Log out
My profile and settings
My bookmarks
Comment history
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign in to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
Back to profile
Comment Items
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
Saved Posts
You haven’t bookmarked any posts yet.
“By the middle of this century, the world will use twice as much energy as we use today.”
read more
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Sign up
Personal Information
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Cancel
Save
Address
Cancel
Save
Email and Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Send me Gates Notes survey emails
On
Off
Send me the weekly Top of Mind newsletter
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Interests
Select interests to personalize your profile and experience on Gates Notes.
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Account Deactivation
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process.
If you would like to permanently delete your Gates Notes account and remove it’s content, please send us a request here.
Energetic Start-Ups
Entrepreneurs Hold the Key to Solving Many Big Challenges
I recently had a chance to meet with about two-dozen startup companies working on truly breakthrough technologies. Not all will succeed, but many will, and that’s exciting because they’re going to help us tackle some big problems—like producing sustainable clean energy and nutritious food to feed a growing world population.
|
0

For me, meeting with entrepreneurs developing products that can help us solve the world’s big challenges is really exciting. Recently, I spent two days in Silicon Valley getting to know several dozen startup companies that are on the leading edge of product development—in energy generation and storage, agriculture, building products, and information technology

In much the same way that innovations over the last 100 years have dramatically improved the quality of life for much of the world’s population, many of the companies I met with will make contributions to generating affordable, clean energy, producing nutritious food products to feed a growing world population, and contributing in other ways to a better world.

Several of the companies I met with are backed by Vinod Khosla, who runs Khosla Ventures and is one of the most astute venture capitalists in the world. You can read about the companies Khosla is backing on his website, but I’ll mention a few here:

  • Great Point Energy has developed a process to convert coal into natural gas. Natural gas is a less dirty way to produce electricity, especially compared to burning coal, and the Great Point technology is especially important for the U.S. because we have such huge coal deposits. The cool thing about Great Point’s water-based catalytic technology is that it dramatically speeds the conversion process from coal to natural gas that takes nature thousands or even millions of years to accomplish.
  • EcoMotors International’s radical redesign of the internal combustion engine uses 50 percent fewer parts. It’s also more efficient, lighter, and less expensive than the gas and diesel engines we use today and could significantly increase fuel economy and lower emissions. Although the internal combustion engine has been refined over the last 100 years, EcoMotors’ OPOC (opposed piston, opposed cylinder) engine could bring huge efficiency gains in cars, trucks, and marine transport. I’ve written previously about EcoMotors. Take a look at this graphic that explains more about their OPOC engine.
  • KiOR has developed a process to take biomass such as garbage or wood chips, put it through a big furnace, and catalyze it into what they call a “renewable crude oil”—which can then be processed into gasoline, diesel and other fuels using standard refinery equipment. Because biomass feedstocks are so abundant, KiOR’s technology could help us become less dependent on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new clean-energy jobs in rural areas.

I’ve personally invested in several of the companies Khosla is backing because I share his belief that we need to invent new clean energy sources and replace our existing energy infrastructure. We also agree that for this kind of bold innovation to take hold, both venture capital and governments have important, distinctive roles to play. While venture capital is often good at exploiting near-to-medium term market opportunities, governments and universities are the key providers of fundamental research which fuels other innovations.

The portfolio of companies Khosla is backing is impressive. They really showcase the kind of breakthrough innovation that’s possible and that we need so much more of to improve the health and lives of the poor and maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

Read this next
NEXT
Comments
posting ...
Please verify your email in order to make comments. Click here to resend verification email
Sorry, duplicate comments are not allowed. 
Sorry, that HTML is not allowed. 
Sorry, something went wrong. 
In order to comment you must be a Gates Notes Insider. Please sign up or log in to continue. 
Be the first to leave a comment.
Comment Locked
Comments more than 2 months old are locked. For more information, contact us.
Report
Delete Comment?
Deleting this comment will remove replies to this comment by you and others as well. This action cannot be undone.
Delete Comment
Why do you want to report this comment?
It's annoying or not interesting
It's abusive and/or vulgar
It's spam
Report Comment
Your report has been submitted.
Close
Save
Cancel
Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback. Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined?
LOG IN
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined? Log in
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Use your social account:
Or sign up with email:
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
Sign up
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. Please continue to the log in page.
Log in
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
This email is already registered
Finish
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
You're in!
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
Upload a profile picture
Choose image to upload
Uploading...
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Email and notification settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Select your interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Finish
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent