Thursday, October 25, 2007

DOE IAP Internships

Just a heads up that we are working with the DOE to get internships for MIT students for the month of January. While it is a bit frustrating that it has taken so long and we still don't have the description, when(maybe if) it comes through, it should be very good. That is the way the DOE seems to work.
Some very good people down there but there is far more important work to be done then there are resources. MIT Grad and Energy Club member, Brian Curtis, is now doing work for the DOE and is a friendly face in the headquarters building at 1000 Independence Avenue. Jacques Beaudry-Losique is the Program Manager of the Biomass Office and a good friend of MIT and has been a frequent visitor to MIT to assess the Biomass lay of the land here. Craig Cornelius, the head of their Solar Energy Technologies Program was here a little over a week ago to meet with students and also came to Energy Night (and was duly impressed -- Kudos Matt Albrecht and team).
More on this as soon as I know and thanks to David D again for moving things forward and providing this platform for efficient and timely communication.
If some of your are interested in this internship and can't wait, send me your resume and a short cover letter and I will get it in the right person's hands at DOE and that may accelerate the process.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DOE: Department of ..... Entrepreneurship??

DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Alexander Karsner (who spoke at MIT earlier this semester), announced the creation of a new DOE "Entrepreneur-in-Residence" program this week, in which three entrepreneurs/VC's will be in residence at DOE Labs for the term of one-year to find and build companies around DOE technologies that are ready for start up prime time. The DOE will committ up to $300K to the program in its first year.

One more example of the new consensus that new venture creation will be at the core of solving our energy problems in our new energy era where climate and oil depletion/security have come to center stage. I credit Vinod Khosla's evangelism for getting this ball rolling. Even Nobel Laureate and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Steven Chu has been quoted as saying that scientists are realizing that publishing papers is not enough, a blasphemous thought to most scientists in the past.

This is one of a series of very interesting and exciting DOE initiatives designed to unlock the commercial potential of DOE's rich portfolio of energy research and researchers. For example, the DOE organized a Venture Capital Technology Showcase in Washington, DC to attended by a number of local energy investors and entrepreneurs.

And I have it on good authority that there are some other very exciting DOE energy entrepreneurship iniatives coming around the corner.... Stay tuned here for some interesting announcements in the near future! :)

Aulet on "What's Wrong w/ Energy Investing" - Not Enough Energy Entrepreneurs

Bill Aulet, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the MIT Entrepreneurship Center published the 2nd of a couple of very interested blog posts on "What's Wrong with Energy Investing" recently.

A very nice article and great comments by MIT Energy Club members including: MIT alum and former MIT Energy Conference Managing Director Brian Walsh, who is now doing energy VC at Nth Power in San Francisco; MIT alum Bilal Zuberi, currently with GeO2 Technologies; Jay Fiske, Principal at the MA Green Energy Fund; and the beloved Energy Club co-president James Schwartz.

Bill's main point is that it takes a very unique and special entrepreneurial skill set to be a successful energy entrepreneur and that the limiting reagent in the current roiling broth of energy innovation and deployment is the supply of good energy entrepreneurs.

Hopefully the new MIT Energy Prize, in which the MIT $100K Competition and MIT Enterprise Forum Ignite Clean Energy Business Presentation Competition are joining forces, will help alleviate this....

Anyone interested in injecting more energy entrepreneurship events/content/resources into the MIT Energy Club should get in touch with Club Entrepreneurship Chair Curt Fischer, MIT PhD student and co-founder of C3 Bioenergy, an MIT energy startup..... (curt(att)mit(dott)edu.)