Venture Capital Subsidises US Universities

Konarka have become the latest ‘nanotech startup’ to raise over $100 million without getting a product to market, adding $45 million in a “Series F” funding round. While the technology and ambition always looked good, I don’t suppose that in 2001 anyone imagined that the company would still be passing that hat around on an annual basis in 2007.

It’s quite a feat, although one recently managed by another solar company, Nanosolar , and does illustrate how what seemed to be a three to four year exercise in getting technology to market has turned into and eight to ten year research project, something that clearly needed a bit more time in the lab. It’s not necessarily a bad thing from  macro economic point of view, as the VC industry has already saved the public purse half a billion dollars or so in nanotechnology research funding, something that we should perhaps add to our economic model.

Konarka are lucky to be focusing on the right nanotech  applications, and have successfully exploited the huge amounts of capital chasing too few decent deals in both the nanotech and clean tech booms.