We love hearing from our alumni, especially when they fill us in on all the interesting things they are doing in their lives post-Island School! Dominique Keefe, alumna of Spring 2007, began working at a clean energy investment start-up in Montreal in July 2012 called Inerjys. As soon as the company's current fundraising phase is complete, they will be investing in two asset classes--growth equity in clean energy technology companies, and project finance in infrastructure projects that actually use those technologies, globally. Dominique explains that the basic idea behind it is that "cleantech investing has been pretty fraught with poor returns and bankruptcies in the last decade, and so we're taking a new approach that we hope will really facilitate the movement of renewable energy into the mainstream market. The purpose of the two asset classes is to give our growth equity portfolio companies revenues and references when they sell their product to a project we are investing in. This helps "de-risk" the technology and makes other investors comfortable with it, leading the way to more projects and deployments, etc." Although Dominique graduated from Barnard College with a degree in biology (and not economics as some may suspect), she is working on building her finance knowledge in order to understand both the tech and financial sides of the company and be able to make sound investment decisions. However, she will still be using her biology background to research biofuels and biomass opportunities for Inerjys.
Congratulations on such a fascinating work opportunity, Dominique! Best of luck to you and your company as the start-up continues to grow.