links for 2009-11-02

  • Entrepreneur Kevin Ross is hoping to capitalize on the burgeoning market for clean tech, buoyed by the hopes of winning some funding from the $70 billion earmarked for alternative energy projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
    Ultimately, he says, farmers might be his biggest customer. The idea is to lease part of a farmer's land and make a "solar farm" of ground-mounted panels. The farmer would then receive leasing fees or else partner with SunBanks Solar for revenue sharing, with revenues coming from selling the power to local power companies.
    But to build his business accordingly, Ross, who is one of three employees including his wife, needs more resources. He was able to self-fund the company’s launch using about $50,000 of his own money, saved and invested over the years from his civil engineering firm, Land Design Services Inc. “We don’t have to have the money [to survive] but we could hire sales staff and buy trucks and hire a crew,” he says.
  • Social networking isn't limited to the time-wasting antics of kids on Facebook and Friendster. A new Web site aims to turn business networking on its ear.
    A prime tenet of all social networking sites is simple, a play on the six-degrees-of-separation meme: If everyone is only a few friends distant from everyone else, that girl you like — or your future boss — is just an e-mail away. wraps that concept in data analysis, creating a weird hybrid the company hopes will transform how business gets done.
    Want to see which companies other widget manufacturers are investing in, or stay on top of trades of your company's performance? Curious about which stock the executive board just traded? The site lets you track activity in a certain industry or for a particular company, even for a specific person, and create custom feeds of data along the same lines.

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