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Google Ventures

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:38 pm
by Rick Kwan
Think they're ready for polywell fusion?

Taken from:
Google Ventures seeks to discover and grow great companies - we believe in the power of entrepreneurs to do amazing things. We're studying a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, bio-tech and health care. We invest anywhere from seed to mezzanine stage and embrace the challenge of helping young companies grow from the garage to global relevance.

From the FAQ at:
How much capital does Google Ventures invest?

We're able to invest amounts ranging from seed funding to tens of millions of dollars, depending on the stage of the opportunity and the company's need for capital.

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:58 pm
by derg
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that it will take between $100 million and $200 million to build a reactor that will determine whether Polywell will yield net energy.

If you ask the more knowledgeable folk here 'Will it?', their answer would be 'Um...well...' and then on into endless esoteric physics...

Does that sound like an entrepreneurial venture that an internet company would be willing to invest enormous sums of high- risk capital into? No.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:37 am
by Betruger
Google knows about it. They hosted Bussard's "Should Google go nuclear?" talk. 200M is (or was) what they pay in one year's electricity bills.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:57 pm
by Rick Kwan
When I first posted this thread, I did have misgivings in that I can't see milestones between the current work and the $100-200 full-scale system. A venture capitalist wants to see them. But as VCs go, it is not necessary to be the only financier of a project.

I have to assume that EMC2 has some sort of business plan other than just "stay alive", i.e., bring the technology into the terrestrial power and space propulsion industries. But honestly, I can't figure out what it is. (Then again, I don't have any right to know either.)

Stealth start-ups sometimes happen, and it usually means the company has to be very well-financed for the business plan as well as a few hiccups. But that doesn't seem to be the case here, I've never heard of it for a non-profit, and it worries me. We all want to see this succeed (or clearly proven otherwise), and soon. But I can't figure out the path from here to there.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:02 pm
by Betruger
I'm pretty sure MSimon has suggested that an intermediate step could be done for 20M. That may or may not be true anymore.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:59 am
by MSimon
Betruger wrote:I'm pretty sure MSimon has suggested that an intermediate step could be done for 20M. That may or may not be true anymore.

Cheaper I think. Since most of the $ was for power supplies at $1 per watt and there is a source that can do that for $.25 to $.50 a watt, I'd cut back on the cost estimates - 10M is a nice round number for a continuous operation device (seconds to minutes). It may be possible at that price to do SC magnets.

There are some things we need to learn:

1. Geometry
2. Scaling
3. Losses
4. Continuous Operation Instabilities

Dr. B talked about a 5 year program. It doesn't take 5 years to design and build WB-100. What takes the other 3 years is building and testing enough prototypes so you can do a proper job on WB-100.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:04 am
by MSimon
I think the immediate goal should be:

5 Seconds of Net Power