Highland’s Paul Maeder Taking Firm Into Energy Investments—Targeting Efficiency, Not “Science Projects”

10/15/08Follow @bbuderi

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didn’t quite say it directly, but it doesn’t seem to be cleantech, especially early-stage cleantech ventures. “I’m looking at existing companies with revenue streams,” Maeder says, emphasizing he wants to invest in “real companies, not science projects.” Maeder says this could involve rollups of services businesses, for example. But the bottom line is “I’m looking for real businesses, because I think there’s a lot of stuff being done that’s very productive but underfinanced.”

Maeder says his investments will come from Highland’s general fund—and that the firm does not plan a dedicated energy fund, at least not now. Though he was evaluating deals almost as we spoke, Maeder wouldn’t give a timetable for Highland’s next energy investment. “If you could tell me when we’re going to hit bottom with the Dow, I could tell you when I’m going to make my next investment.”

The Highland general partner will be looking far and wide for investments, but says he is partial to the New England area, where he thinks a lot is happening. “MIT is a real hotbed of activity. There are a lot of interesting businesses around here.”

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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