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Marin’s Green Business Incubator

V greenhouse buildingStarting a new business has always been a very tough, and sometimes very lonely, job. But today, North Bay innovators now have someone on their side.  The Venture Greenhouse is an initiative of Dominican University, partnering with the city of San Rafael and a long list of support organizations, service providers and investor groups. It was conceived as “a business accelerator and incubator for social & environmental entrepreneurs and a community resource for innovators and new ventures.”

What that means is resources . . . all sorts of resources for people trying to start new green/sustainability-related businesses. This includes faculty from Dominican’s famous Green MBA program, mentors who have done it themselves, networking with potential partners, advisors, investors(!) and much more.

This video explains the idea:


You can learn much, much more at the Venture Greenhouse website.  And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to The Venture Greenhouse Almanac, their monthly e-newsletter, which is a Greenhouse news grabsort of community bulletin board for the entrepreneur community.  (Go to this page and enter your e-mail address in “Email Subscription” the box on the right.)

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Novato Installs EV charging Stations

Car at charge staThe City of Novato is going electric! The first publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging station was installed this week at 917 Sherman (near City Council chambers). The public is invited to come Downtown and use the new charger to charge their electric vehicles (and shop/eat Downtown while the car is charging!). For a limited time, charging will be free–an additional incentive to drive electric.

During the next few weeks, five more chargers will be installed at three other locations: three at the Zenk parking lot (on Reichert near DeLong), one at the Gymnastics Center parking lot (7th near Grant), and one at the Hamilton Community Center parking lot (South Palm Drive near Hamilton Parkway). These charges feature both 220 and 110 volt-charging capabilities.

Last year, the City worked with the community and City Council to identify the optimal charging locations throughout Novato. The installation is entirely funded by grants, as part of a countywide and Bay Area electric vehicle infrastructure program to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

To learn more about EV chargers, or to sign up for an account for your EV, visit the ChargePoint website .

And here are some more resources on EVs:

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Workshop Addresses PEV Finance Issues

Long banner of exotic EVsOn February 1, 2013, over 120 key stakeholders gathered at Golden Gate University in San Francisco for a workshop focused on outlining the scope of investment opportunities throughout the Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) sector, identifying barriers and obstacles to capitalization, and discussing how policy initiatives might support PEV financing mechanisms.  Renewables 100 Policy Institute helped organize the event, which was sponsored by the Offices of the California Governor and Treasurer and the California PEV Collaborative.

The workshop was catalyzed by an Executive Order issued by Governor Brown in March 2012 on Zero Emission Vehicles. This Executive Order supports the rapid commercialization of zero emission vehicles, sets aggressive targets for promoting private sector investments in California, and aims to make California a leader in the entire zero emission vehicle manufacturing value chain.

The event provided a “roll up your sleeves” opportunity to align strategies and explore emerging financing ideas to build the PEV market.  Ideas spawned at the workshop will inform next practical steps for how California tackles critical cost and infrastructure hurdles, outlines and prioritizes investment opportunities, and advances the Governor’s goals.

Read more about this event and related work at the Renewables 100 website.

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