A Dominican 'Venture Greenhouse' first: A startup is acquired

SAN RAFAEL, NOVATO -- Novato-based green energy contractor Evolvelectric has acquired LED lighting consultant Illumalighting, making it the first company to "graduate" from Dominican University’s Venture Greenhouse.

[caption id="attachment_43372" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Lindsay Hassett"][/caption]

Founded by Lindsay Hassett, a graduate of Dominican’s "Green MBA," Illumalighting was one of four companies that joined the business incubator and accelerator program during its soft launch in February.

Over the next nine months, Ms. Hassett’s work helping the likes of SunPower Corp. and Embassy Suites convert to low-energy lighting caught the attention of Stephen Atwater, founder and principal of Evolvelectric.

"We found ourselves often times in the same competitive situation," Mr. Atwater said.

After approximately two months of discussions, Evolvelectric purchased Illumalighting for an undisclosed amount in late October and brought on Ms. Hassett as director of energy efficient lighting.

“We’re energized because of her expertise,” Mr. Atwater said. “People in the sustainability space recognize her as an advocate and a leader.”

The purchase came shortly after the Greenhouse’s official ribbon cutting in early October. Eight companies have taken part in the program so far, with a maximum stay of one year.

John Stayton, director of the Venture Greenhouse, said that the purchase represented the sort of success sought for companies accepted to the program.

“I would call it a graduation. She succeeded in taking her company to a point where it was a value to others,” said Mr. Stayton, who co-founded the Green MBA.

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