For founders developing high impact and scalable solutions to help preserve and protect our planet.
Genomines is a biotechnology company developing genetically-enhanced plants that can hyperaccumulate metals in areas of low concentration, typically unexploited by traditional mining groups. Their plants can absorb and concentrate metals in their tissues from soils that are 1000x less concentrated while depolluting soils, and generating up to 70 percent additional revenue for mining groups by site.
Unicorn Biotechnologies is an equipment provider company developing fit-for-purpose bioreactors to scale cellular agriculture products from grams to tons. Combined with automation, software, and analytics, their system completely automates animal cell-based manufacturing. This reduces costs by 10x, and speeds up process development timelines by over 90 percent, moving from years to mere months.
Sitowie is developing a SaaS platform which allows real estate companies and lessors to know how their assets age and be autonomous in the management of their assets and their optimization. Sitowie generates a 3D model using open data, AI and ML, simulates degradation, then produces the best investment strategy, taking into account the user’s constraints (e.g. budget).This technology can save customers between 10 percent and 40 percent on CAPEX budgets, and improve their carbon footprint by up to 70 percent.
Bioweg is a biotechnology company developing microbeads, rheology modifiers and hydrocolloids as an alternative to liquid and solid microplastic used in cosmetics, personal and home care products. Their products are made from fermentation of bacterial cellulose, are chemical free, 100 percent biodegradable in less than 60 days, and can be customized using molecular simulations.
Brayfoil Technologies is a wind turbine blade R&D company developing biomimicry-inspired blades that can change shape on demand like a bird’s wing. This enables the industry to go beyond current size limits by reducing blade loads in extreme scenarios — worst-case and storm loads can be reduced by 90 percent, operational loads by up to 24 percent, and sensitivity to wind speed perturbations by up to 60 percent.
Asclepios Tech is a photobiology company developing a digitalized non-thermal lighting solution for the decontamination and preservation of water, seeds, and pre- and post- harvest fruits and vegetables as an alternative to chemicals. Its technology has a 99.99 percent decontamination efficiency rate, reduces food waste up to 50 percent and the use of agrochemical products up to 50 percent.
Papkot developed a proprietary paper coating that makes paper packs as effective as plastic packaging for consumer packaged goods. Despite the coating, this plastic-like paper is totally biodegradable, home compostable, and 99.9 percent recyclable—just like pure paper.
Blue Planet Ecosystems (BPE) has developed vertically-integrated, solar-powered, aquaculture systems for sustainable fish production. This enables growers to produce premium seafood close to the consumer on any piece of land. The core of BPE’s product is a self-optimizing control system, supported by big data and AI. The venture lowers market barriers to entry by reducing the complexity for producers who aim to enter the aquaculture market.
Byterat offers software that predicts battery failure and extends lifetime. Their technology combines electrical signals from existing circuitry with machine learning to provide a “biomarker” of battery health. Byterata accelerates battery R&D by speeding up long-term cycling tests, reducing liability for manufacturers by improving cell and pack quality control, and enabling real-time performance forecasting of energy assets.
Milvus Advanced is a nanomaterials company launching a novel catalyst for the hydrogen economy. Hydrogen electrolyzers (which generate hydrogen) and fuel cells (which use hydrogen to generate electricity) are currently expensive due to the costly platinum group catalysts they rely on. Milvus Advanced has a low-cost, high-performance catalyst made from widely available and sustainable materials using a highly-scalable manufacturing process.
Mission Zero Technologies (MZT) is developing a low-cost, bolt-on, electrochemical direct air capture (DAC) technology that captures CO2 from air, and then concentrates it for storage, or uses it as an industry feedstock. DAC has a vital role to play in helping hard-to-decarbonize industries reach net zero, but current DAC technology is energy intensive, resulting in very high operating costs. MZT’s novel electrochemical approach to DAC allows it to offer on-site, high-grade, green CO2 to customers at much lower costs than is possible today.
Mixteresting uses mathematics, machine learning, and AI to quickly and cost effectively calculate new, more sustainable concrete mixtures, which use recycled materials and less cement. Every year about two billion tons of cement are produced, which cause 10 to 15 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. Mixteresting’s software means developing new, greener concrete mixtures is 10x faster and 90 percent cheaper.
Odqa designs, manufactures, and maintains the world’s best solar thermal air receivers, which concentrate sunlight to produce carbon-free hot air streams. These can be used to decarbonize industrial processes, including ceramics production, which emits more than 400 metric tons of CO2 per year. Odqa’s receivers can generate temperatures up to 1500 degrees Celsius, enabling carbon-free ceramics production for the first time.
Sphera is a speciality materials start-up that has developed carbon zero and carbon negative concrete blocks and aggregates. The venture is helping decarbonize the built environment by reducing reliance on cement, which accounts for eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s patented technology enables lighter-weight, carbon-negative concrete blocks that have better thermal insulation than the current market standard.
Spoor is a software company building a fully automated biodiversity monitoring data platform that enables industry to monitor bird activity pre- and post-construction in a wind farm. The company is replacing the need for manual species identification of birds, which is time-consuming and expensive, resulting in delays to the adoption of wind energy. Spoor’s proprietary AI works on a greater range than currently existing systems, which makes its product hardware agnostic, and allows its solution to be retrofitted on existing infrastructure, reducing CapEx and OpEx requirements.
Xampla develops natural replacements for plastics made from plant protein. Current bio-alternatives to plastics require chemical cross-linking, meaning they are not truly biodegradable, and lack either the functional properties of plastic or cost-effective, sustainable production processes. Xampla has developed a sustainable, scalable process for turning plant proteins into functional materials that are fully biodegradable.
Aquacycl provides the only solution for treating ultrahigh strength organic wastewater, which can save customers between 20 to 60 percent on wastewater management costs. The initial target market is food and beverage producers, which generate waste streams 1,000x more concentrated than residential sewage. The system is the first commercially-viable microbial fuel cell, which generates direct electricity from wastewater, treats untreatable streams, and provides up to 90 percent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during treatment relative to current processes.
KineticCore Solutions (KCS) develops, tests, manufactures, and deploys kinetic battery systems to support the utility-scale energy storage that will enable the modernization of micro, regional, and national electrical grids pursuing carbon-free goals. KCS’ kinetic battery has 10x lower mass than a traditional flywheel of the same material and energy storage capability, which allows it to be deployed at a cost comparable to the current standard — lithium chemical batteries.
Lypid is creating a line of highly-stable fats made from vegan oils that closely mimic animal fat behavior to support the next wave of plant-based meat alternatives. By leveraging emulsion-based encapsulation and fluid dynamic principles, Lypid’s proprietary platform can generate vegan fats that provide the benefit of increased authenticity in terms of flavour profile, texture, and mouthfeel compared to animal fats.
Novoloop was founded in 2015 to deliver next-generation materials made from plastic waste through its patented low-carbon upcycling technology ATOD. By transforming hard-to-recycle plastic waste into virgin-quality materials, Novoloop offers superior sustainability and performance (46 percent reduction in CO2 and ~30 percent reduction in energy compared to virgin plastics) at competitive pricing. With its first product, Oistre, Novoloop provides sustainable and customizable thermoplastic polyurethane solutions for the footwear, sporting goods, and automotive sectors.
PH7 Technologies has developed an economical and sustainable process to extract platinum group metals (PGMs) from primary and secondary resources and waste materials. PH7’s process can extract precious metals on site (i.e. mines, scrap yards, recycling facilities) in a closed-loop system without generating any waste or toxic off-gassing.
Bioweg is a biotechnology company that develops microbeads, rheology modifiers and hydrocolloids as an alternative to liquid and solid microplastic used in cosmetics, personal and home care products. Their products are made from the fermentation of bacterial cellulose, are chemical-free, 100 per-cent biodegradable in less than 60 days, and can be customized using molecular simulations.
Bioweg had raised a seed round, received local funding from the government and provided a very initial sample to clients when it joined CDL-Paris’s Climate stream. At Session One, the Bioweg team realized they would not be able to take the company to the next level without first closing on some orders with clients, founder and CEO Prateek Mahalwar said. CDL mentors encouraged the venture to focus on smaller players with quick decision-making before chasing bigger clients. “That gave me an a-ha moment,” Mahalwar said. “Like, ‘Wow. I have never thought about this. But it makes sense.’” Pre-CDL, the company didn’t have any smaller clients in its pipeline. Today, Bioweg has between five and ten smaller clients in its pipeline, including local cosmetics brands. Discussions with one of those clients is in very advanced stages, Mahalwar said.
The company expects demand for its product to expand in the coming years as the European Union looks to regulate the use of microplastics. Mahalwar said that all major chemical and cosmetics companies are looking for alternatives, and Bioweg offers a solution that balances functionality and biodegradability. The venture has received €12.6 million from the European Innovation Council — €2.5 million of which was a grant and the rest of which was an investment. Bioweg is now raising money to match the Council’s investment with money from external sources, and Mahalwar said he expects to receive funding through relationships made at CDL.
Find the low-hanging fruit - markets that don't take a lot of testing and create a proof of concept.
Jason van Gaal • Associate, CDL-Paris Feb 1, 2022 @ 1:09 PM ET