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Guy, Robert, Naval, George & Valley A-List share knowledge at FounderConference

I attended last year's FounderConference, which was at MSFT's Mountain View campus, and captured the content of the event.  I also took a panoramic shot that Alain used for the 2011 conference, and in exchange he comp'd a ticket for me to attend this year.

As part of my goal to help entrepreneurs worldwide be more successful (i.e., my fundraising manifesto), I've captured the content of this year's Founders Conference below.  This year's event was much larger than 2010, at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, with about 500 people attending.

Electric slaves, for the common good

On Travelling light

Paul Breslow from Qbotix came to the Stanford Engineering and Applied Sciences School to speak about entrepreneurship and his current role. Qbotix came up with a fantastics idea: remove the cheap motors from all dual axis tacking systems and put a very efficient and reliable one on a robot that will travel on a rail from panel to panel to continuously optimize alignment.

The product seems like a no brainer: dual axis tracking for the cost of single axis. It also makes O&M much simpler: You only need to carry a spare robot in inventory to ensure continuous operation of your whole farm. Some VCs see a potential there, and the firm has attracted over 12 M$ of funding so far.

As with many new ideas in the cleantech field, the main impediment for sales to really pick up is the lack of track record. Many bank will refuse to finance a project where some of the used technology is experimental. I hope the 5 projects currently in operation/construction will help with this.

In my opinion they should make the IP for the the fixed tracking systems and the rail open source to panel manufacturer and solar EPC firms and lease the robots out. This should enable a much faster growth, simplify operations, make it harder for competitors to reverse engineer the robot and make potential buyers less wary of reliability.

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