Welcome to For ClimateTalk
For ClimateTech’s monthly newsletter highlighting emerging innovations, company spotlights, and commentary from experts in the climate tech community.
Venture For ClimateTech Applications are Open!
Applications are now being accepted for Venture ForClimateTech! Get the help you need to launch and build a company around your climate tech innovation. Apply by 3/12.
Last Call for Final Info Session This Week
Learn more about Venture For ClimateTech to see if you’re a good fit for the program. Sign up for our final info session (Open Q&A Session: How to Be a Competitive Applicant, February 25 at 7:00 PM EST), or access the recordings of previous webinars.
Ready to scale your climate tech innovation?
Apply to the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge
Applications now open
24 Feb – 18 Mar 2021
Venture For ClimateTech (V4C) is launching the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge. They are rallying a global community to source the most impactful and equitable early-stage climate tech solutions across four sectors key to reducing global emissions: Energy, Buildings, Food & Agriculture, and Transportation.
With a final prize of $10,000 USD for each challenge winner, all applicants will receive resources to better understand and tap into the NY State climate tech ecosystem, while select applicants will be invited to meet with a mix of climate tech, environmental, and industry leaders to receive immediate solution feedback, input, and additional resources. Challenge finalists will have the opportunity to participate in the V4C Bootcamp with a chance to then be selected for the 6-month V4C venture studio + accelerator program. If you have an idea that could help solve the climate crisis, Venture For ClimateTech can help you launch your business and grow your team.
WeRadiate Launched Its Platform to Centralize Compost Data
WeRadiate participated in cohort 2 of the Scale For ClimateTech program. Its ThermoSense system provides digital and live-stream data to more easily monitor compost systems. This allows users to make changes based on visual trends, helping to ensure regulatory compliance for health, safety, and systems management improvement.
Now WeRadiate is compiling that data to track composting on a larger scale. This free service allows scientists, schools, policymakers, and the compost community to recognize their collective impact on metrics such as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction and financial impact. Fifteen different sites across NYS enrolled with the platform have collectively diverted 640,993 lbs. of compostable material from landfills!
“We’re hoping this data shows policy makers and elected officials the value of what we can do in our backyards.”
Sashti Balasundaram | Founder and President of WeRadiate
Switched Source Receives $8.6M from ARPA-E’s Commercial Scaling of Transformational Energy Technology Projects
Switched Source, a Scale For ClimateTech cohort 1 company, makes power electronics equipment for distribution utilities to increase the reliability, efficiency, and solar hosting capability of the grid. Its flagship device, the Tie Controller, unlocks superior grid management capabilities, acting as a controllable valve to “push and pull” specified amounts of both real and reactive power bi-directionally.
“One of the most lasting impacts of our work with [Scale For ClimateTech] is the development and implementation of our ISO-9001 process, which prepared us for low volume production. It is this level of maturity in our supply chain and manufacturing processes that has helped to get our utility customers comfortable with our ability to deliver quality equipment, and to secure the utilities’ buy in for demonstration projects. We believe that the resulting utility commitments put us in a position for our recent ARPA-E SCALEUP award announcement of $8.56 million.”
Charles Murray | President of Switch Source
You can find ARPA-E’s full announcement here.
In The News
Updates in Upstate
New Plug Power Gigafactory to bring 375 jobs to Monroe County
See the full Democrat & Chronicle article here.
Plug Power’s announcement to open a gigaton factory just outside of Rochester has made exciting news for Monroe County residents.
Dan O’Connell, Plant Manager for the Plug Power Innovation Center and Gigafactory, went through the NEXUS-NY program as the CEO of American Fuel Cell before it was acquired by Plugpower in 2018. He is working to set up the new facility and begin production in the second quarter.
Message from Dan O’Connell
“We’re adding new product lines to our existing manufacturing around fuel cells and electrolyzers. We are growing our technology capability to meet the demand of our expanding customer base and leveraging the wealth of talent in Rochester. This is bringing high-tech, high-paying engineering and manufacturing jobs to the area. We are working closely with the state, county, and city to make Rochester a major player in the Fuel Cell, Electrolyzer and Hydrogen industry.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been keeping pace with several of our major customers — including Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot — to move groceries and products for home delivery utilizing our fuel cell forklifts in our clients’ distribution centers. Those essential activities have propelled our expansion and we are fortunate that Rochester was selected for the GigaFactory for its positive impact on our local economy. In addition, we can utilize the abundance of available renewable, green electricity to produce green hydrogen for commercial and on-road applications from our low-cost, high-performance Electrolyzer technology.”
Dimensional Energy selected as finalists for $20M Carbon X Prize
Dimensional Energy formed through the NEXUS-NY program, the predecessor program to Venture For ClimateTech. The program introduced two Cornell professors with complementary technologies to each other, and a pair of entrepreneurs who were committed to doing the legwork of validating the market opportunity. The resulting technologies, a bioreactor and a catalyst, could be used to convert CO2 into solar fuels via artificial photosynthesis.
Downstate News to Share
Pvilion partners with Rensselaer robotic team to develop rapidly deployable COVID-19 vaccination rooms
Pvilion, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of rapidly deployable solar powered canopies and rapidly deployable robotic structures, has partnered with the Rensselaer robotic team for a second time on a project to use computer automation to improve its manufacturing process. The partnership comes in response to the growing need for rapidly deployable temporary structures where patients can safely receive COVID-19 vaccinations and medical professionals can interact safely.
Full article on Archinect.
Actasys Announces $5M Fund to Commercialize Automotive Sensor Cleaning System
Actasys, Inc. a leader in applying aerodynamic principles to solve critical problems in the automotive and mobility industries, announced that it recently closed a $5M seed funding round. The investment was led by prominent automotive and mobility investors Volvo Cars Tech Fund and NextGear Ventures. Actasys’ core technology, the ActaJet™ system, is an electronically controlled array of small actuator cartridges that generate strong jets of air without the need for rotary fans or compressors. The ActaJet system offers multiple safety and efficiency solutions to the automotive and mobility sectors.
Full article on BUSINESSWIRE.
Podcast feature! Manufacturing Accelerators Partner Up to Form Scale For ClimateTech
Hardware Scaleup and M-Corps have partnered to form Scale For ClimateTech to evolve manufacturing support and opportunities for their cohorts of companies.
Chris Carpenter, Marketing and Community Relations Specialist at NextCorps, sat down with Shelby Thompson, Scale For ClimateTech Community Relations Manager, and Mike Riedlinger, Scale For ClimateTech Managing Director, to better understand how this collaboration has expanded support for the climate solutions that will have dramatic impact on cutting GHG emissions.
With a singular program that now stretches across the entire state, Scale For ClimateTech is better positioned to help innovators scale their solutions, no matter where they’re located. Listen/watch for more details on the partnership.
Thank You, New York Manufacturers!
Scale For ClimateTech cohort 3 has almost finished touring manufacturing facilities across New York State. A huge thank you to HARBEC, Incodema, Peko Precision, Mercury Corp, and Z-Axis for taking the time to adapt and offer virtual tours with founders and walk them through different manufacturing facilities. There is a rich manufacturing ecosystem and history that exists in NYS with excellent potential for partnerships for our cohort teams. Manufacturers taking on risk by allocating resources to work with new founders is a key foothold for developing emerging technologies.
Thank you again to:
HARBEC (Ontario, NY) is a sustainable contract manufacturer of tight tolerance precision 3D printed metals and plastics, machined components and assemblies, and injection molded components and assemblies.
Incodema (Ithaca, NY) is a rapid sheet metal prototyping company that specializes in precision cutting, forming, and bending.
PEKO Precision Products Inc (Rochester, NY) is a full-service contract manufacturing company specializing in machinery, equipment, and instrumentation.
Mercury Corporation (Hammondsport, NY) is a family-owned contract manufacturing company since 1920, specializing in getting metal products to market with a rich history deep into the early days of aviation.
Z-AXIS Inc. (Phelps, NY) provides quality design, prototyping, and manufacturing services for complex electronic products and electromechanical assemblies.
Meet Our Newest Team Members
Chante Harris is the Senior Manager of Venture For ClimateTech. She is also overseeing the launch of the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge that identifies and scales high-impact founders that are building solutions to address climate change. Additionally, she is working alongside the 2M Capital team to explore and advance a fund thesis supporting the climate tech ecosystem.
Named by America on Tech as an Innovator and Disruptor in tech policy and Women Enews as a Pioneering Woman in Sustainability, Chante is passionate about urban innovation, building sustainable cities, cross-sector collaboration, and tapping into the community to launch better solutions, initiatives, and technologies. She has worked to scale nationwide campaigns, technologies, and ideas for the Obama Administration, Fortune 500 companies, and startups. Most recently, she launched and grew two new practice areas at an urban and political strategy firm based dedicated to business strategy and sustainability. With deep expertise in developing go-to-market strategies for startups and established companies across the sustainability industry, she brings unique insight into building ecosystems with a shared vision for people and the planet.
Zoe Welz is an environmental engineer and entrepreneur who is passionate about using the tools of education, advanced technologies, and community to build a more sustainable and just world.
She was founder and CEO of Drovr, an AgTech company transforming livestock management to be more profitable and regenerative through revolutionary IoT technologies. In just nine months, she took the company from idea to MVP, deployed the product across multiple continents, and took first place in the AgTech stream at The Global Entrepreneurship Summit. After bootstrapping the business for two years, she became interested in supporting other early-stage founders and joined Techstars as Pipeline Coordinator, where she and her team were focused on scaling centralized sourcing for over 49 accelerator programs.
Zoe is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was awarded a full ride through the WGA Evans Scholarship. She is a Catalyze CU and Creative Destruction Lab Alumni, as well as a two-time Engineering Excellence Fund Grant recipient.
A New Voice and Venture For ClimateTech
Hear why now is the time to launch, invest in, or work for a climate tech company. Jackie walks through the nuts and bolts of Venture For ClimateTech and how she came to lead the program.
Watch or listen to the full episode here.
For more of her perspective on the initiative, check out her most recent post, Calling All ClimateTech Innovators – We Can Help.