The growing interest in IPOs among cleantech companies reflects the maturation of the industry.
Many cleantech firms are considering IPOs for vital working capital to fuel growth, boost production, expand internationally and bring promising new technologies to market.
But the relative youth of many cleantech firms means they often lack the infrastructure, systems or teams to meet heightened public market scrutiny and investor expectations. For cleantech company executive teams considering an IPO, the key question then becomes: are you ready?
Indeed, the leap to an IPO is neither easy nor intuitive. Rather than a step change to meet interim milestones — often the VC or government-reporting route — IPO preparation requires a major shift in mindset among management, staff and investors.
Start early and embrace change
“Change” is the operative word when preparing for an IPO — for management, businesses, operations and the corporate culture. And true change takes time. So an early start allows management to engage staff in fine-tuning business models and processes, to secure buy-in and initiate a true metamorphosis.
The IPO should be viewed as a first step in a long journey toward market leadership.
Create experienced, focused teams
Perhaps one of the most important pre-IPO steps is assembling the right management team. Choosing and investing in seasoned C-suite executives with both public company experience and deep industry knowledge help ensure a smooth IPO journey and organizational success in the years that follow.
Because shareholders will seek answers and a vision from the CFO or CEO, fortifying these roles demands particular attention. Executives would also be wise to instill the prerequisite public-company skills in finance, accounting, sales and marketing, R&D and operations teams.
Take the long view
The IPO is a daunting, exhausting undertaking. But it is only one step in a long value-creating journey.
The growing interest in IPOs among cleantech companies reflects the maturation of the industry — companies are ready to move to the next phase of growth and seeking the financing source to take them there.
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