Batteries 101 – A Venture Capitalist View

Batteries 101 – A Venture Capitalist View

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

In this week’s Fresh Dialogues, Mark Platshon, an expert in battery technology with venture capitalists, Vantage Point , provides some Battery Basics.

What is a battery?

“Throw a dart at (two elements on) the periodic table and you can make a battery out of it…a potato and a penny can make a battery…unfortunately we have a very limited periodic table…(and remember)  Moore’s Law doesn’t apply to chemistry!”

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Why is it a hot space today?

“When did you see a $10 Billion market grow three orders of magnitude in 20 years?”

(That’s Platshon’s prediction for the growth in the lithium ion cell market as we drive more hybrid cars and new generation Electric Vehicles).

What will attract the attention of venture capitalists?

“We are looking for novelty and creativity…materials, systems, cooling…no one is going to find an execution plan because you are up against Samsung and Panasonic, the gorillas. You gotta do something that is truly novel, truly different and run like hell…cos they’re after you.”
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What about grid storage?


“We are very interested in the biggest market that hasn’t happened yet…grid storage is constipated with a lot of regulatory issues.”

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A big Problem -Shortage of electro chemists

“We graduate maybe 50 electro chemists in this country a year…(but) BYD (the China-based battery and electric vehicle company) hires about 500 a year…there’s a huge opportunity to work in this…point your kids to this cos we gotta make this happen!”

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This was recorded at SDForum’s Cleantech Breakfast held at SAP headquarters in Palo Alto on June 29, 2010. The event was expertly moderated by Jeffrey Selman of Nixon Peabody and also featured VentureBeat’s Camille Ricketts, Dania Ghantous of Qnovo Corp. and Ashok Lahiri of Enovix.


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