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Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship Answer
Week 1 Quiz
To be an entrepreneur, which one of the follow options is the most critical?
- create a solution to people’s problems
- move to Silicon Valley, California
- take great financial risks for 4-5 years
- launch a startup with investor funding
Assume that you want to launch a startup and create more positive impact in the world, but you need the predictable salary and health benefits of your current job at a large organization. What would you NOT suggest to your boss in order for you to launch something but still keep your current job, and work as an intrapreneur?
- Can I conduct research on what our customers may need 3-5 years now, and then create a few ideas for possible products we might create to meet those needs?
- Can you provide me with a small budget so I can offer rewards to startup founders and startup investors who respond to a survey I create for them in order to assess top tips for recommended software, mindset, and skills they use to launch new products in the market?
- Can I get 2-3 more weeks of vacation per year to pursue a startup, but continue to work in my current role?
- Can I investigate current trends in corporate innovation labs and then create a 3-page plan for how and why we should launch a similar new products hub within our company?
Entrepreneurship can be a great way to do good in the world, while creating a sustainable source of revenue. If you added up the total number of people around the world without access to energy, plus the number of people who die each year from cooking over open fires, plus the total number of man-made chemicals whose health and environmental effects have not been sufficiently studied, plus the number of people without access to clean drinking water or adequate sanitation, what would the total number be?
- 3.7 billion
- 1.1 billion
- 2.5 billion
- 0.7 billion
The green building industry is not a tiny niche anymore. What statement might you use to communicate that fact to your boss, investors, partners, or other stakeholders?
- Over 1.5 million square feet of LEED green buildings are third-party certified on average each day
- Government policies around the world now offer attractive subsidies to encourage green building market adoption
- Wealthy homeowners are increasingly building green mansions on the East and West coast of the U.S
- Impact investors eager to reduce environmental impacts in developing countries invested in more green building product and service companies this year vs. last year
Will green building someday become just a normal part of every new building?
- No, it will always remain unobtainable by 95% of the real estate industry
- Yes, green building elements are being increasingly incorporated into required building codes, but there will always be room for ever advancing voluntary green building programs
- Yes, a 75% energy reduction in homes compared to 2017 levels will become a requirement in all new homes by 2020
- No, it costs too much and most tenants and building owners don’t care about the environment
Major financial institutions have committed billions of dollars of investment into renewable energy and green building in the years ahead. Why are they doing that?
- To appease government regulators
- To generate strong financial returns and positive branding
- To distract the general public from the record profits
- To avoid lawsuits from powerful environmental groups
The energy storage (battery) industry is expected to grow to be a $250 billion market by 2040. Do you agree that this sector will grow, and why? (Please choose the best answer)
- No, solar and wind power is not going to grow quickly enough, and most electricity grids are very sophisticated already, with no need for the benefits that batteries can create for these grids
- No, there are over 70 different types of proven and advanced batteries competing for the market. That creates too much confusion for buyers and investors
- Yes, the batteries will help balance the intermittent nature of solar and wind projects, and battery costs are falling quickly
- Yes, most country governments are providing profitable financial incentives to promote energy storage projects
Entrepreneurship in renewable energy and green building is_____________.
- easier today than 20 years ago because startup costs are lower than ever and an increasing number of investors want to generate financial returns and positive impacts with their wealth
- harder today than 20 years ago because air, water, and soil pollution have become so extreme that most of the general public has lost interest in improving their country’s environmental quality
- harder today than 20 years ago because too many government regulators are not in favor of strategies to mitigate climate change
- easier today than 20 years ago because green building is now the most common form of real estate design and development, and renewable energy is the most typical type of power production in most countries
The main driver of green building growth is_______________?
- lower perceived first construction costs
- achieving financial benefits
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- limiting water use
Imagine that you work for a large real estate company that builds office space and rents to tenants. Your company has the opportunity to enter the green building industry in its local market. What supporting evidence do you focus on to make the financial business case for investing in the green building industry?
- Global research indicating dramatic growth of green building in the last five years
- Academic research noting that green buildings are associated with lower respiratory problems (e.g., asthma) in children
- The high per capita ownership of hybrid electric vehicles, healthy organic supermarkets, and higher than average household income in the local area
- The growing international climate agreements that could lead to a market to sell greenhouse gas reductions as an additional revenue source
Pretend that you want to start a new nonprofit environmental organization with a green building focus. You need to seek funding from donors. To do so, which of the following attributes will you NOT use when making the case for this sector’s environmental benefits?
- 60-90% less construction and demolition waste compared to conventional buildings
- 30-50% less energy use compared to conventional buildings
- 80-90% of building energy use comes from renewable sources
- 30-50% less water use compared to conventional buildings
A common criticism of green building is excessive costs. Which of the following statements is true?
- Green buildings in mature markets cost 30% more than conventional buildings, but many real estate professionals think the extra costs are more than 15%
- Green buildings in mature markets cost 0-4% more than conventional buildings, but many real estate professionals think the extra costs are more than 15%
- Green buildings in mature markets cost 15% more than conventional buildings, but many real estate professionals think the extra costs are more than 0-4%
- Green buildings in mature markets cost 30% more than conventional buildings, but many real estate professionals think the extra costs are more than 0-4%
A common criticism of renewable power is that the projects are ugly. Which of the following might be helpful response to critics of solar or wind power’s aesthetics?
- Yes, solar projects are ugly, but at least they are on rooftops and hard to see by people on the ground level
- Many people like the way that solar or wind projects look, but more importantly coal-fired power plants are also considered eyesores by most people, and the mining of coal and natural gas often creates further degradation of once beautiful landscapes
- All electricity generating projects are ugly, so aesthetics are not really an issue
- All electricity generating projects are not located near population centers, so aesthetics are not really an issue
Entrepreneurship is full of challenges. Which of these statements about these possible struggles is true?
- Entrepreneurship is typically easier than a normal job because many investors want to invest in new startups
- Entrepreneurship can require sacrifices such as eating into your savings, not saving for retirement, or avoiding vacations. But the benefits are often worth the short-term sacrifice
- Entrepreneurship can be hard for startup founders, but in 90% of new businesses, the results are very profitable enterprises that make the companies’ leaders wealthy at young ages
- Entrepreneurship offers flexible schedules and the potential for creating positive impacts at scale
Renewable energy is becoming the number one source for new peak electrical generating capacity added to the grid in many countries. Which reason below is NOT a factor in the mainstreaming of solar, wind, and other forms of alternative energy?
- Utilities and electricity buyers like the stable, predictable power prices over 20-year periods
- An increasing number of corporations are using low cost renewable energy as one way they meet their internal climate change mitigation goals
- The costs for renewable energy have fallen roughly 70% since 2010
- Environmental groups have launched public and legal protests against nearly all new coal and natural gas power plants
Imagine that you are a VP at a Fortune 500 U.S. company. You see renewable energy purchases as a way for your company to differentiate itself in the market, and get experience in the new energy economy. Which factors would you NOT use to make the business case for an internal move to more solar or wind power purchases?
- Renewable energy growth in the EU has been significant over the past 10 years. Big businesses there are proponents of this energy transition to cleaner sources.
- If located on site, then solar power plus battery storage can offer resilience and let us keep power on when storms knock out power to the grid.
- Cleaner energy is one form of showing strong company values, and environmental or social commitments have been shown to be a top factor in attracting and retaining great work talent.
- Renewable energy obtained through PPAs, or Power Purchase Agreements, are a way for us to not invest the capital expense to build the energy system, while still letting us benefit from cheaper electricity over a 20-year period.
To further refine a potential new business idea, all of the following can be helpful EXCEPT which one?
- Hearing that five potential customers are very excited about your new project and tell their friends about it
- Confirming that your potential new product solves a critical business need that a prospect encounters multiple times each week
- Noticing that a handful of potential customers to show some interest in what you’re working on
- Learning that your potential new product is similar to another very successful product in the market, but is different in 3-4 noticeable ways
Great methods for generating ideas for a new startup include all of the following EXCEPT which one?
- Analyzing unique areas where your passions overlap with your skills
- Thinking about problems you experience yourself firsthand
- Imagining future needs, looking for where the “hockey puck is going, not looking at where it is today”
- Focusing on problems that you heard two billionaires talk about on the radio five years ago
You and your cofounder have confirmed that your new business idea is interesting to two prospective investors. Which question below is the most important in understanding whether they would be a good match for your business?
How many companies have they invested in over the last five years?
- Does their risk tolerance, industry understanding, and amount of investable capital match the maturity and focus of your startup?
- Does their website, Twitter feed, and Facebook account look polished and professional?
Where is their office located, and how many people work for them?
You and your peers at the corporate innovation lab have created a list of seven new ideas for products you could create. Which of the following would matter least as you all pick the number one best idea to focus on?
- The amount of capital needed before your revenue exceeds your expenses
- The number of prospects in a country or state that you know well
- The existence of barriers to entry and a strong competitive advantage vs. peers
- The fact that no other company of your size has diversified into an internal corporate innovation lab
A Business Model Canvas is helpful for all of these reasons EXCEPT which of the following?
- Craft a business plan on just one page
- Convince a bank to provide a business loan for your first year of operation
- Effectively compare your ideas for the company with your peers in a standardized format
- Validate on a regular basis that you have a business worth launching, even as it changes over time
Which of the following is NOT an important next step in transforming your business idea into an actual business?
- Picking a company name that is unique, memorable, easy to spell, and suggestive of the nature of your business
- Creating a logo via an online platform like Fiverr or 99designs
- Getting interviews with national newspapers and TV stations
- Building a simple but professional website via platforms such as Weebly or Squarespace
To build a successful team to launch your new corporate initiative or startup, which of the following are most important?
- Hire team members whose culture is a good fit with yours and whose skills are not necessarily the same as yours
- Hire people who live within a 20-minute drive so that you can keep an eye on each other and make sure every continues to work really hard
- Hire people who do not expect to receive company ownership so that your profits are not limited
- Hire people from the same university so you can trust them
Which of the reasons will NOT help an investor decide to invest in your business?
- The size of investment you need
- How long it will take for them to see their investment capital repaid plus a solid financial return
- Whether you have paying customers who buy from you more than once
- The length of time you’ve been working on the business
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