VC in 2013: Chrysalix’s Wal Van Lierop on ‘Nothing But Opportunity Ahead’ for Clean-Tech

Wal van Lierop, president and chief executive of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital.

January 2, 2013 – As the new year begins, we asked several venture capital investors to reflect on the past year and give us their outlook for 2013. Continuing our series is Wal van Lierop, president and chief executive of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital.

Van Lierop speaks about figuring out solutions to first project financing in clean-tech, a focus on cost saving and energy efficiency for heavy industry in 2013 and how it’s not time to give up on the sector.

Looking back, how would you characterize 2012?

Since Chrysalix is a pure-play clean-tech VC, I would say it was a challenging year for the clean-tech industry on the whole but at Chrysalix, we see it as one step backward in order to go two steps forward next year.

What is the most important issue that the venture capital industry faces in 2013?

Specifically for clean-tech venture capital, we as VCs need to help figure out creative solutions to the biggest challenge the clean-tech industry faces which is preventing commercialization of the innovative early-stage technologies we invest in–first project financing.

What do you see as the biggest investment opportunity for venture capital in 2013?

As many run for the hills when they hear “clean-tech,” we’re actually committing further to game-changing clean technologies around the world (through our recently-announced Chrysalix Global Network) but with a heavier focus on cost-saving, energy-efficiency solutions that solve the biggest pain points for heavy industry.

What is your New Year’s wish for the industry in 2013?

That VCs don’t continue to try and force clean-tech venture investing into the old dot-com IT model most are so familiar and comfortable with. Clean energy innovation takes dollars and patience but has a much greater reward in the end than another social media app. It’s not time to give up when there’s nothing but opportunity ahead in a sector that’s so important for the planet.

–Interview by Yuliya Chernova. Write to Yuliya Chernova at Follow her on Twitter at @ychernova