Darkstrand opens a high-speed artery between corporations and researchers

The Internet was invented for researchers. But today, Internet data transfer speeds are too low for many types of scientific collaboration. So researchers have built their own, smaller networks, operating outside of the Internet, one of which a company called Darkstrand just bought into for a new startup idea.

Ultracapacitors for electric cars looking more likely

According to most experts’ expectations for electric cars, the vehicles will be fueled mainly by batteries. But there’s a dark horse competitor for energy storage: ultracapacitors, devices that store energy in an electric field. Three companies, Apowercap Technologies, Eestor and Maxwell Technologies, are looking increasingly likely to commercialize that technology.

Brightstorm nabs $6M, launches into the booming online education market

While politicians spend plenty of time arguing over education, parents and students seem to be resigned: Public school just doesn’t cut it. As demand for alternate instruction rises, new Internet offerings are blooming. The latest is Brightstorm, which today announced $6 million in first-round financing from Korean investor KTB Ventures.

Energy and carbon measurement startup AMEE raises $1M

AMEE, short for “Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine”, calls itself a platform to track “all the energy data on Earth.” That’s an ambitious goal, but the company is better known for simply tracking CO2 emissions and helping others to reduce their energy consumption.

Cobalt Biofuels gets $25M for biobutanol

Usually when a startup classifies itself as a biofuel company, it makes one of two fuels: biodiesel or ethanol. However, there’s a range of alternatives that could be commercialized, one of which Cobalt Biofuels is after: biobutanol, a liquid fuel that is more similar to gasoline than ethanol.

Synthetic Genomics turns to palm oil with $8M investment

Craig Venter is famous for discovering and modifying microorganisms, but his biofuels company, Synthetic Genomics, plans to take the research a step further by sequencing the genome of the oil palm plant.

Eventful nabs Ticketmaster partnership, new funding

Online event-listing portals have been trying for a long time to get a cut of ticket sales. One of them, Eventful, seems to have finally gotten the Grail: a partnership with Ticketmaster, one of the world’s largest ticketing companies.

Transbiodiesel raises $1.5M for biodiesel production

Transbiodiesel, an Israeli biodiesel startup that has a unique technology to produce the fuel, has taken $1.5 million and signed a cooperation agreement with an unnamed large United States biodiesel company, according to Globes.

Concentrating solar outfit Soliant Energy gets General Electric investment

General Electric seems to be covering its bases when it comes to solar power. The company, which four months ago bought a controlling stake in thin-film solar panel maker PrimeStar Solar, has added concentrating solar to its portfolio with a $2.5 million bet on Soliant Energy, based in Monrovia, Calif.

Shadowy government project spins off Siri to help direct your affairs

Conspiracy theorists will love this one: A computerized assistant that can help you manage your day to day life, built atop an artificial intelligence platform developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the United States’ internal military research group. Siri, the startup building the assistant, is today announcing $8.5 million in venture funding.

ISE raises $5.5M for hybrid city buses

ISE, a bus manufacturer located in Poway, Calif., has raised $5.5 million of a planned $25 million fourth round of funding, according to peHUB.

Standard Solar raises $8.5M for solar systems

In a sign investors may be warming up again to the residential and commercial photovoltaics market now that Congress has finally approved the extension of renewable tax credits, Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Standard Solar has secured $8.5 million in second round funding from Truecast Capital and a number of private and institutional investors.

Novozymes gets $12.3M for cellulosic ethanol enzymes

In many ways, commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production still seems a long way off. It’s still marked by high costs and low efficiencies. But these limitations haven’t dissuaded prominent investors from taking the plunge, with VCs like Khosla Ventures pouring over $400 million into startups like Verenium, Mascoma, Range Fuels and Coskata in recent months.

Industrial Origami funded with $17M for metal-folding magic

If you start looking for waste in industrial processes, it’s usually not hard to find. Industrial Origami got started by looking at items like boxes, bins, shipping equipment and server enclosures, and figured out a way to reduce material usage in those items.

GangaGen raises $1.8M for bacteria treatments

GangaGen is a biotech company that’s working on bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect and destroy bacteria. The company raised $1.8 million to develop treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections like pneumonia and MRSA, a skin infection that plagues hospitals.

Fuel-efficient diesel engine maker EcoMotors raises $5.25M

EcoMotors, a company that was unveiled earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, raised $5.25 million in its first round of funding, according to peHUB. The raise from Khosla Ventures was reported when the company launched, but the amount was not disclosed.

Redwood Systems gets $4M for commercial building LEDs

Redwood Systems, a Danville, Calif.-based firm that wants to help businesses conserve energy by converting to LED lighting, has raised $4 million in first round funding, according to PEHub.

Ausra picks up $60.6M more to become first solar thermal company on the grid

As badly as the rest of the business world seems to be doing, renewable energy just keeps picking up steam. There has been a string of recent financings going to solar panel makers, financiers that help consumers and businesses buy solar installations, and now solar thermal company Ausra.

Zvents, moving its events search to mobile, raises $24M

Zvents, a San Mateo, Calif. company that has been building an events-based search engine for several years, must be on the right track: It just raised $24 million from a set of investors including Nokia Growth Partners, AT&T and NAVTEQ.

Wind Power Holdings snags $37M for wind turbines

As the rest of the economy tanks, the cleantech sector has remained buoyant, with investors continuing to dump cash into wind, solar and other renewable energies. Banking on a recent wave of enthusiasm for wind power, Barre, Vt.-based Northern Power Systems announced that its parent company, Wind Power Holdings, has raised $37 million in first round funding.

Solar Power Partners reaches $100M in funding for renewable power sales

Another solar-as-a-service company, part of a growing industry that helps to install and operate solar panels, is ballooning in size. Solar Power Partners, a Mill Valley, Calif. startup that only had $6 million in funding a year ago, is announcing that it has reached $100 million in funding with some $60 million more available for project financing.

Ostara secures $10.5M for wastewater-to-fertilizer technology

Vancouver, Canada-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Systems is the latest in a series of companies to make its business converting waste into useful products — in this case by removing nutrients, like phosophorus, from wastewater and recycling them into fertilizer. The water treatment firm has just raised $10.5 million in private equity financing from VantagePoint Venture Partners and Foursome Investments Limited.

Electric Power Research Institute gets $1.7M for wave power research

The Department of Energy (DoE) has been conspicuously doling out grants left and right to support several clean energy initiatives in recent months. The latest beneficiary, to the tune of $1.7 million, is the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which will use the funds to develop and test advanced water power technologies.

Sencera nabs another $15.6M for solar cells

While the overall economy may be in a bad spot, investments in green funds and renewable energy startups are showing little sign of waning, with solar firms like SoloPower, Nanosolar and AVA Solar leading the way. Its financial prowess may not match that of its better established competitors, but Charlotte, North Carolina-based Sencera isn’t doing too badly either, capping a second round of funding with $15.6 million from Quercus Trust.

Verimatrix raises $20M for TV content security

Verimatrix, a company that develops software and equipment to keep cable television from being illicitly intercepted by non-paying customers, has raised a third round of funding.

Utopy takes $7.5M for speech analytics

San Francisco, Calif.-based Utopy makes a software package called SpeechMiner, which allows companies to analyze customer audio to discover market trends and behavior.

InMage gets $15M for enterprise data backup

InMage Systems, a data backup and recovery company that serves small and large enterprises, has raised $15 million in a round led by Intel Capital.

ForteBio raises $25M for life science analytical instruments

ForteBio is a Menlo Park, Calif. company that makes instruments for biomolecular analysis in the life sciences. Its instruments can measure proteins, DNA, RNA and other small molecules without the use of labels.

Sustainable Spaces raises $6M for efficient, environmental homes

It’s difficult to nail down exactly what Sustainable Spaces does, because the San Francisco company seemingly has its fingers in every aspect of home construction and retrofitting. The company does everything from testing for leaks and dangerous gases, to replacing lighting with more efficient bulbs, to installing solar panels.

Smart grid company GridPoint heaps on $120M and buys electric vehicle startup V2Green

GridPoint, one of the largest of the smart grid startups, who aim to more intelligently distribute energy across the electrical grid, has more than doubled up on its prior funding with $120 million. Along with the new money, it has bought out V2Green, which makes software for electric vehicles to efficiently plug into the grid.

Connectiva raises $17M for telecom infrastructure

Connectiva Systems, a New York, NY-based telecommunications software company, has raised $17 million from NEA – IndoUS Ventures, IFC, SAP Ventures and Ovation Capital.

Pentadyne Power raises $22M for flywheel energy storage

Pentadyne Power, a Chatsworth, Calif.-based developer of flywheel energy storage systems, has just closed a $22 million financing round, led by return investors. The company didn’t disclose the identity of its backers though it has previously received support from Rustic Canyon Partners, Loudwater Investment Partners, Nth Power, Energy Innovation Portfolio and others.