Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2011 (Revised August 2012)

1366 Technologies: Scaling the Venture

by Joseph B. Lassiter III, Ramana Nanda, David Kiron and Evan Richardson

Abstract

For some time, 1366's co-founders, Frank van Mierlo and Ely Sachs, had faced a choice, which was now made all the more stark: 1366 could expand to produce silicon wafers itself, raising the required capital from "friendly" investors and building shipment volume slowly, or 1366 could accelerate its market entry dramatically by partnering with the Asian manufacturers that had begun to dominate the world-wide solar industry. While accelerated growth was attractive to 1366 and its current investors, the company believed that it would face considerable risks if it were to expose its intellectual property to the "wrong" partners. 1366 had no intention of losing control of its technology, but given the pace of innovation and the active role of governments in the solar industry, van Mierlo and Sachs feared this might not be a race that could be won by the cautious.

Keywords: Technology; Innovation Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Intellectual Property; Management Teams; Renewable Energy; Financial Strategy; Growth and Development Strategy; Corporate Finance; Energy Industry; Technology Industry; United States;

Citation:

Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Ramana Nanda, David Kiron, and Evan Richardson. "1366 Technologies: Scaling the Venture." Harvard Business School Case 811-076, March 2011. (Revised August 2012.)