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Green Startups: Trapped In the 'Valley of Death'

Young cleantech companies are running out of gas on the road to going public

(Corrects period of investment decline in last paragraph.)

Startup companies call it the Valley of Death—the arduous terrain between proof of concept and the beginning of mass production and significant sales. In good times, just 40 percent of companies go public or get acquired, according to John Taylor, head of research at the National Venture Capital Assn. in Arlington, Va.