Green Economy

Published on November 14th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Green Inventions Site OnGreen to be an eBay for Inventors, Inventor Hopes

November 14th, 2010 by  

Got a great green tech idea? Here’s a chance to pitch it at a site that is designed to connect VC Investors with great ideas. Like eBay or Etsy, OnGreen has formatted the site into a kind of ready-made shopfront. Unlike eBay or etsy, the product being sold is not a physical thing, but an idea. Since it is the sale of an idea, it requires that the seller justify why the idea solves a problem.

This forces the wild and crazy inventor to think through some of hard questions that entrepreneurs face, for example:

What does your idea do?
Who would want it?
How many of these people are there?
Who else already makes something that solves this problem?
Why is yours better?

Here are some of the questions:
“What challenges or risks does the technology face for commercialization?”
“What makes the technology/business unique and have a defendable competitive advantage?” Here’s one example. You can see how the format really does force a rigorous review on the inventor/start-up.

OnGreen hopes to become the world’s largest database of green inventions, and to create funding opportunities for these through its platform. The site owners’ Blue Marble Ventures in Los Angeles and China Southern Hong Kong Investment Ltd in Shanghai appear to have been formed to invest $1.4 million in the idea.

If nothing else, the site serves a useful purpose in that it will force start-up hopefuls to think through just why their invention is just what the world needs. One of the problems with GE’s Ecoimagination Challenge that we covered here was the scarce details in the ideas.

So now’s your chance to get that brilliant idea out there and see who wants to fund it. But better hurry! The grand opening event is on Tuesday in Los Angeles!

Susan Kraemer@Twitter

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

  • Wilmot McCutchen

    The garage sale approach, where all the offerings are laid out in a big jumble, increases the work necessary to examine the submissions. GE got 3,500 ideas submitted, and quickly the old ideas got buried by the flood of new stuff, most of which looked to be of poor quality. The inventions should be classified narrowly so that interested parties may go quickly to what they are looking for. One example is the Patent Office’s Manual of Classification. The classification effort would also force the putative inventor to become aware of what else has been done in the field.

    • I agree. The benefit seems to be more for the startup, that it forces inventors through the soul searching process, than for the prospective funder

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