Episode 39 – Cleantech Investing With Cynthia Ringo of DBL Investors
November 11, 2011
In Episode 39 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on November 5, 2011 on Green 960 AM radio), show host Dick Lyons speaks with Cynthia Ringo, Managing Partner of DBL Investors. Cynthia was also on a panel at the California Cleantech Innovation Conference held in Oakland on November 2-3, which the firm sponsored. And on the heels of his recent trip to Korea, Dick presented at the conference discussing issues cleantech companies should consider when looking to expand in global markets.
DBL Investors is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm with a double bottom line investment strategy. They focus on companies that value their communities and the environment, in addition to favorable profits. What kind of companies are in their portfolio? A pretty wide range, many with names you’ve heard, representing a variety of aspects of the cleantech economy, including alternative energy, solar, green vehicles, bio materials and fuels, and lighting.
Cynthia and Dick discuss the types of companies that appeal to DBL. They find themselves working with companies in almost a proprietary manner to develop social, environmental, and economic benefit in communities in which the companies operate. Portfolio companies are generally looking to transform neighborhoods and communities.
Of course, DBL is an investment firm, so financials and returns are measured as one might expect. But beyond that, twice a year DBL also issues a report to their investors on a number of qualitative and quantitative metrics that they employ to analyze the portfolio on factors such as the number of jobs created in low- to moderate-income areas, employee diversity and opportunity, and green initiatives.
The conversation explores the topic of international growth for cleantech companies. Dick and Cynthia discuss issues related to when companies should start to consider the foreign market opportunities, as well as hurdles, including foreign certifications and entity ownership and partnership requirements imposed in some jurisdictions. Many countries (such as China and Korea) require the company to form a joint venture with a party in that country, raising possible complications to protecting intellectual property, among other challenges.
Take a listen and then drop us a line with your thoughts on impact investing and the market for cleantech innovation in the current economy.
Tune in at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2011, to hear Dick’s conversation with the Chairman and Executive Editor of GreenBiz.com, Joel Makower.
Listen to the interview with Cynthia Ringo: Episode 39 of The Wendel Forum (27:43 min, mp3)
DBL Investors: http://www.dblinvestors.com/
California Cleantech Innovation Conference: http://www.grow-california.com/conferences/clean-tech-innovation/
Dick Lyons website bio: www.wendel.com/rlyons
Green 960 AM radio website: www.green960.com