Independent and corporate venture capital (VC) financing for smart grid, energy storage, and electric vehicle (EV) sectors fell sharply in the past 12 months, after reaching an all-time six-month high at the outset of 2010. Furthermore, investors have neglected early-stage companies in favor of heavily-funded, high-risk, late-stage companies creating an unprecedented gap between late-stage and early-stage funding. This shortage of early-stage funding has put the majority of start-ups on the auction block, allowing larger players to grab valuable intellectual property (IP) at bargain valuations and resulting in a spike in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. Aside from two landmark acquisitions, acquirers have demonstrated a strong preference for immature companies with limited external funding, offering acquirers an inexpensive means to complete their product lines. These acquisitions offer strong benefits to large and small companies, but acquisition opportunities decline as markets rapidly mature and solidify. Therefore, clients would be wise to make their final offers to promising start-ups, while start-ups would be wise to take whatever they can get.