Vancouver-based Chrysalix Energy Basking in Olympic Gold

Update: Story updated to reflect that Credit Suisse invested an undisclosed amount in the Chrysalix fund, which has now raised more than $100M.

On Sunday night, Chrysalix Energy CEO Wal van Lierop was dining in a downtown Vancouver restaurant when Alexandre Bilodeau, a 22-year-old Montreal native and men’s moguls competitor, became the first Canadian to win a gold medal while in his host country of Canada.

The maple leaf crowd erupted in cheers inside the restaurant and on Vancouver’s city streets. Van Lierop says the din lasted about five minutes, and it was impossible to hear anything else during that time.

But van Lierop is not minding the attention his city is getting as its hosts the Winter Olympics. He’s banking on it.

Van Lierop—who attended the opening ceremonies and has plans to go to more events, especially hockey—is leading a local effort in Vancouver, with other businesses and politicians, to lure investments and new business to the city. Obviously, tax incentives and the weather play a role in their marketing efforts, but so do the Winter Olympics.

Over the next two weeks, the group is wining and dining 125 companies and their representatives from around the world, in five waves of 25 businesses at a time, as they attend Olympic events and are given a grand tour of the metro area.

Van Lierop and his Vancouver peers, including Mayor Greg Robertson, are hoping their guests see “what a great place Vancouver is for cleantech, new media and life sciences.”

Van Lierop says he’s certain to see a direct and tangible result of new business opportunity coming to Vancouver as a result of the Olympics.

“The Olympics provide a wonderful platform to show what we are doing in cleantech and other industries,” van Lierop says. “We expect to see a very significant impact as a result.”

Meanwhile, Chrysalix has a lot to be proud of this month. On Monday, the firm announced that it raised an undisclosed amount from Credit Suisse, through the Oregon Investment Fund, for Chrysalix Energy LP III, which van Lierop says is on pace to close at $150 million. Van Lierop says the fund has now raised more than $100 million.

Also, the firm announced earlier this month that it ranks as the third most active cleantech investor worldwide, based on the number of investments completed in the past decade, according to Bloomberg/New Energy Finance.