Venture for Climate Tech’s inaugural cohort named

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Eleven companies will participate in Venture for Climate Tech’s inaugural cohort. The venture studio and accelerator received nearly 600 applications from 64 countries in a bid to push innovative climate technologies to market.

Administered by Rochester-based NextCorps and SecondMuse, an innovation and collaboration agency, Venture for Climate Tech is sponsored by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority. It provides hands-on support to entrepreneurs, getting them ready for first customers, investors and pilot runs.

Each business in the group is expected to get up to $125,000 in non-dilutive funding during the seven-month term at the virtual accelerator. The three-phase program provides support and mentorship on customer discovery, investor pitching, business validation, hiring and building a team, and a pathway to scale, officials say.

The cohort includes three winners of the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge,  supported by the Canadian Consulate. Venture for Climate Tech chose members of the group based on their ability to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the state and worldwide, the originality of the idea, and its impact on underserved populations. Technology, scalability, and market demand were among other selection criteria.

“We are investing today in the climate technologies we believe will help address the climate crisis in the next 10 years. These founders and innovators are key and we look forward to working with them to help to accelerate their entrance into the market, and their potential impact on our world,” says Jacqueline Ros Amable, managing director of Venture for ClimateTech. 

Given the number of applications, she believes that a lack of ideas isn’t an issue. Supportive programming is one way to get these businesses going.

Here are the companies that made the cut:

■ Alchemr: A Boca Raton, Fla., company with validated, stable and scalable water electrolyzers that generate hydrogen at cost parity with fossil fuel-derived hydrogen.

■ Atrevida Science: Based in Amherst, Atrevida Science has created active morphing blades that augment wind turbine energy output with flexible, aerodynamic shells.

■ Clean Ocean Coatings: This is a German business that has created a biocide-free antifouling coating for the commercial shipping industry. Its goal: to improve ship fuel consumption and replace current antifoulings that leach toxins, heavy metals, and microplastic into the ocean and waterways.

■ Dynamic Air Cooling: In Elblag, Poland, Dynamic Air Cooling has developed an emission- and synthetic coolant-free technology for air conditioners and refrigerator systems.

■ Flow Labs: California’s Flow Labs’ artificial intelligence software improves traffic flows, patterns and traffic light signal management, and fully automates the signal timing process.

■ Mars Materials: Based in Oakland, Calif., Mars Materials has found a way to place captured carbon dioxide into plastics and carbon fibers by converting waste carbon dioxide into acrylonitrile. It improves the resource-intensive acrylonitrile production process used to create electronics, clothes, and carpets.

■ New Frontier Aerospace: Another California business, New Frontier Aerospace is focused on building a new vertical takeoff-landing hypersonic aircraft, using cleaner fuels.

■ Olokun Minerals: Laguna Beach, Calif.’s Olokun Minerals seeks to provide sustainably-sourced minerals for solar energy storage, applied road surface treatments, and a reliable source of power through captured brine waste from desalination plants.

■ Polaris Renewables: In Potsdam, Polaris Renewables is developing fully renewable non-isocyanate polyurethanes to replace current commercial polyurethanes used in foams, coatings, and adhesives in footwear, fabrics and outdoor gear.

■ Seeds Renewables: Located in Barcelona, Spain, Seeds Renewables has created an inclusive investment platform and marketplace by lowering the minimum investment in renewable energy projects.

■ Voltpost: New York City’s Voltpost transforms lamp posts into smart electric vehicle charging stations managed by a mobile application that accelerates electric vehicle adoption and decarbonization by providing cities scalable curbside charging for drivers.

For Rochester, the program could position the region as a resource for a growing clean energy industry. NextCorps won a $10 million state grant last year for the venture studio and accelerator that launched December 2020.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.

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