Tom Cain, Managing Partner of Greener Capital, is widely regarded as one of the earliest and most successful CleanTech venture capitalists. He co-founded SAIL Venture Partners in 2002, raising and investing two successful funds of approximately $150M. He sourced and led the firm's energy storage, energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grid and green building investments.
SAIL fund investors include JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Northern Trust, Merrill Lynch, Wilmington Trust, state and municipal pension funds, and European institutions. Cain played a central role in these funds by sourcing and developing energy storage, renewable energy and energy efficiency investments until transitioning to Special General Partner status in 2010 in order to join GC.
Prior to joining SAIL, Cain launched a successful turnaround of Evans Systems (NASDAQ: EVSI), a Texas-based distressed oil and gas business. He restructured its financials, replaced the board and successfully merged the company with a competitor. He then founded Starco Energy by acquiring a moth-balled petrochemical fuel terminal on the Texas Gulf Coast. He restored the facility and successfully sold it to Quintana Corp.
Prior to entering the energy industry, Cain had a long and successful career as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, and CEO. He has received many awards for innovative breakthroughs in computing and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. In 1977, at the age of 22, he founded Distribution Architects Int’l., a supply chain and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software firm. The firm was then acquired by Frontstep Corp. (1999, $92M Rev., NASDAQ:FSTP), with Cain becoming chairman of the acquisition corp. Frontstep was later merged with Mapics (2003, $100M Rev., NASDAQ: MAPX). In 2005, Mapics was sold to Infor for $375M, at which time Mr. Cain retired. By that time the firm had grown to 4,500 customers in 70 countries with $172M Rev.
As a young mathematician, Cain worked on Scyllac full torus plasma stabilization of controlled thermonuclear fusion under the polymath, James Tuck, at Los Alamos Labs. While no solution was found, nor has been, the experience did seed Cain’s lifetime passion for energy, water and the global ecosystem.
A member of World Presidents' Organization/Young Presidents' Organization (WPO/YPO), Cain founded the YPO Global Supply Chain Roundtable, was chairman of the YPO-MIT Presidents' Seminar and group-led the YPO-Harvard Presidents' Seminar. He has served as a board director for over 30 public and private companies. In 2008, Cain authored Inside the Minds: Best Practices for Energy Venture Capital in 2008: Chapter 6 - Innovation: Finding New Frontiers in Energy Investing.