World’s First Manned Flight with an Electric Multicopter.

November 2, 2011

I’m not sure of the practical benefits of such a device or the market, but it’s very cool.  If I could find a way to sneak it past our accounting system, we’ll order it.


ZetrOZ – Winner of Step2Change Technology Competition

July 6, 2011

the great thing about working with is that we get to see so many interesting new technologies.  Thousands of them.  A few really impress us.  One is  ZetrOZ and their revolutionary ultrasound therapy technology.  They took first place in’s recent Step2Change Technology Competition last month.

Join us 19 July 2011, 11:00am EDT for a Webinar on ZetrOZ.

Register here for the webinar:

Read the rest of this entry »’s 11th Annual Open Innovation Conference

June 17, 2011

We hosted our 11th annual Open Innovation conference in Boston 2 weeks ago.  It was a huge success.  We talked about; trends in innovation and best practices.  A few large companies presented their learnings and plans, a few small companies presented their breakthrough technologies and we had a few case studies…..and a personal favorite – we ate lobster.

In total, we had executives from 3 Continents, with a large group from Japan.  Some of the companies  participating included; Canon, P&G, Agfa, AirProducts, Applied Materials, AveryDennison, Baxter, Bayer, Clorox, Colgate,  DuPont, Ecolab, GSK, Kimberly-Clark, J&J, Kisco, Mellon, Nissan, Panasonic, Parker Hannifin, P&G, Ricoh, Sony, DSM, Invista and NASA!   Add to this, we had 2 dozen selected small companies, with breakthrough technologies.

     I liked the robust Q&A after each presentation.  When Canon’s CTO, Dr. Ikoma-san, presented, 4 other CTOs asked questions.  You cant beat that.  Some themes that emerged

  1. Be ready for disruptive innovation from the bottom of the pyramid
  2. Regional R&D, with Global Sourcing
  3. Squash the immune response – accept ‘fuzzy data’
  4. Enable personal risk taking
  5. Engage ‘Renewal Searches’ – at the middle and the end of R&D

We spent a lot of time discussing how to optimize deals between large and small companies.  This has been a reoccurring theme are our events.  Even when there is a great technology fit, deals take more time than both parties would like. Read the rest of this entry »

Google’s Self Driving Car

March 14, 2011

By Anil Das of International Business Times

Search engine behemoth Google has been working long and hard on a ‘secret’ project towards making cars that can drive themselves. At this week’s TED conference, Google presented extremely rare demos of its much-awaited self-driving cars and the videos of the demos have hit the internet.

“Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain,” Google had said in an earlier blog post.

The automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles, it added.

The internet gaint stressed safety has been the first priority in this project and the cars are never unmanned. The company has a trained software operator in the passenger seat to monitor the software. Any test begins by sending out a driver in a conventionally driven car to map the route and road conditions. By mapping features like lane markers and traffic signs, the software in the car becomes familiar with the environment and its characteristics in advance.

The company informed, citing the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents and technology of this kind has the potential to cut the accident rate by half.

Furthermore, this technology is expexted to reduce the time of commuting and make it time efficient. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates people spend an average 52 minutes everyday commuting to the office.

Search Engine Land has posted a video of one of Google’s self-driving cars racing around a closed course. Take a look at the video to catch a brief glimpse of the future:

Read more:

Innovation Outside of the Box

March 3, 2011

Innovation is all about taking the common and regular, and changing it for the better. Here is a quick video about the reinvention of the shoe box by Puma.  At yet2ventures, we are fascinated by breakthrough consumer packaging.

Deloro Signs LOI For The Acquisition Of New Heavy Oil Property at the Wilkie Project

January 26, 2011

Electro Petroleum is a yet2Ventures portfolio company, and it’s the key partner to Deloro – Ben

January 25, 2011 Deloro Resources Ltd. (TSX.V – DLL) is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a Letter of Intent for the acquisition of a new heavy oil property adjoining the Wilkie project in Saskatchewan.

The proposed new acquisition includes 320 acres containing the rights to petroleum from surface to the top of the Precambrian, 120 acres containing the rights to petroleum and natural gas from the base of the Mannville to the top of the Precambrian and 840 acres containing the rights to petroleum and natural gas from surface to the top of the Precambrian. This property will be acquired from Canadian Natural Resources for the sum of $15,000.00 and the assumption of all environmental and reclamation obligations.
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Growth in Life Expectancy vs. Income by Country

December 16, 2010

This is a great video that shows the progression of  life expectancy plotted against average income (by country).  Professor Has Rosling narrates this four-minute clip, which plots 200 countries, over 200 years, using 120,000 numbers.

A key message here is the growth of the global middle class.  This will have a number of interesting ramifications.  First huge new markets will be created and demand for raw materials will go up dramatically.  Second, the US will need to be comfortable living in a world where the emerging markets are increasingly peers – Ben

Here is a New York Times article that mentions the video:

After you read this column, go to YouTube and search “Hans Rosling and 200 countries.” You’ll see a Swedish professor describe the growth of global wealth and well-being over the past 200 years.

He presents an animated time-lapse chart. It starts in 1810, when the nations of the world were clumped on the bottom left-hand side of the chart because they had low income and low life expectancy. Then the industrial revolution kicks in and the nations of the West surge upward and to the right as they get richer and healthier. By 1948, it’s like a race, with the United States out front and the other nations of the world stretched in a long tail behind.

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Nanopack – Clear Film Clean-Tech That is Boring and Important.

November 22, 2010

Ever heard of queous dispersions of vermiculite platelets in polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH)?  Sound Boring?  Perhaps it is.  But it is an important clean-tech advancement.  I submit the boring clean tech advancements will be the important ones, which is why yet2Ventures loves boring.  Here is the background:

Polyvinylidene Chloride

Ralph Wiley, a Dow lab worker, accidentally discovered polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC) in 1933.  Ralph, cleaned glassware in a Dow Chemical lab, came across a vial he couldn’t scrub clean. Turned out it was an excellent oxygen barrier, and it was approved for use in food packaging in the ’40s.

Unfortunately chlorine given is off by PVdC combines with moisture in the environment and forms hydrochloric acid in landfills.  A number of countries are thus making it illegal to landfill PVdC.  There has been a race to find a new clear film coating that has a high oxygen barrier at a very low cost. After a bit of a search, we found one – Nanopack and we invested in it in 2008.


Nanopack invented a coating that is an aqueous dispersions of vermiculite platelets in polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). The platelets are very small, 1-3 nanometers thick and 10-30 microns in breadth, but they are clear and block oxygen.  Doesn’t sound very exciting does it?   Well it is.

They are lower cost and are in commercial use (sales are growing nicely).  Nanopack will be one of our great success stories, but it wont be high profile, and you wont read about it in the Wall Street Journal.  But it is a financial and environmental success story.  A Huge one.

What is the learning?  Will the most important clean tech advancements will be boring?

Electro Petroleum – Positive Results in Key Oil Production Test

November 15, 2010

Electro Petroleum (EPI) hired 3 years ago.  We were so impressed with them that yet2Ventures invested.  Now EPI has investors, route to market partners, customers and is seeing real success turning dormant oils wells into productive ones.

How did this happen?

The Market

2/3 of the world’s heavy oil is to viscous to pump.  In fact there is more oil in the Canadian Oil Sands than all of the Middle East combined.  The problem is that it’s to heavy to pump.  The technology of choice was to ‘steam’ a well, meaning pump steam down a well, then pump up the oil/water mixture.  However this requires a lot of energy to steam water and to pump it down the well.  Steam condenses below about 2,000 feet, so in addition to all of the other major drawbacks, this approach doesn’t work when the oil is deep.

The Technology

Electro Petroleum uses a patented technology called EEOR – Electrically Enhanced Oil RecoverySM.  The electrical field upgrades the heavy crude through an electro-chemical process, mobilizes it through electro-kinetics, and heats it through joule or resistance heating .  Here’s a neat explanation of the technology. with a video.

What does all of this cost?  $4/barrel.

The Solution

What did do?  We worked closely with the CEO of Electro Petroleum, Phil Bell.  We introduced him to Fortune 500 companies to help vet the technology.  We found capital sources to invest.  We found oil fields who wanted to be customers, like Deloro.  After all of this, we invested too.

Now Elecro Petroleum has wells producing that were abandoned.  The first is owned by Deloro, and it’s producing more than 15 barrel per day.  Other wells are in the process and looking very positive.

The Passion

We love helping entrepreneurs like Phil Bell, commercialize their technology.  We love helping entrepreneurs find; partners, customers, capital and people.  If you have an impressive technology we’ll love helping you too.

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