Khosla crazy for cleantech

It was a year of good news and bad news for Vinod Khosla, the VC turned cleantech evangelist. On the downside, he threw his name, money and time behind the campaign for California’s Prop 87, a solar power ballot initiative, only to see it get defeated by tax-wary voters.

On the upside, he formally launched Khosla Ventures in March and it quickly gathered a head of steam. The cleantech-focused firm invested in more than a dozen companies in 2006, including Altra, a biofuel maker, Cilion, an ethanol producer, and Kergy, a maker of alternative energy equipment.

Khosla was so busy that he hired two partners to help out: Samir Kaul and David Weiden. Kaul was previously a venture partner at Flagship Ventures, while Weiden held various executive positions at Tellme Networks.

Khosla later brought on Doug Cameron as chief scientific officer. Cameron previously was with Cargill, where he launched the company’s corporate biotech R&D group. —Lawrence Aragon/Alastair Goldfisher