Cleantech Stimulus Is A Lawyer-And-Lobbyist Stimulus

The scattered startups hoping to receive some of the $77.6 billion in clean tech stimulus spending are on a lobbyist hiring spree, reports Bloomberg.

Here’s a few examples:

  • SmartSpark has $6 million in venture funding, 24 people on staff and two teams of lobbyists.
  • Battery Ventures told its 8 clean tech start ups to put someone in charge of getting stimulus money
  • New Enterprise Associates has 25 clean-energy companies in its portfolio and it says half have lobbyists or will have lobbyists in the near future
  • A new group called Cleantech and Greentech for Obama raised $1.6 million, to start lobbying.

Lobbyists are helping startups to get their paper work in order, so they can apply for loans. They are also helping set up meetings with federal regulators.

It’s not just lobbyists, who are winning, lawyers are also in great shape:

Law firms say the extra lobbying work is just the beginning of their own stimulus. At the firm of Mintz Levin, business from startups has added 10 per cent to its clean-energy practice, said Tom Burton, a partner in Boston. Successful startups will ultimately generate work for tax, financing and corporate lawyers, he said.

At a time when capital is scarce, this is the best opportunity for startups to weather the recession. And whichever companies win, the lawyers and lobbyists who helped them out also win.

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