The state of cleantech: survey reveals optimistic mood, great opportunity in year ahead
Predictions include increased IPO and M&A activity and involvement of multinationals; need for fast growth balanced by concerns about loss of federal support and continued recession
(Newark, Calif., June 8, 2010) — Northern California’s cleantech sector appears poised to continue driving the San Francisco Bay Area’s economy, according to a recent survey by RoseRyan and other leading professional service providers.
“I’m excited that the field’s so optimistic and that most of the survey’s Bay Area respondents think the year ahead will be a good one for exit events,” notes Chris Vane, RoseRyan’s business development and cleantech specialist. “It will be a race to see who can scale the quickest and interesting to see how the role of multinationals pans out as well. People are really watching China.”
The survey covered such topics as hot growth categories, challenges and risks facing the industry, predicted IPO and M&A activity, government incentives and VC funding. Some of the top survey findings include:
- Optimism prevails. More than three-fourths of survey respondents are optimistic or highly optimistic about the cleantech sector’s growth rate in Northern California. Lighting and energy efficiency lead the pack for prospective growth rates.
- Exit events on the rise? About 70 percent of respondents predicted that Northern California would see 2 to 5 IPOs in the coming year, and most (65 percent) anticipate 1 to 10 acquisitions.
- Cleantech is truly global. Many respondents say the expansion of large multinationals into cleantech will be a trend in the coming year. And, not surprisingly, most respondents say China will see the most international expansion, with Europe a distant second.
- Fears still remain. The optimistic outlook is tempered by realism. The survey revealed a roughly equal concern about three potential spoilers that could put a damper on growth: a decline in government support, returning to a recession, and the lack of ability to grow fast enough. Access to capital and fundraising were among the chief challenges cited, and the vast majority (86 percent) said government incentives are needed to speed sector growth.
About the survey
RoseRyan conducted the survey in May 2010 in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Arbor Advisors, and Woodruff Sawyer & Company. It was designed to identify the top issues facing cleantech companies, learn what’s on the industry’s collective mind, and create a bird’s-eye view of what the sector is experiencing now and anticipating in the year ahead. Questions were sent to an extensive list of Bay Area professionals representing cleantech’s many sectors.
Download a PDF of the full survey results.
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