“We need a different model for investing in good ideas,” said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft. He and 20 of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs think they’ve got one: Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which aims to revolutionize the clean energy sector.
Joining Gates are Jack Ma, chairman of the Alibaba Group, China’s giant e-commerce company, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson, Patrice Motsepe and Masayoshi Son. The group boasts a net worth of $170 billion.
This builds off Gates’ previous effort that began in December 2015, when he and 28 of the world’s biggest investors gathered to support breakthrough energy technology.
“Unlike a software startup, getting a new energy technology from a lab to market takes a lot of infrastructure, a lot of upfront capital and a lot of time,” said Gates, a trustee at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation. The foundation has provided billions to support global health and fight poverty.
Even as member nations plan to double investment in clean energy research, the new fund’s investments will help speed promising new technologies to the market.
Great to see so many investors come together to work towards a clean energy future. It’s a smart investment and it’s good for the planet. https://t.co/X8pBb1NAmL
— President Obama (@POTUS) December 13, 2016
“Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” Gates said in an interview with Quartz.
The $1 billion fund will focus first on energy storage, which allows a greater reliance on energy sources such as solar and wind.