Before he died last year, the late musician helped fund an incubator in Oakland that invested in 43 clean tech startups. The investment in Powerhouse is helping those companies survive the current era, in which they’re buffeted both by a decline in venture capital funding and President Trump’s intention to cut Energy Department programs that help fund startups. The pop star got involved after a conversation with buddy Van Jones in 2011. “He asked, ‘If I have a quarter-million dollars, what can I do with it?'” Jones told Bloomberg. “My wife said he should put solar panels all over Oakland.” The investment has also helped transform Oakland into a tech hub for clean-tech finance.
[Photo: Flickr user PeterTea]
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