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First Solar chairman starts venture company

Mike-Ahearn

First Solar chairman Michael Ahearn

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Michael Ahearn, chairman and former chief executive of First Solar Inc., has founded a $300 million venture capital company that plans to invest in green companies.

Chicago-based True North Venture Partners will invest in early stage firms in energy, water, agriculture, and waste industries, according to an announcement by the fund this week.

Mr. Ahearn took leadership of Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar after Wal-Mart heir John Walton invested in the Toledo-born solar panel-maker in 2000. He left the CEO post in 2009.

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