February 10, 2017

MassChallenge Finalists to Keep an Eye On

Katie Dobbins, Project Administrator, Innovation and Industry Support

Massachusetts is home to thousands of startup companies, many of whom got their start in Accelerator programs such as MassChallenge. These programs – ranging from mentorships, access to manufacturing and co-working space, to meetings with investors and potential customers – quite literally accelerate the commercialization of early stage companies. MassChallenge, which has self-styled itself the “world’s friendliest accelerator,” offers all the aforementioned while taking zero equity. What’s not to like?

Last month, alongside six other sponsors, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) awarded $5,000 each to five MassChallenge cleantech and water finalists. Selected from a competitive pool of eleven applicants, reviewers considered each company’s ability to advance cleantech or water innovation, the commercialization potential, and its proposed impact in Massachusetts. 

According to Fabrizio Martini, Co-founder of scholarship awardee Electra Vehicles, "the $5,000 scholarship marks the largest investment our team has received from a state program, and shows a tremendous amount of support from the clean tech community here in Massachusetts."

Read about the winning teams below and why we are excited about their technologies.

  1. Battery Resourcers, LLC recycles spent Lithium-ion batteries to directly synthesize new cathode materials that can then be used in the production of new batteries. 
    Impact Potential: Battery Resourcers is able to recover 70% of recycled battery materials by weight, which is 20% more than smelting, the most common but less clean process.
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  2. De-Ice is developing the first fully electric, complete coverage, de-icing solution for the aerospace industry. Their device weighs only 100 pounds and is 50% cheaper and five times more efficient than any incumbent technology. 
    Impact Potential: De-Ice aims to save 25 million gallons of glycol, 170 million gallons of water, and 1.6 TWh of energy per year, in the United States alone.
     
  3. Electra Vehicles, Inc. is a hybrid energy storage platform for electric vehicles that leverages high-energy battery and fuel cells with high-power battery and ultracapacitor modules. 
    Impact Potential: Electra’s higher energy-density battery pack is able to filter power fluctuations effectively, doubling battery-life and reducing the cost, volume, and weight of the pack.
     
  4. LeakSpotter is a small, smart device for toilets that analyses water flow and sends a message to your phone or building management system (BMS) when any size leak or overflow is detected.
    Impact Potential: Aims to reduce water wastage due to toilet leaks, as well as reduce costs.  According to LeakSpotter, a property with 1,000 apartments can lose approximately $120,000 yearly due to this issue.
     
  5. Solstice Initiative provides low-cost community-shared solar power to Americans unable to install PV systems on their own roofs.
    Impact Potential: Solstice Initiative serves 80% of Americans currently excluded from the solar market, ensuring that any household, irrespective of income level, can benefit from affordable renewable energy.