Monday, November 21, 2005

HBS Cyberposium: Energy Panel

Okay, I've been trying NOT to spill the beans and tell all the secrets from Saturday's Cyberposium event, but ironically, the best panel was not about technology ... despite the event having a decided high-tech focus, but more likely the best panel was the one hidden away in Aldrich that concerned itself with energy.

"Energy?" you say.

Yep. Any entrepreneur worth his salt is heading in that direction.

Funny, it echoed something that happened to me last year. I interviewed my buddy pal Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet, currently a VC at Polaris Ventures, we talked about technology, technology, technology and I ask him "Okay, Bob, what's the next big thing?"

He says, "Energy start-ups."

"Whoa," says I.

And damned if that wasn't exactly what the panel at the Cyberposium said.

Check out who was there. Eric Strasser, Ken Kerne, Howard Berke, Michael Rucker, and John Stevens.

When Eric Strasser spelled out how desperately needed energy solutions and innovations are and what momentum this is creating worldwide, and Howard Berke talked about how the three absolute drop-dead requirements for life on this planet -- clean air, clean water, clean food -- are all dependent on how we solve the energies crises and how they all explained the Third World is in dire need of improving their energy grids in urban and rural communities in the next 10 years, it seemed a no-brainer. It's the hottest place to be starting a startup and solving the world's problems all at once.