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The Environmental Business Cluster Casino Night Fundraiser Connects California Green Businesses

Casino Night

On May 12, 2011, cleantechnology “green” business professionals from around California's Silicon Valley gathered together for an evening of entertainment, food, and gambling! “Baby needs a new pair of shoes!” - While this phrase was exclaimed more than once in the evening, we all knew the new pair of shoes was more than a material want; it was a community desire to support growth in the cleantech industry as a whole.

The event was hosted by the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC), a non-profit, cleantech business “incubator” in San Jose California, in order to raise funds to support cleantech start-ups. The food and drinks were delicious, the band and dancers were great, but the real highlight of the night was the casino tables! Each attendee was given $80 in play chips to gamble away.

The goal of the Environmental Business Cluster is to provide business assistance for emerging clean energy and environmental technology companies. The Environmental Business Cluster gives entrepreneurs a boost up by connecting them with investors, industry leaders, advisors, and service providers. EBC Services include coaching, mentorships, network opportunities, education, and provision of infrastructure (office space, conference space, etc.).

Attendees were as varied as the menu. As he mingled, Kevin Surace, president and CEO of Serious Materials, spoke of the gives and takes of cleantechnology and the need for companies to focus on one area of environmentalism (in his company's case CO2) in order to achieve success. City and State officials listened as entrepreneurs explained their technological innovation and the ways the government can support the green tech sector. Surabhi Nagrath of the non-profit Cleantech Open, shared her experience helping individuals with great ideas turn those ideas into realities.

The night appeared to be a win-win for all! The EBC raised funds to continue to support green business growth and individuals were able to network and strengthen the field as a whole. If you are an entrepreneur or inventor with a great cleantech idea, but in need of necessary resources to build a successful business, check out the Environmental Business Cluster to learn more!!