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Indian American Entrepreneurs Energize Green Tech Sector

Source : India West
Jan 14, 2013

Indian Americans are founding, co-founding or heading clean energy and other green tech companies at the cutting edge, according to AlwaysOn’s GoingGreen Global 200 list of top companies in green tech.

 

Many of these companies made presentations at the GoingGreen annual conference in San Francisco in November.

 

On the list in the “biotech, bio-fuel and agriculture sector” is Golden Valley, Minn.-based Segetis, led by chief executive and president Atul Thakrar, former president and chief operating officer at Boston, Mass.-based specialty materials startup Soane Energy and a former executive at Cytech Industries and Rohm and Haas.

 

Segetis, which in August raised $25.5 million in series "C" funding from Khosla Ventures and other VC funds, has designed “versatile chemical building blocks” to harness “renewable agricultural and forestry resources.” Solvents and plasticizers are the company’s first commercial products.

 

In the clean energy sector, excluding solar and biofuel, is a repeater on the list, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Bloom Energy, co-founded by CEO KR Sridhar, former director, Space Technologies Laboratory, at the University of Arizona. Bloom has created fuel cells derived from NASA’s Mars program, where Sridhar was an advisor.

 

Swapnil Shah is the CEO and co-founder and Badri Raghavan is CTO at Lexington, Mass.-based FirstFuel Software, a company in the “data center efficiency” sector. Shah founded three companies that had IPOs or were acquired: Open Environment, WebSpective Software (acquired by Inktomi) and mValent (acquired by Oracle). FirstFuel uses analytics to audit and monitor building energy performance.

 

Redwood City, Calif.-based Sentilla analyzes data center assets, including physical and virtual systems and facilities equipment. Company CEO Mike Kaul was CEO and president at diCarta, CEO of HotDispatch and held executive posts at Oracle.

 

Fremont, Calif.-based Space-Time Insight transforms disparate data into visual displays for grids and transportation networks. The start-up’s founder and CTO, Krishna Kumar, led the SAP practice at Ness Technologies and was senior VP of e-commerce at Intelligroup.

 

Another data center efficiency company, San Francisco-based Stem (formerly Powergetics), is led by CEO Salim Khan, former president and COO at Trilliant. The firm provides energy storage and data solutions to small and medium-sized companies.

 

In the “energy management, smart grid, and energy efficiency” category, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Akros Silicon supplies efficient power management ICs for network-based energy management. The company’s CTO and co-founder is Sajol Ghoshal, former COO at Calpont Corp. and engineering VP at Agere. Akros closed a financing round in November to bring total funding to $11 million.

 

AutoGrid Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm helping utilities make sense of data collected from smart meters, is headed by founder and CEO Amit Narayan, director, smart grid research, modeling and simulation, at Stanford University, where he leads an interdisciplinary modeling project. AutoGrid raised $9 million in October.

 

Veteran entrepreneur Tushar Dave is CEO and the co-founder of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based enLighted, which provides sensors and analytics to reduce energy costs. Dave was co-founder and managing director at New Path Ventures and VP of development at Broadcom. Tanuj Mohan, who held management and architectural posts at Tropos Networks, Cisco, Nevis, Novell and Hughes, is enLighted's CTO.

 

Raj Vaswani is the CTO and Anil Gadre heads product management and marketing at Redwood City, Calif.-based Silver Spring Networks, a provider of smart grid solutions. Vaswani is a former entrepreneur in residence at Foundation Capital and engineering VP at Epinions.com. Gadre was a general manager at Sun Microsystems.

 

Folsom, Calif.-based SynapSense, a provider of data center management solutions, was co-founded by CTO Raju Pandey, associate professor in the computer science department at U.C. Davis, where he led the SENSES project.

 

Transphorm, a Goleta, Calif.-based supplier of power conversion modules for motor drives and inverters for solar panels and electric vehicles, was co-founded by CEO Umesh Misha and president Primit Parikh. Mishra, a U.C. Santa Barbara professor, co-founded Nitres (acquired by Cree).  

 

In the “energy storage systems" sector, one of the 200 companies named was another repeat company, Fremont, Calif.-based energy storage firm Deeya Energy. Key executives include CFO Viraj Patel, former CFO at UTStarcom and global sales VP and India head Vijay Yadav and chief strategy officer Virendra S. Rawat.


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