBM is piloting the technology in one of its data centers in Gaithersburg, Md., to assess how it might create related project management and integration services that it could offer through its services arm, according to Clark. Here's some recent coverage about SynapSense.

Three other companies that IBM is feeling out as the basis of new enterprise offerings of its own: - GridPoint, which provides technology for managing the distribution of power across the electrical grid depending on various conditions, such as demand; - Sensicore, which makes sensors for measuring water quality; AND - Fat Spaniel, which is involved in renewable energy.