Electric car startup Tesla Motors is scheduled to make an initial public offering of shares in the company on Tuesday.
The company, which has raised $783 million in loan guarantees and private investment so far, has yet to turn a profit -- in 2009, it spent $168 million but earned only $112 million in revenue from sales of the all-electric Roadster.
Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are praying for Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to make it rain after a long IPO drought. Private investment in "greentech" startups have yet to see many big "liquidity events," where early, private investors cash-in by selling their equity to the public.
As such, the success or failure of Tesla's offering might prove a bellwether as to how other startups in the wider industry might fare.
Musk, who is in the midst of a contentious divorce and has reportedly been relying on personal loans from friends to get buy -- having sunk much of his own money into the company -- will be putting nearly 1 million of his own shares up for sale.
If he can sell his shares for as much $15, Musk could walk away with a cool $13.6 million. He will remain the majority shareholder, on which a federal loan guarantee of over half a billion dollars is contingent.
Jackson West might buy something nice for his bike instead.