Future360 meets Walter Schindler of SAIL Capital Partners to get the inside scoop on what VCs look for when investing in cleantech companies. These include: the team; the market; the uniqueness of product; having a sustainable business model;and whether or not the company is a leader in the space.
As an investment firm, Schindler believes VCs first invest in people. First and foremost, the quality of the team, particularly the CEO and the management team, is of utmost importance. Second, the total available market for a company’s products and services must be big. Third, a company’s technology must be unique. Fourth, business models must be sustainable, profitable and generate cash. Fifth, Schindler looks for companies that are better than every other company in its niche.
Schindler and Managing Partner Hank Habicht are responsible for co-managing all aspects of SAIL’s operations and investments. Walter focuses his energies on building powerful external networks with SAIL's global investors and advisors and providing strategic advice to the firm's portfolio companies on corporate finance, capital markets, and value realization strategies. He has deep experience in renewable energy after leading cutting-edge renewable energy and cogeneration projects at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher where he recognized early the value creation potential of cleantech investment opportunities. Widely recognized for his ability to work enthusiastically and build trust with successful entrepreneurs and management teams, he continuously looks for creative opportunities to put SAIL's global networks at the service of the firm's portfolio companies. www.sailcapital.com