California Clean Energy Fund Evolves into New Energy Nexus

May 1, 2019


The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), California’s leading nonprofit clean energy fund has officially launched the evolution of its brand to New Energy Nexus. This better aligns with our international expansion to support clean energy entrepreneurs and startups in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, China and elsewhere. These massive markets are the frontline of the energy transition and are disproportionately experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change.

“We have expanded our team in these key Asian economies to startup startups and drive innovation in these communities. By bringing capital and connections to these markets we aim to unlock the local economic and environmental benefits of low-cost clean energy business models, which we know entrepreneurs can deliver,” said Danny Kennedy, Chief Energy Officer of New Energy Nexus. “It’s like letting a genie out of a bottle – we build incubators, accelerate some of companies with our training and fund them then before you know it there are jobs being created, competitive enterprises building new services plus cleaner air and climate solutions for everyone!”

Launch of New Energy Nexus Vietnam with local partner Saigon High Tech Park Innovation Center (SHTPIC).

“Vietnam is on the cusp of being the next frontier for clean energy implementation with strong government support, increasing energy demand from a growing population and a thriving startup ecosystem,” said Van Anh Do, Program Manager of New Energy Nexus Vietnam. “We can build the foundation for clean energy startups through local partnerships, entrepreneurial training and access to our global incubator network.”

Our strategic approach is to work with local leaders in the climate solutions space to build incubators, accelerators and funds that in turn support local startups to spread clean energy. This is what California Clean Energy Fund has been doing in California for the last 15 years, with fund-to-fund investments in dozens of companies like Tesla and SolarCentury. In the last two years alone we have invested in 50 companies in California through our program, evidence that the rate of work is accelerating but from a macro perspective it hardly compares to the pace in Asia.

The opportunity there is tremendous – as are the risks of dirty energy. This region is already home to half the human population and 21 of the 30 largest cities in the world. It will soon be home to half the world’s middle class and as the population’s standard of living increases and they urbanize, demand for modern electricity and mobility solutions grows. This is the work of clean energy entrepreneurs to create cleaner, cheaper electricity and mobility services faster and meshes well with our mission to drive innovation and build equity into the global clean energy economy.

“Our goal is for New Energy Nexus to be a global clean energy innovation platform that connects the world’s key startup ecosystems to facilitate the rapid adoption of key clean energy technologies” said Hendrik Tiesinga, Chief Strategy Officer of New Energy Nexus. “In particular we aim to build bridges between large markets that matter from a climate perspective such as China, India, Indonesia and the USA.”

A team works on a prototype during a smart energy themed hackathon in Bangkok.

After two years of testing entrepreneurial support models, partnering with local business development organizations and investors in Delhi, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City as well as servicing them with know-how from the neighboring clean energy giant, China, and global good energy actor, Germany, through their agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), we have decided to set up shop permanently in these dynamic countries. We will be hiring additional staff (scroll to the bottom) in Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok and supplement those in Singapore and Vietnam. We are also recruiting a global Development Director and Communications Manager.

“New Energy Nexus has only just begun,” said Andrew Chang, Program Director of New Energy Nexus China. “We are running hackathons and bootcamps with the world’s leading energy companies, investing in companies from California to Tanzania, and creating synergies between the players in the clean energy ecosystem. Innovation is a team sport and we’re bringing it to the biggest dirty energy markets so we can solve our collective pollution problems while uplifting communities with better business that grow value locally and create jobs. It’s a win-win-win.”

New Energy Nexus

New Energy Nexus is an international organization that supports clean energy entrepreneurs with funds, accelerators and networks. We started in California and also operate programs in China, India, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.

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