About Saoradh

 

We are passionate about disruptive sustainability. Our investment focus is on new technologies that enhance the environment while displacing existing technologies in select, valuable markets that we call focus areas. We leverage our capital, minds and ecosystem to build companies in partnership with the innovators and entrepreneurs that drive their success.

 
Humans are increasingly taking on the mantle of dominion over the planet. This role is an incredible responsibility. As described by Dr. Carl Sagan in the 1990s when the Voyager 1 spacecraft took a last photo of Earth at 4 billion miles away: our home is but a “pale blue dot.” It is both vulnerable to our unenlightened actions and at the same time full of opportunity for us to do better.

In 2010, Saoradh Energy Partners (SEP) was formed to provide strategic development services to companies and organizations involved in the clean energy and cleantech markets. Later, we formed our first investment fund around alternative fuel vehicle companies and added market research, finance, IT, QMS, business development, and other support functions.

Today, we have expanded to create additional investment funds coupled with our support functions that cover clean energy, new mobility, advanced materials and biomaterials. As a result, we renamed the firm Saoradh Enterprise Partners - but still SEP. We chose these focus areas because of our deep understanding of them and because they are rich targets for disruption while being at the center of creating a better planet.

Our work and investments are for start-ups and growth stage companies. The SEP team of senior advisors, staff and interns help diligence and support our portfolio companies. Some team members play operating roles at these companies during critical stages of development. Others remain at SEP. We are always on the lookout for the right technologies and best entrepreneurs.

We also happen to be experts at what are called “alternatives markets,” which characterize many of the disruptive technologies we have been successful with and are analogs of more to come. These have included natural gas vehicle technologies vs. diesel, electric vehicles vs. gasoline, solar power vs. coal, nano-scale materials vs. micron-scale materials, and so on.

SEP is based in one of the most robust innovation and entrepreneurial markets in the United States: Boulder, Colorado. Colorado is defined by being neither Silicon Valley nor Route 128 but instead by unique strengths. Not only do we see tremendous technology and deal flow in Colorado, but also in a broader “Innovation Region” that we define as the Colorado Front Range to St. Louis, Chicago to Austin and down to the Florida Suncoast.

The Innovation Region’s universities and national labs are heavily funded with research dollars while lacking sufficient sources of local investment capital. These research institutions can also serve as ongoing innovation engines for local companies, which aids capital efficiency. In addition, reasonable pricing for investments in young companies can be found throughout the region’s many entrepreneurial hubs. Unfortunately, companies in the region that find capital are often relocated to the coasts.

SEP intends to be an anchor investor for its portfolio companies in the region, allowing them to grow where they are planted. The firm has strong relationships with many of the region’s research institutions and incubators/accelerators. And, we see our relationship with the University of Colorado as a cornerstone to SEP. To provide a multiplier effect on our capital and other investors in the region, we embrace co-investing with traditional venture capital firms on the coasts and strategic corporate investors.

The team at SEP sees a great investment opportunity at the intersection of finance, science and industry by connecting the dots of its ecosystem to create valuable companies and a thriving Pale Blue Dot.
 
Saoradh is a Gaelic verb that means ‘to free’ or ‘to liberate’ and this language was a source for our name because of the Scottish ancestry of SEP’s founder and managing partner. Saoradh is pronounced in Gaelic as ‘seur-ug’ and in English as ‘say-rad,’ phonetically. The combination of this term with a noun such as energy describes what can be generated or liberated by any process (in thermodynamics this is called Gibbs free energy). Saoradh can also be used in combination with equity or company or whatever by saying let’s ‘say-rad’ this or that to liberate the financial value and sustainability benefits.
— What’s in a name: Saoradh?