Angels for Climate Solutions selects 5 finalist startups: one will win $122,000 to further their climate innovations
Four months ago, 19 climate technology startups entered the Angels for Climate Solutions program with the goal of raising capital for their climate-focused innovations. Each week, they joined virtual sessions covering key topics spanning fundraising, due diligence, closing and more.
In February, after successfully completing their virtual sessions, the climate technology startups delivered a pre-recorded, two-minute pitch to a cohort of angel investors. This influential group of investors selected five finalists to advance to the next stage of the program, which involves weeks of intensive training that will help them prepare for the final pitch event – a pivotal moment ending with one startup earning a $122,000 investment.
As we count down to the final pitch night on April 5 (registration now open), here’s a look at the five startups whose game-changing innovations present sustainable, cost-effective and proven ways for consumers, businesses and communities to reduce their environmental footprint.
Climate Technology Startups: The Finalists
BinBreeze | circular economy composting product
The Problem: Many people are deterred from indoor composting because of the – ahem – rich odours and swarm of fruit flies that seem to inevitably follow organic waste. The results? Excess food waste in homes and offices that inevitably gets tossed in the garbage.
The Solution: Binbreeze offers the world’s first all-natural, non-toxic indoor composting powder, which eliminates odours and kills fruit flies attracted to compost. The product reuses wood waste that would otherwise be burned and contribute to climate change; and reduces methane emissions of food waste prior to processing at a composting facility – all while promoting a circular economy practice. BinBreeze is currently stocked in over 450 stores in Canada, with plans to expand into the US.
Taylor McCarten is a driven and innovative entrepreneur with an MBA from the University of Victoria. His leadership, networks and experience in business development, public speaking, and product design have been critical to BinBreeze’s development and success to date. His co-founders are Harmen Zijlstra and Christopher Moreno.
Circular Rubber Technologies | circular economy rubber
The Problem: Each year, 20 million tonnes of virgin rubber is used to make new tires, generating a significant amount of carbon emissions.
The Solution: Circular Rubber Technologies rescues rubber from industrial tires headed for landfill and converts it into a rubber reclaim, providing tire manufacturers with a high-quality alternative to virgin rubber while emitting significantly lower CO2 emissions and maintaining stable cost levels. The team has already raised half a million dollars (USD), and is collaborating with several Tier 1 tire manufacturers.
After a decade in the oil and gas industry, Maartje van der Sande turned her expertise in engineering and large, capital-intensive projects towards the goal of making the world a better place. Shocked by the sheer environmental impact represented by spent tires, she started Circular Rubber Technologies to solve the issue of waste rubber.
SkyAcres Agrotechnologies Inc. | vertical farming systems
The Problem: With the global population growing every year, food insecurity is becoming prevalent – particularly with rising food costs associated with COVID-19 and other world events.
The Solution: SkyAcres has developed an ultra low-cost vertical farming system intended to combat food insecurity and solve inefficiencies in the farming industry. The process minimizes water usage, increases yield, and untethers farms from their respective climates, establishing the startup as a pioneer of reducing costs associated with aeroponic vertical farming. Even better: SkyAcres plans to launch vertical farming facilities in rural Canadian cities – starting with First Nations communities in Fort Alberty – that pay a premium for food, yet don’t have consistent access to affordable, fresh produce. The farms are capable of reducing costs by upwards of 40 percent, while stimulating economic development by employing locals.
Ishaan Kohli is an award-winning research and food systems scientist with a passion for sustainability and a background in physics, computer science and intellectual property. Compelled by the devastating impact of British Columbia’s heat waves and floods 2021 and ongoing food insecurity in rural and First Nations communities, he shifted his focus towards agritech climate solutions and founded SkyAcres.
Solaires Enterprises Inc | solar infrastructure
The Problem: While solar panels are often considered an environmentally beneficial alternative to fossil fuels, solar cells contain silicon, which produces large amounts of GHGs during the manufacturing process. Plus, cost-effective silicon solar cells only have a 15-19 percent conversion efficiency.
The Solution: Solaires’ clean technology is enabling solar cell manufacturers to produce a new generation of solar panels, photovoltaic blinds, tiles and windows. The startup’s Solar Ink product incorporates perovskites, an emerging solar technology that generates three times more power than what’s currently available on the market while reducing the average consumer’s carbon footprint by 40 percent and lowering manufacturing costs by up to 60 percent. The product can be coated on both rigid and flexible substrates, is stable in an ambient environment, and is compatible with large-scale coating processes.
Dr. Sahar Sam has more than 15 years of experience in R&D and in implementing business strategy, 8 patents, and specializes in nano- and microfabrication. She developed a nano fabrication technology that improves the properties of flexible electronic devices. She holds degrees in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering.
Alfonso Fabian is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, investor and researcher with 33 years of successfully challenging tech products worldwide and is the named inventor in over 100 patents. He has led research and manufacturing teams on 4 continents and holds a Bachelor of Science in International Trade.
Tradle | circular baby clothing
The Problem: Babies are bundles of joy – but they also grow rapidly, and much of their clothing ends up discarded and headed for landfill after only a few uses.
The Solution: Tradle was founded by friends who wanted to gift the new parents in their lives meaningful, long-lasting and reusable clothing. The subscription-based service supports local brands and shops that share its commitment to sustainability, sourcing garments made from all-natural and organic fibres that are best for sensitive baby skin and the planet. The process is simple: choose a plan and receive a box of baby clothes delivered to your door. Trade for a new bundle when baby grows, or seasonally for warmer or cooler clothes.
Blyth Gill graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science and a Master’s in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET). He is passionate about zero waste, cradle-to-cradle design principles, and helping the world transition towards a sustainable circular economy that models Earth’s natural ecological systems.
Angels for Climate Solutions Pitch Night Finale
Date: April 5, 2022, 4:00PM – 7:00PM PST
Format: Virtual Pitch Night
With such a strong group of startups, the finale promises to be a charged evening. Which one will come out on top? Join us on the April 5 Pitch Finale to find out.