Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Charge It!

Think tech was the end-all of booms? Ever heard of something called energy?

This story appears in the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Jeff Colborn first sought financing for his energy start-up, he studied a thousand VC firms, contacted 70 candidates and met with five. "We did a couple of epic road trips where we took our prototype and showed it to VCs," Colborn recalls. "It was pretty hard."

The odyssey occupied much of 1998 and produced $2 million total from two institutional backers. Last year, Colborn's company, Metallic Power Inc. of Carlsbad, California, went for a second round. The developer of fuel cell power systems raised $6.6 million from four firms, including its original financiers and the venture capital arms of two of North America's largest public utilities, Hydro-Quebec and Allete Inc., formerly Minnesota Power. When two additional backers showed interest at the last minute, Colborn promised a third round later in the year.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks