Monday, October 29, 2007

Another innovative green idea from an Israeli entrepreneur

John Markoff reports today at the New York Times on Shai Agassi and his revolutionary plans to "reinvent the world’s automobile industry around battery-powered all-electric cars".

Agassi is a very successful serial Israeli entrepreneur. In 1992, he founded in Israel TopTier software, a leading enterprise portal vendor that was acquired by SAP in April 2001. Then Agassi became a member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, where he also served as the President of Products and Technology Group. Currently he's devoted to alternative energy and in the article today I learned about his new innovative idea - Project Better Place.

The new company will install and operate an electric recharge grid consisting of charging spots and battery exchange stations worldwide. Agassi believes in the electrical car in all of its sorts as the environmental solution for transportation and thinks that "existing technology, coupled with the right business model and a scaleable infrastructure can provide an immediate solution and significantly decrease carbon emissions."

To simplify the idea, he gives the following example - "We’re basically saying this is just like the cellular phone model. If you think of Tesla as the iPhone, we’re AT&T."

Earlier today Agassi announced in New York City that he has raised $200 million from private venture partners for this project, including the Israel Corporation, Vantage Point Venture Partners, as well as a group of private investors including Edgar Bronfman Sr., the and James D. Wolfensohn, former head of the World Bank.

I started following Agassi and his entrepreneurial achievements at the late 1990s, when I was working as an assistant to a financial manager in an accounting firm that managed R&D funds for a project that TopTier was involved with.

I think Agassi is one of the most talented entrepreneurs out there, and therefore I was very happy to read this morning on his new project. When so much of our green future is depended on innovation, we need more people like Aggasi who will help us move forward as fast as possible toward sustainable future.

If you want to learn more on Project Better Place, please check their launch webcast from today. Agassi also has a great blog - The long tailpipe.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

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