FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) — A new investment fund, Oakland Energy and Water Ventures, announced this week that it’s looking for second-stage deals up to $100 million in size in energy conservation and water treatment.

The fund was founded by billionaire Manoj Bhargava, founder and CEO of 5-hour Energy, the energy shot manufacturer. According to Forbes magazine, Bhargava may be the wealthiest Indian in America, with an estimated net worth of $4 billion. The Oakland Energy and Water Ventures website says he has pledged 90 percent of his wealth to “charity and research.”

The fund is a spinout of Stage 2 innovations, which Bhargava and former Chrysler president Tom LaSorda established in 2011.

Officials with the fund say they’re in the market for investments, joint ventures, partnerships, license agreements, and collaborations in clean energy and water treatment.

Leading Oakland Energy and Water Ventures are Chris Brower, Kevin O’Connell and Rick Manner, all serving as managing directors.

Brower is a graduate of Albion College who worked in the auto industry at Chrysler and business consulting at KPMG and J.D. Power and Associates before joining Stage 2, where he met O’Connell and Manner. O’Connell is a veteran of power generation technology at Michigan CAT, Aggreko Inc. and other companies. Manner has more than 30 years of experience in supply chain and logistics operations, including Fisker Automotive, Next Autoworks, Stonepath Logistics, General Motors, Ford, Home Depot, Best Buy and FTD.

“We see demand for energy growing — it’s a global growth story,” Brower said. “On the water treatment side, that’s also a global trend.”

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