CMEA made its first commitment to CGI in 2007 to invest $100 million in green energy companies. The commitment was fulfilled in less than two years, and CMEA has now committed to invest another $100 million in alternative energy over the next three years.
“The collaboration platform that President Clinton’s vision created has facilitated CMEA’s ability to forge important strategic relationships with like-minded partners, who have invested significant capital alongside CMEA in alternative energy companies,” said Jim Hornthal, Venture Partner at CMEA Capital and CGI Member. “CGI brings together a critical mass of global change-makers, and we are proud to be a small part of this important movement.”
CGI Commitments to Action are initiatives designed by its members to relieve poverty and/or support education, the environment and healthcare. Members may develop a new business model that generates social, environmental, or economic value or provide financial or in-kind support to an organization of their choice. The program has affected the lives of more than 200 million people in 150 countries since its inception in 2005. For example, CGI members have cut CO2 emissions by 60 million metric tons, protected or restored 33 million acres of forest and given 48 million people access to better health care.
CMEA Capital has already invested in fourteen alternative energy companies over the past seven years and helped to create nearly twenty-thousand jobs in the process. As part of its initial 2007 commitment to CGI to invest $100 million in alternative energy, CMEA helped fund several companies that have created much-needed manufacturing and green collar jobs in the U.S.
“The alternative energy sector is finally ready to take off. For the first time in history, environmentally-friendly methods for producing energy like solar and wind power are becoming inexpensive enough to make mainstream adoption a reality instead of just a pipe dream,” said Thomas Baruch, Founder and Managing Director, at CMEA Capital. “With the right financing, this sector has the potential to get our economy out of the doldrums by providing millions of new jobs while simultaneously combating our reliance on fossil fuels.”
CMEA portfolio company Solyndra, a developer of photovoltaic systems for solar power, is currently building a second factory in Fremont, CA. Solyndra estimates that the construction of its second factory will employ over 3,000 people, the ongoing operation of the facility will create over 1,000 jobs, and the installation of Solyndra systems will generate hundreds of additional jobs. Solyndra’s two factories will produce enough solar panels over their lifetime to cut over 350 million metric tons of CO2 emissions or 850 million barrels of oil. Solyndra is the first company to receive a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. It was granted a $535 million loan guarantee to help fund its second factory.
Another green CMEA portfolio company, A123 Systems (AONE), is a producer of lithium ion batteries for automobiles. A123 has strategic partnerships with Chrysler, GE, Daimler, and Think, and recently announced plans to build a factory in the U.S. A123 has also been recognized by the U.S. government and was awarded $249 million in Recovery Act funding in early 2009. A123 was one of a handful of companies to make an initial public offering in 2009.
Danotek Motion Technologies, a manufacturer of wind turbine generators, was also funded by CMEA as part of its initial CGI commitment. Danotek has opened a world-class manufacturing center in Michigan dedicated to a type of industry not normally associated with the region: the production of electric generators for wind turbines. The 40,000 square foot Danotek facility has the capacity to produce up to 4,000 generators per year, creating 150 professional and skilled jobs, as well as opportunities for local components sourcing, and other services such as forging, casting, machining, and electronics assembly.
About CMEA Capital:
CMEA Capital provides capital to entrepreneurs and investors in the life sciences, information technology, and energy & materials sectors. Through its combination of solid scientific credentials and seasoned management expertise, CMEA identifies, funds and manages new businesses based on the emerging, interdisciplinary science required to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing global economy. The firm currently manages seven funds representing investments in excess of $1 billion. CMEA has been an early stage investor in many leading companies, including A123Systems, Codexis, Entropic (ENTR), Flextronics (FLEX), Magma (LAVA), Maxygen (MAXY), Silicon Spice (BRCM), Solyndra, and Symyx (SMMX).
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 14 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,400 commitments valued at $46 billion, which have already improved the lives of 200 million people in 150 countries. Commitments made at the 2008 Annual Meeting are expected to affect almost 160 million people. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship; and MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make their own Commitment to Action. CGI will hold its Fifth Annual Meeting September 22-25, 2009, in New York City. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.