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http://www.petroalgae.com/docs/press/PetroAlgae and Sky Airline to Bring Green Jet Fuel to Chile.pdf
Mon November 15 2010 11:23:17 PM by Shankar petroalgae  |  skyline

Cyanotech financial results

Cyanotech Corporation (nasdaq capital market:CYAN), a world leader in microalgae-based, high-value nutrition and health products, today announced financial results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 2011, ended September 30, 2010. 
Second Quarter 2011 
For the second quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2010, revenues were $3,834,000 compared to revenues of $3,925,000. Gross profit was $1,652,000, with gross profit margin of 43%, compared to gross profit of $1,762,000 and gross profit margin of 45%. Net income was $526,000, or $0.10 per diluted share, compared to $599,000, or $0.11 per diluted share. 
Trailing 12 Months 
For the trailing 12 months ended September 30, 2010, compared to the trailing 12 months ended September 30, 2009, revenues were $15,486,000 compared to revenues of $14,642,000. Gross profit was $6,449,000, with gross profit margin of 42%, compared to gross profit of $6,137,000 and gross profit margin of 42%. Net income was $1,304,000, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to $1,369,000, or $0.26 per diluted share. 
'We are pleased with Cyanotech's solid performance in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, and we saw key positive trends reflecting our new sales and marketing initiatives,' said David I. Rosenthal, Interim President and CEO. 'International sales of bulk products were down slightly in the second quarter, which we believe resulted from the timing of orders by major customers. At the same time, our U.S. mainland sales of Nutrex Hawaii-branded consumer products, in which we are focusing on retail outlets, grew 15% from the first quarter of fiscal 2011 to the second quarter. A portion of this success can be attributed to our new program instituted during the second quarter where we are actively educating domestic retailers on the benefits of Cyanotech's products.'

Cash and cash equivalents were $783,000 at September 30, 2010 compared to the March 31, 2010 balance of $817,000. Working capital increased to $5,950,000 at September 30, 2010 compared to $4,942,000 at March 31, 2010. 
For the second quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2010, Spirulina sales accounted for 49% of total revenues and natural Astaxanthin sales for 51%. International sales were 41% of total sales compared to 37%. 
First Six Months 2011 
For the first six months of fiscal 2011 compared to the first six months of fiscal 2010, revenues were $7,690,000 compared to revenues of $7,946,000. Gross profit was $3,311,000, with gross profit margin of 43%, compared to gross profit of $3,495,000 and gross profit margin of 44%. Net income was $925,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to $1,012,000, or $0.19 per diluted share. 
About Cyanotech -- Cyanotech Corporation, a world leader in microalgae technology, produces BioAstin(R) Natural Astaxanthin and Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica(R)--all natural, functional nutrients that leverage our experience and reputation for quality, building nutritional brands which promote health and well-being.
 Cyanotech's Spirulina products offer complete nutrition, and augment energy and immune response. They are FDA reviewed and accepted as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use in food products. BioAstin's superior antioxidant activity and ability to support and maintain a natural anti-inflammatory response enhance skin, muscle and joint health. 
All Cyanotech products are produced from microalgae grown at its 90-acre facility in Kona, Hawaii using patented and proprietary technology. Cyanotech distributes to nutritional supplement, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical manufacturers and marketers in more than 54 countries worldwide. 
Cyanotech was the first microalgae company in the world to obtain quality management standards ISO 9001:2000 certification and is GMP-certified by the Natural Products Association(TM). Visit www.cyanotech.com for more information.
Mon November 15 2010 11:15:33 PM by Shankar BioAstin  |  natural astaxanthin  |  spirulina

Sanfrancisco Solazyme and Lestrem, France, Roquette tie up !

Solazyme has been in news for its sale of algae oil to the US Navy and its order that it got from Department of Defence. Not just that. They went thru another round of funding while all the early investors NOT exiting. They tied up with a Japanese food giant and with Unilevers. 
Now comes the announcement of Solazyme's JV with Roquette Nutritional.
I dont know when algae to oil is going to happen at affordable prices. But it looks like algae tonutrition additives, cosmetic additives are all going to happen soon, for sure. 

 Solazyme, Inc. the Californiabasedleader in renewable oil and bioproducts and Roquette Fr?res, the global starch and starchderivativescompany headquartered in France, today announced that they have signed a joint venture (JV)agreement for the production, commercialization and market development of microalgae-derived foodingredients, subject to regulatory approvals and notifications.

The JV is being formed to launch an entirely new category of natural, healthy and functional ingredientsbased on microalgae that provide superior nutritional properties along with outstanding taste and texture.
Solazyme-Roquette Nutritionals plans to launch a variety of oil, protein and fiber based products aimed atdelivering improved performance with a vastly superior health profile compared to ingredients in themarket today.

The JV, which will be 50% owned by each parent company, will be named 
Solazyme-Roquette Nutritionals, and will be operational by the beginning of 2011. The JV?s management team and board ofdirectors will be drawn from both parent companies with Solazyme?s CEO, Jonathan Wolfson serving asthe initial CEO of the JV. 
Roquette will fund and build a JV-owned, commercial-scale manufacturingplant with capacity in the tens of thousands of tons of annual production, sited at a Roquette corn wetmill. In addition, Roquette will provide upfront licensing payments to Solazyme and working capital tofund the JV until reaching profitability.

This JV combines Roquette?s history and capabilities as a global food ingredient supplier withSolazyme?s highly innovative microalgae-based technology.
 Like Solazyme, Roquette has been activelydeveloping a microalgal nutritional platform and runs the ALGOHUB? program while currently sellingalgae-based nutritional products.

 Roquette also possesses strong global manufacturing assets, and accessto carbohydrate feedstock in multiple geographies through its network of highly efficient mills. 
Inaddition, the JV will leverage Roquette?s large, global nutritional sales force to stimulate rapid marketentry and provide access to major food companies worldwide. 

The merger of Roquette?s extensiveresources with Solazyme?s revolutionary microalgae-derived food ingredient technology, which includesheart-healthy algal flours and oils, will provide solutions that improve both product functionality andnutritional profile in large market food ingredient applications.

'Roquette is a family-owned company with outstanding values which create the basis for a long-termrelationship with Solazyme. Beyond that, Roquette provides a total package including feedstock,manufacturing and applications expertise, and robust sales, marketing and customer relationships,' saysJonathan Wolfson, CEO and co-founder of Solazyme.
'Combined with Solazyme?s technology, the jointventure is extremely well-equipped to commercialize revolutionary natural products into the food industrythat provide all of the performance benefits consumers have come to expect, while providing theimproved nutritional profiles they deserve.'

'Solazyme and Roquette share a very clearly-defined vision that microalgae will provide a major newclass of food ingredients and we enter this JV very enthusiastic about the future? says Guy Talbourdet,CEO of Roquette. Marc Roquette, Chairman of Roquette continued, 'We believe that along withRoquette, Solazyme possesses the most innovative microalgal food ingredient technology in the world,and we look forward to using our extensive skills and assets to help bring this technology to market.'# # #

About Solazyme:

Solazyme, Inc. is a renewable oil and bioproducts company and the leader in algal biotechnology.Founded in 2003 and headquartered in South San Francisco, Solazyme?s unique technology producesrenewable oils and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities quickly, efficiently and at large scale.These oils and biomaterials provide replacements for fossil petroleum and plant oils in a diverse range ofproducts running from clean fuels and chemicals to cosmetics and foods.
 Solazyme?s oils providecompelling solutions to increasingly complex issues of fuel and food scarcity, energy security andenvironmental impact while fitting cleanly into the pre-existing multi-trillion dollar production,distribution and consumption infrastructure. Solazyme?s investors among others include Morgan Stanley,Braemar Energy Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, The Roda Group, andVantagePoint Venture Partners. For more information, please visit our website:http://www.solazyme.com

About Roquette Fr?res:
Founded in 1933 in Lestrem (Nord Pas de Calais ? France), the ROQUETTE Group is one of the world?sleading starch producers. As a bio-refiner, it converts renewable natural resources (such as wheat, corn,potatoes and peas) into a range of ingredients for the food processing, chemicals and pharmaceuticalsindustries. Reliability, expertise, innovation, anticipating needs and supporting its customers lie at theheart of ROQUETTE?s products and services.
 Keen to build on its leadership position while continuing toinnovate and diversify, this family-run business has made nutrition one of its key areas of development,expressed in tangible terms through an ambitious, dedicated research program, NUTRAHUB?. The aimof this program is to generate value from functional ingredients derived from plant raw materials, inparticular microalgae.
 These last offer high potential in Nutrition and Health, and ROQUETTE Groupruns a dedicated Research Program ALGOHUB?, with partners, launched 2 years ago, to develop newingredients solutions. ROQUETTE has the objective to develop microalgae and extracts as high valueaddedingredients. By the creation of this JV, ROQUETTE Group confirms its will to be a major actor inthe microalgae industry, worldwide. For more information, please visit our website:http://www.roquette.com

For More Information Contact:Lia LoBello Genet GaramendiPeppercom Solazyme212-931-6180 650-963-5228llobello@peppercom.com ggaramendi@solazyme.comPhilippe Caillat Marie-Laure Empinet Gina
source http://www.roquette.com/deliaRessource/ressource_id-4146/ressource_url-/deliamedia41/4146_453c57.pdf

Algae Tec Australia to revise Issue document

Australian Securities & Investments has asked Algae tec to  revise its documents, after closer scrutiny of its documents.
Supplementary prospectus documents were issued by about 50% of groups conducting initial public offerings in 2009-10. Closer scrutiny by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission was one reason. Many floating companies also had to add new information due to changed circumstances. Among those being requested by the watchdog to issue new documents were Algae.Tec and My ATM Holdings, both of which are yet to list. 
Wed November 10 2010 03:11:51 PM by Shankar Australia  |  algae tec  |  algae to oil

Algae tec public issue - to revise document

Australian Securities & Investments has asked Algae tec to  revise its documents, after closer scrutiny of its documents.
Supplementary prospectus documents were issued by about 50% of groups conducting initial public offerings in 2009-10. Closer scrutiny by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission was one reason. Many floating companies also had to add new information due to changed circumstances. Among those being requested by the watchdog to issue new documents were Algae.Tec and My ATM Holdings, both of which are yet to list. 
Sun November 07 2010 11:34:16 PM by Shankar algae tec

Bio diesel and US Navy

Bio Diesel and US Navy  Part 1

Robert Rapier's column reporuduced here

On Tuesday, October 19, 2010 I conducted an interview with Tom
Hicks, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Energy). The
idea for the interview originated from my recent essays on Solazyme (here and here)
in which the Navy?s investments in biofuels were discussed. After the
Solazyme essays were published, Consumer Energy Report editor Sam Avro
contacted the Navy for comment, and they offered to set up an interview
with Mr. Hicks.

assigned to Riverine Group 1 conduct maneuvers aboard Riverine Command
Boat (Experimental) (RCB-X) at Naval Station Norfolk. The RCB-X is
powered by an alternative fuel blend of 50 percent algae-based and 50
percent NATO F-76 fuels to support the secretary of the Navy's efforts
to reduce total energy consumption on naval ships. (U.S. Navy photo by
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory N. Juday)

I was joined by Sam, and our questions below will be denoted as RR  or   SA.   Mr. Hick's responses are TH. 

The goal of the interview was
simply to distill down for a general audience what the Navy is trying
to accomplish. The interview went on for over 40 minutes, so it will be
broken down into multiple parts.

RR: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself .? What brought you to this job?

TH: Shortly after college I began working for the
Navy as a civilian. I started the energy program for what was then Navy
Public Works Center  Washington. That was really doing energy
efficiency efforts in the tens of millions of dollars throughout the
region. That was kind of early 90's. 

From there I went to the EPA,
where I created Energy Star for Buildings. Instead of Energy Star for
Computers and many other things that you are probably familiar with  I
created the application for buildings while there.

 I implemented that
and ran it for a number of years and then went on to the U.S. Green
Building Council, where among other things I headed up the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
rating system for a couple of years, and I also started and ran the
international program there as well.

 From there, this opportunity came
back, and it was a way for me to in many ways come home, back to Navy,
and kind of apply both my energy and green building roots to what the
Navy's aspirations were.

RR: In talking to people, I think a lot of people
don?t really understand the relationship between the Navy and the
companies you work with. For example, are you doing your own research,
or only funding outside research? So what exactly is your scope,
particularly as it relates to biofuels?

TH: As you probably know, the Navy, as with the Army
and Air Force ? we purchase our fuel through what used to be called
DESC (Defense Energy Support Center) and is now DLA ? Energy (Defense Logistics Agency).
So we all purchase our fuel from them to power the fleet. For us it?s
mostly JP-5 and F-76 and a little bit of JP-8 through DLA Energy.

terms of research, what we are doing ? and this stems from the
Secretary?s vision and goals that he laid out in October 2009. What he
laid out was what the Navy is going to do going forward in the future. 

 There are goals about energy efficient acquisitions, but the two that
are the most relevant here are sailing the ?Great Green Fleet? which is
an idea that hearkens back to the ?Great White Fleet?
around the turn of the last century that Teddy Roosevelt sailed; this
idea that in 2012 we will put a carrier strike group in local
operations entirely on alternative fuels and then in 2016 we are going
to deploy that strike group on all alternative fuels.

 So that?s one
marker. The other is that by 2020, 50% of all of the Navy?s energy
consumption will come from alternative sources. Those are the kinds of
guideposts, the vision that we are working toward. In terms of the
research, what we are doing today is doing the research, testing, and
certification on all the engines in our inventory. 

That includes all of
our surface vessels, as well as all of our aircraft, and testing them
to use a 50:50 blend of biofuels, and whatever the case may be; JP-5,
JP-8, or F-76.

RR: So you are testing fuels, but not actually trying to produce any yourselves?

TH: No, that?s really not our role to play in this
market. There are many other entities that are in that space, and we
are looking to utilize those fuels in the blends I mentioned before.

RR: Thanks, that helps clarify one point. So, what
are the primary drivers for this, and what is driving the timelines? Is
this coming from policy, where they are saying ?We really need this?,
or from scientists saying ?We can do this??

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Thomas W. Hicks.

TH: I think what?s driving it for us is that we see
it as enhancing our war-fighting capabilities. It is about becoming more
energy independent, more energy secure, and playing what we consider a
leading role, not only in the Department of Defense, but in the
Federal Government in seeing the realization of an energy efficient

 That?s what?s really driving us, and that?s consistent with the
President?s objectives for the Federal Government, and we see ourselves
playing a leading role in that. Having more homegrown, secure,
independent sources of fuel is going to be critical to us to be able to
complete our mission going forward.

RR: The U.S. Joint Forces released a report earlier in the year (see this story)
that warned of the potential for a 10 million barrel a day shortfall by
2015. I am wondering about your opinion on that. Oil supplies, short
and long-term; do you think that?s going to be an issue?

TH: I am not an expert in those areas. I can
probably point you to some people who are. I was at a conference
yesterday, and I understand we currently have about a 500,000 barrel
per day surplus, which is pretty tight, but I can?t really comment on

 But of course as we pursue this effort, what we are looking to do
is to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. By going for these
alternative fuels and biofuels, we can find more independent, secure

SA: Sam here. If I could go back to the original
question posed by Robert, where he asked what is driving the changeover
towards alternative fuels and greener energy; is it more of a policy
thing, which you explained to us and obviously we understand the
importance from a security aspect, and about that no one is going to
argue about, but I think Robert?s question was more about whether it
was wishful thinking. More like ?We would love to be in a position to
be less reliant on crude oil and the sources we are getting the crude
oil from? ? or is it the scientists telling you ?This is something we
can do?? So the question is really, ?Is this something we can do, or
something we hope we can do??

TH: Certainly from a technical perspective, as we
are proving out through our testing and certification program, the fuel
works just as well as other fuels. The blend, the fuel; is transparent
to the operator. These are drop-in, so from that perspective it works.
So I am not sure if that answers your question from a scientific

RR: I think the question is, ?Can they deliver?? I
agree with you that these are drop-in fuels (we are specifically
talking about synthetic fuel replacements, not biodiesel or ethanol),
as I have seen lots of testing on them. But are the companies realistic
about the timelines in which they can deliver?

TH: Well, I think that?s one of the key things we
are sending out is a demand signal to the market. So what we are saying
is that by 2012, to test the fleet and do the local ops that I
mentioned with the Great Green Fleet, we need 8,000 barrels of biofuel.
To deploy that in 2016, we need 80,000 barrels. Those are certainly
quantities that ? we have talked to industry ? and they will have no
problem with delivering. By 2020, we go from 8,000 to 80,000 to 8
million barrels, is what our need is to meet that goal of 50%
alternative fuel. So if we were to sit passively back and not send out
the demand signal, perhaps we would have a different outcome. We choose
a leadership position, and part of that position is sending out a
strong demand signal to the market, that if you can deliver this; if
you establish this; if you can meet it at a competitive cost long-term,
then this is something we are going to commit to. So again, we are
going through the entire certification and testing of every engine in
our fleet, including the diesel back-up generators on our carriers.

SA: I just want to clarify one point. So you are
telling me, obviously I understand your strategy for getting there, but
you are confident that this strategy will take you to a point, where I
have seen the Secretary of the Navy say that they want to be sure that
50% of total energy consumption will come from alternative energy
sources by 2020, and reducing the use of petroleum by 50% in the
commercial fleet by 2015; so you think those are viable goals?

TH: Those are viable goals, and those are goals that
are driving our strategies, and driving our budget to make those goals
a reality. And again, it?s not just the Navy; we send I think an
important demand signal, but if you look at us relative to commercial
aviation we are very small, but at the same time I think we represent a
very powerful part; and we are also doing this through partnerships
with others; whether it?s USDA in trying to create a vibrant biofuel
market in Hawaii, or it?s working with DLA Energy to make sure they
understand what our needs are, and when we will have those; it?s also
working with DOE, through their loan guarantee program and other
investment programs into biofuels; we are working all those groups to
really make sure that a market takes off on biofuels. We are doing
everything within our control to do that.

Thu October 28 2010 03:14:48 AM by Shankar 1 Algae biodiesel  |  biodiesel  |  US Navy  |  Robert Rapier

Crazy idea that may have a nonzero chance of working,

This is an article by By Tiffany Hsu ofLOS ANGELES TIMES. Its about what kind of crazy ideas get funded and how the investors have a huge risk appetite where the returns have considerable potential.
Even 90 % of investments fail, if the other 10% hit the jackpot, they have made it.Read on. Not all cases discussed are about and algae and the two algae cases discussed have nothing unique.over all the article gives  a view of the investment scene from the eyes of the investors.Shankar

Tue October 19 2010 06:50:18 AM by Shankar 5 VC  |  Vinod Khosla  |  Tony Blair  |  investors  |  ideas

Venture funding down !! again !

. In Q3, cleantech investment declined 59 percent, to $625 million, from $1.5 billion in the previous quarter.And thats what hurts sentiments as a whole and more in cleantick.

Three months ago, things were looking up for startups seeking venture capital. Now it seems that optimism was misplaced, according to the latest Moneytree Report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
Venture funding has followed an unsteady path to recovery since the economy collapsed at the end of 2008. Venture rounds plummeted at the beginning of 2009, and they?ve been climbing since then, the climb hasn?t been consistent. Investments fell in the first quarter of 2010, rose dramatically in Q2, and now they?ve fallen again.
So here?s the big number: During Q3 (July to September), venture firms invested a total of $4.8 billion in 780 deals, according to the report. That?s a 31 percent drop from the $6.9 million invested in Q2, and it didn?t even match the $5.8 billion invested during Q3 of 2009.
In a conference all discussing the numbers, Flybridge Capital Partners? Michael Greeley suggested that Q2 may have been an ?anomaly?, and the lower investment levels seen in Q1 and Q3 may be the new normal.
?Firms that are active are seeing quite healthy deal flow,? Greeley said ? but the industry is consolidating and the number of active firms is falling.
Much of the unpredictability in venture capital can probably be attributed to cleantech. Since venture investment into the cleantech sector tends to be dominated by a few big deals, the amount invested varies widely from quarter to quarter. In Q3, cleantech investment declined 59 percent, to $625 million, from $1.5 billion in the previous quarter.
Still, other industries were down too. Biotech investments fell 32 percent. Internet investments fell 25 percent. The average deal size fell from $7.5 million to $6.2 million. And the number of early-stage deals fell from 454 to 358 (though as a percentage of overall deals, the number of early-stage financings remained the same).
The report was compiled using data from Thomson Reuters.

Fri October 15 2010 04:33:51 AM by Shankar venture funding  |  algae venture funding  |  cleantech funding

Biofuels IPO, is the time right ?

An article in Venture Beat, by Iris Kuo foresees that Petroalgae's public issue may fail or be withdrawn which is what i predicted some time ago.
There is no mention of AlgaeTec issue, which also I expect to falter.
I have not followed  Bioalgene much in the past. I understand that they are running out of cash. The present path for algae biofuel companies that are running out of cash is to follow Aurora Algae. That is reposition from Aurora biofuels to Aurora Algae.That is co products first and fuels next. Hope Bioalgene will also follow the same.Read the article below
Biofuels company Amyris had its IPO last week, and the results were considered a decent exit for some of its investors (mostly its early-stage ones). But don?t expect that to have any effect on fellow biomaterials IPO hopefuls Gevo and PetroAlgae or to give a lift to the lesser-known and struggling Butalco or Bioalgene.
?I think we?re starting to see the wheat be separated from the chaff in terms of the companies in this space that have a legitimately good technology and a good business model," said Mark B?nger, research director for Lux Research.
One example of so-called chaff may well be PetroAlgae (pictured below), which filed in August for a much-derided $200 million IPO despite having no history of revenues, ever. The company is expected to withdraw or see the IPO flop big-time. Gevo is looking to raise $150 million, and its chances may be a little better ? B?nger says the company "has a plan and technology that can work ? but they?re also a little early and trying to raise a lot of money."
As planned IPOs approach for some companies and funding begins to run out for others, consider it a reckoning of sorts for the biofuels and biomaterials industry. 
Despite government incentives (like the recently passed $1.01 per gallon tax credit for algae fuel makers) and billions invested, biofuels and biomaterials companies have been slow to make a dent in the market ? perhaps in part because of the capital-intensive nature of the industry. According to a recent report by Lux Research, global biofuel capacity represents only three percent of petroleum fuels, while bio-based materials have only grabbed one percent of the market from plastics.
Biofuels and biomaterials companies face both risks and opportunity. The cleantech IPO market is less than ideal: Biofuels player Codexis IPO?d in April at the low end of its range, raising $78 million, far short of its $100 million goal. Battery startup A123 systems had a superstar IPO last September, ending its first day of trading at $20 a share, but now trades in the $8 range. Trony Solar and Solyndra both recently pulled their IPOs.
But there?s hope. Biofuels are expected to grow 7.8 percent each year to hit 52 billion gallons by 2015, and biomaterials will grow at 17.7 per year to reach 8.1 million tons by 2015. Last week, Amyris and smart meter maker Elster both IPO?d below their forecasted ranges, but both companies have held steady in trading. And a year ago, Amyris likely would have struggled with going public at all. Despite okay-not-stellar debuts, Amyris and Codexis seem to have a solid shot at success.
"Amyris and Codexis actually have legitimate business models," B?nger said. 
"If the stars align oil prices with the environment they can be phenomenally well positioned not just to be profitable but to be landmark companies in the way Google and Microsoft defined that age."
Over the next few years, it looks like the sector will become more defined ? companies will have to show they can weather the struggle to scale to commercialization and grow, or fall victim to lack of funding. Here?s a look at the winners and losers, according to Lux Research:
WinnersCoskata and Enerkem, which specialize in technologies that convert waste feedstocks into ethanol. Enerkem just opened a plant in Canada and earlier this year got a $51.5 million infusion of cash from Waste Management.Solazyme, which has an R&D deal with Unilever and raised $52 million in August. The company?s outlook is good, said Lux research associate Andrew Soare, "thanks to strong partnerships and technology that circumvents the costly dewatering step that precludes other algae companies from cost parity."Virent, which is trying to commercialize a process that turns sugar into the hydrocarbons that can be blended into fuel. It, too, has strong partnerships with companies like Cargill, Honda and Shell.
LosersButalco, which makes technology that genetically optimizes yeast to improve biofuel yields. It lags competitors in terms of scale, which, Soare says, may prove crippling.Bioalgene, an algae-based biofuels company based in Seattle. The company has a ?serious need? for cash and may be forced to make other algal products that are higher-value ? similar to what Aurora Algae is attempting to do in a rebranding that ditched its Aurora Biofuels moniker.Syntec Biofuel, which, like Enerkem and Coskata, plays in the waste-to-ethanol business. However, it has been struggling to get funding for over a year, and the benefits of its technology are not clear.

Mon October 11 2010 04:24:45 AM by Shankar petroalgae  |  algaetec  |  bioalgene

Biotech Investors ? Where are they?

Bioenergy PROFITS Principle, Position Only For Growth

by Digest columnist Dr. Rosalie Lober
All companies are scrambling for the small pool of funds that exist in our current economy.
  For many in the biofuels industry, the high costs of commercialization include building expensive plants with costly machinery and chemical processes.

How can you prioritize and target what you really need in this economic environment by streamlining your current needs, determining what must be done to stay in business and also attract investors?

Position Only For Growth

Ask penetrating questions
  Know your company from your customer's perspective

Take risks that are calculated ! not crazy?..Kathie Black, President of Hearst

We are in a risk-averse environment.  Investors do not want creative ideas and possibilities.  They want what will work and produce immediate revenues.  This makes it difficult for a biofuels related company that wants to pursue a range of opportunities.

Ask penetrating questions What do I want to accomplish?What is the current state of my business?What is required for my company to become more profitable?
You will have to take a hard look at your financials.Are profits growing at a minimum of 10% or more annually?
How did your investments/assets contribute to specific areas of profit?
What other business practices improved profitability?
What did not work and why?
What percentage of profitability resulted from existing customers? 
 Are these customers segmented into specific tiers?
What percentage of profitability resulted from new customers?  
Are these customers segmented into specific tiers?

After you review the cold hard facts, you may have to make some difficult decisions.  For examples, What if your profitability from existing customers decreased over the past year? 
 What might you do differently?  
How will you explain this to potential investors?

Most biotech executives are faced with a dual dilemma: 
dealing with the regulatory hurdles to win FDA product approval and ensuring a consistent flow of capital to fund the company's R&D efforts. 
There are no real shortcuts to navigating the government rigors of scientific scrutiny.

'We primarily look at industry dynamics and use proprietary models to determine the potential peak sales of a biofuels pipeline versus, how a company is currently valued,' notes Bryan Knepper, senior biotechnology analyst at Columbia Management.
Are you willing to step up and speak to the needs of your company's financial needs and ask for the money?
Are you willing to develop the attitude that you need investors and not approach them with hostility and resentment? 
 For many biofuels executives, attitude can be a serious shortcoming.  It is difficult for many executives to literally turn over control of the company they designed and operate on a daily basis to investors who may know little or have little interest in what the company stands for, its history and evolution.

Be proactive, contact us directly, and be straightforward about the pros and cons of the development programs during the introductory meeting,? counsels a venture capitalist.
I especially like companies that do their homework and apply stringent selection criteria to the pipeline candidates in early development, instead of rushing into Phase III to attract financing.?

'Small- and mid-cap companies are best served by having representation at major investor meetings,' advises Knepper. 'There are a variety of avenues to allow for both public and private companies to reach the buy-side. 
Once there, data is the key in our view of whether or not we want to invest in your company.'

Another source of funding to consider are grants. Academics still in the research stages, might qualify for government grants for equipment and staff salaries.
 There are grants available for academic collaborations with industry to facilitate invention commercialization In the USA, funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) comes with certain policies that must be followed. 

Universities that have recognized the potential of their research programs have organizations to help commercialize the discoveries of their scientists.
Know your company from your customer's perspective
What are your customers buying?  What is the basis of their choices?  How do you  measure up to your customer's standards?  How do customers perceive your products and the way you operate your business?

As small or medium-sized business entrepreneurs, you can also apply this best practice of understanding what you are truly selling from the customer's perspective to increase your size of the customer wallet. 
 When you know your customer and what they spend their share of wallet on, you will know what else your customers and their customers want to buy to augment what they recently purchased.

One source of funding to explore is the Angel Investor.

These are individuals with money or capital that invest privately in new businesses, and you might be able to get anywhere up to, or over $500K.  
A typical Angel Investor will typically demand a large share of the company, which means more control.

 However, you might actually benefit from their experience and advice. Most angels know how to negotiate with you about operating the business and their share of control.
Like Angels, Venture Capitalists will also demand a fair amount of control over your operations and decision-making, but venture capital is a valuable resource, and common source of funding in the biotech industry.

 The VC will also rally around the business, helping with management, promoting it and providing contacts, to protect their investment, which can often be up to several million dollars.
 On the other hand, most venture capitalists want things on their terms and view your company as a profit stream for them.
You may also look into loans for new businesses.  Creating a solid business plan is essential when approaching a loan source. It is usually easier to get a small business loan if you already have paying customers. 
If this is not an option, you can try for a personal loan.

  However, if the business fails, you still have to repay the loan. Although the amount of funding may be less than with investors, when you start with debt financing (loans, lines of credit and credit cards) you demonstrate to investors that you have faith in the company and are willing to take risks to make it work.
It is important to ask: "What do next-gen biofuel companies offer the biotech investor?"
You may have answers that appeal to investors.  Some of the answers you may have are that you offer well known products.  You may provide early revenue and earlier profits with less dilution. 

 You may offer global opportunities and many future possibilities for continued growth.  These are benefits you will have to carefully demonstrate to investors with concrete financials and other specific information.

Global energy needs are anticipated to rise dramatically over the next decades with the reduction of fossil fuel use and environmental impact. 
 The next-generation biofuel companies are unlikely to see these major trends reverse anytime soon. Time will tell whether traditional biotech investors will move into these next generation biofuel companies.

Position Only For Growth is one of the seven Bioenergy PROFITS Principles. These Bioenergy PROFITS Principles highlight proven principles to running your business more effectively and are featured in Dr. Lober's forthcoming book, DELIVERANCE:  From the Valley of Death to Sustainable PROFITS in Bioenergy. (Ascension: 2010).
Thu October 07 2010 03:21:55 PM by Shankar 3 funds  |  VC funding  |  biotech investors