Picture 16GreenBeat 2009 may be the first conference we’ve hosted in the environmental space, but it wouldn’t be a VentureBeat event without emphasis on investors and innovators. Our Innovation Competition will spotlight some of the most promising technologies and business models in the Smart Grid business, hopefully attracting the right backers.

On Thursday, Nov. 19, our “Follow the Money” panel will give some of the most active investors in the grid a chance to talk about what they look for in the companies they choose to fund. Entrepreneurs attending this panel will get the inside scoop on the trends venture capitalists and investment bankers are seeing in cleantech and grid innovation, how federal stimulus money is shaping their next moves, and the killer apps they see on the horizon.

So sign up now — you still have two days! And if you already have a ticket, follow breaking conference news on Twitter at @greenbeat2009.

GreenBeat’s Innovation Competition drew an avalanche of applicants from every corner of the Smart Grid — from software providers to meter makers to demand response firms and home energy monitor startups. We can’t say too much about our 10 finalists, as each will get star turn at the event on Thursday — some are even officially launching at GreenBeat, and we don’t want to steal their thunder. We will however, give you an exclusive taste right here (in no particular order).

  • Grid Net — Maker of interoperable network management software utilizing 4G wireless communication products for the Smart Grid.
  • Viridity Energy — Provider of a software platform that runs microgrids covering college campuses, office parks and neighborhoods.
  • CPower — A demand response firm that helps utilities and companies manage peak energy loads to prevent disruptions.
  • Consert — A demand response company enabling real-time data analysis and the distribution of renewable energy credits.
  • R2EV — Maker of portable rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles to take pressure off the grid. Look for a big announcement at the event on Thursday.
  • Control4 — A home automation company that not only conserves power, but coordinates home entertainment with a universal remote.
  • Locust Storage — Stealthy, launching at GreenBeat 2009. Stay tuned!
  • BuildingIQ — Stealthy, launching at GreenBeat 2009. Check them out on Thursday, Nov. 19!
  • Current Group — Provides the network and data management infrastructure to integrate any grid device, including sensors, meters and IP communication systems. Look for a big announcement at GreenBeat.
  • Econetix — Stealthy, launching at GreenBeat 2009.

This list was honed by the competition’s panel of judges, including Tim Carey, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Craig Lobdell, director at KPMG, Sunil Paul, founder of Spring Ventures, and Rich Wong, partner at Accel Partners. The contest will also be hosted by Navin Chaddha of Mayfield Fund. The ultimate winner will be announced on Thursday, nabbing a coveted spot at DEMO Spring in 2010.

Just as it would behoove investors to attend the two Innovation Competition sessions scheduled for the second day of the conference, startup execs would be well-served to attend the “Follow the Money” panel that same day. Featuring Accel Partners’ Peter Wagner, Credit Suisse’s Bryce Lee, Goldman Sachs’ Brian Bolster and Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s Don Wood, the discussion will look ahead to the Smart Grid companies that will get funded next year, and in five years.

VentureBeat’s strength lies not only in bringing interesting technologies to the fore, but explaining where and why they will get the money they need to scale. At GreenBeat 2009, we’ll apply this microscope to the grid, sussing out the hottest ideas in the space, and maybe even what the next blockbuster cleantech IPO will be. With companies like Silver Spring Networks and SmartSynch in the running, it could very well come out of the Smart Grid.

We’d also like to acknowledge our strategic partners: Vantage Communications, DEMO, Matter Network, and Fora.TV; and our sponsors: Accenture, Southern California Edison, Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund, Oracle Utilities, Schwartz Communications, Cisco Systems, CPower, CSC, S&C Electric Company, and KPMG.
greenbeat_logo721325523-1VentureBeat is hosting GreenBeat, the seminal executive conference on the Smart Grid, on Nov. 18-19, featuring keynotes from Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr. Register for your ticket today at GreenBeat2009.com.