Airware develops an operating system for commercial-grade unmanned aerial systems (UAS). UAS enable software systems to interface directly with our physical world, enabling real-time measurement and optimization of physical infrastructure, urban environments, and agricultural and energy production.
This is a nascent technology with broad potential to transform many industries. Airware is establishing a platform as the technology moves from its monolithic roots in the defense industry to a modular architecture supported by a sophisticated and diverse commercial industry.
Following a pattern from PC’s and mobile devices, Airware’s operating system integrates subsystems (flight control, navigation, datalink, and payloads) and provides a development suite for application developers to focus on application-specific value creation.
Regardless of the commercial UAS applications that ultimately gain traction, Airware stands to benefit and serves as a vantage point for further investment in this space as the market matures.
Sitting at the confluence of population growth and the global middle class’ growing appetite for animal protein, BluWrap is a technology-enabled logistics company that will re-map global flows of protein products through fundamental reductions in the cost structure of moving seafood and other perishable meats to market as well as new capabilities for how these products are inventoried and prepared for sale.
By isolating proteins from even trace amounts of oxygen, BluWrap is able to effectively stop all spoilage on products in their system. BluWrap’s technology is uniquely able to eliminate oxygen to extremely low levels and to do so at very low cost.
By enabling customers to effectively inventory an otherwise perishable product, BluWrap enables transformation of the supply chain. Product is delivered into customers’ hands in fresher condition and with more days of shelf life, reducing spoilage loss and giving customers more flexibility. Product can be inventoried closer to customers with just-in-time supply and traceability data not seen before in the industry. Short term pricing fluctuations can be played to advantage. Use of ocean freight vastly reduces carbon footprint and new markets can be reached from production regions where air freight links are inadequate or too expensive.
BluWrap has demonstrated their technology on salmon, pork, chicken, and other fish species including tilapia, barramundi and pangasius. The company has shipped hundreds of tons of product to consumers worldwide.
EnerG2 engineers advanced nano-structured carbon materials for energy storage and is focused on the production of these materials for energy storage devices. Proprietary manufacturing technologies allow its products to surpass the material limitations of naturally occurring carbons, producing high surface area, high performance
materials that improve power density and cycle life in batteries and other energy storage devices. EnerG2 is currently delivering its advanced carbons to customers for ultracapacitors, lead acid batteries, and lithium ion batteries.
EOS Climate is the premier global producer of financial securities generated from the destruction of ozone depleting substances (ODS), which are also extremely potent greenhouse gases – in some cases equivalent in warming potential to 11,000 times an amount of carbon dioxide (CO2e). ODS's are most commonly found in refrigerants. Current inventories of ODS are equivalent to approximately 2.5 times the total annual GHG emissions of the United States.
The company has built a comprehensive system to collect and destroy ODS, turning them into a tradable security called an Air Resources Board Offset Credit (ARBOC). ARBOC's are the primary source of offsets in the California carbon market under state law AB32 (commonly referred to
as California's cap and trade system). EOS currently sells ARBOC's in the California market which went live January 1, 2013.
To leverage its intellectual property in refrigerant aggregation and destruction, and to position its technology as a disruptive innovation to the market, the company launched Refrigerant Asset Service, a management service offering to Fortune 500 and other large enterprises with refrigerant assets. This is the first software platform to offer a complete solution for full-lifecycle refrigerant management and leverages EOS Climate’s core technology into a unique and compelling offering to customers that reduces their complexity and liability while creating an additional revenue stream for the company.
Kurion is an advanced materials company providing solutions for isolation and long-term storage of nuclear and other hazardous waste. It was the only U.S. company and the only startup to participate in the unprecedented cleanup effort of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Kurion's technology centers around two critical tasks: separating nuclear waste from water or other liquids, and isolating that waste in a way that stabilizes it for the hundreds of years required for it to naturally decay.
Kurion’s systems are modular, reliable, and substantially
reduce total costs for cleanup, enabling it to pursue waste projects that have accumulated over decades. The company was founded by veterans of the nuclear services industry, with experience in commercial nuclear operations, as well as the cleanup of Three Mile Island. The cleanup at Fukushima adds significant credibility to their marketing effort and the company now serves customers in long-term projects on three continents. The company has acquired additional technologies and built an engineering capability to execute on large projects, positioning it as a sustaining standalone player in the global waste industry.
Liquidia Technologies is developing highly precise particle-based vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of human disease. Combining a deep understanding of particle-based drug development with breakthrough small molecule and biological therapeutics, Liquidia is engineering vaccines and therapies that have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of human life.
Utilizing a novel platform known as PRINT® technology, Liquidia is designing highly specific carriers for delivery of small molecules and biological cargos. This breakthrough platform technology makes it possible for the first time to design vaccines and therapies with precise control of particle size, shape, and composition.
Electric motors account for 45% of global electricity consumption, and two thirds of power used in industry. But electric motors have evolved little in recent decades. There's no room for further innovation, right? Wrong. NovaTorque has re-imagined electric motor design to bring to market the world’s most efficient electric motor of its size class. Further, their motors maintain high efficiency over a wide speed range. In the fan, pump, and compressor markets NovaTorque targets, this combination is of enormous interest. NovaTorque’s motor has the added advantage of being more compact than comparable state-of-the-art motors and not requiring the use of expensive rare earth magnets.
NovaTorque is initially selling standard frame motors directly for applications in fans, pumps, and HVAC, an entry point to the $8.1B variable-speed integral horsepower motor market. Standard frame motors are attractive as a starting point because they are built to standard electrical and mechanical specifications, making them easy for customers to adopt. The company employs contract manufacturers to produce its motors and pursues strategic partnerships to expand its product line and technology footprint through licensing agreements. While industrial applications are the starting point, as electric drive continues to displace combustive and hydraulic methods, NovaTorque's motors will find use in a broad spectrum of places.
A solar panel that directly tracks the sun produces up to 40% more electricity than one that is fixed. In most parts of the world (accounting for latitude, weather, etc.), developers install single-axis tracking, balancing upfront costs versus electricity revenues to maximize rates of return. Dual axis tracking, while producing the most electricity (and with the most consistent generation profile from dawn until dusk), has been too expensive. Even the optimized design, with many panels per tracker to spread the cost of actuation, is not cost competitive. Single axis tracking, using mechanical linkage to actuate long rows of panels with a single motor, is constrained to be precisely installed on flat graded land in north-south orientation and suffers from inconsistent generation throughout the day and season to season.
QBotix combines the strengths of both of these technologies and presents a new option that is economically superior by attacking the problem with software and robotics. With QBotix, a rail-mounted robot visits a series of modular, lightweight trackers, adjusting
each to point toward the sun, and returning as frequently as is required to maintain optimal energy generation.
The result is a more capable and flexible system that increases project IRRs by 150-200 basis points or more. Beyond cost savings, QBotix makes solar simpler and more convenient to customers. Its small modular trackers can be laid out in any configuration, conforming to irregular plots of land as well as slopes and rolling hills. Design automation and maintenance tasks performed by software in the field promise to change the customer relationship and draw more of them into the market.
QBotix’ innovation leads to a reduction in costs throughout the project from land preparation and installation labor to materials and equipment, as well as ongoing operations and maintenance costs. It also shows how a startup can deliver value to a rapidly maturing, high-volume industry such as solar using the familiar and proven toolset of software and electronics, in the process changing the value chain and positioning itself as the world leader in solar balance of systems.
Global populations are urbanizing, becoming more dense and at the same time demanding exponentially more data connectivity through mobile devices. This explosion overwhelms even the latest cellular infrastructure. Providing pervasive, high-performance, and reliable wireless connections in high interference environments is a growing challenge for carriers and enterprises worldwide.
Ruckus Wireless makes specialized Wi-Fi equipment that uses the company’s proprietary smart antenna technology, derived from algorithms used in electronic warfare. With 142 patents issued or pending, the company is
repurposing the WiFi standard into a carrier-grade offering that scales into the densest and most demanding mobile environments. In 2010 the company started shipping a carrier-grade Wi-Fi access point for use by wireless carriers in public places, to provide data access for smart phone users in places where the traffic is so dense that it overloads the 4G network. The company’s access points ship with software for authentication and management functions needed by carriers, including hand-off between 4G and WiFi. The systems are deployed in hundreds of thousands of locations across the globe. The company completed an IPO on NYSE in November 2012.
Scifiniti is an advanced materials company working to create a drop-in replacement for crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells. Rather than casting an ingot of polysilicon and then sawing it into wafers (to be processed into solar cells), Scifiniti’s approach skips these steps and creates a wafer directly via deposition with a high quality crystal structure suitable for solar cells.
This process uses less silicon, less energy, and fewer steps than the existing state of the art and offers the possibility of silicon wafers at one third of today’s costs. Beyond cost savings, the layer by layer build process enables wafers with unique features that the legacy process cannot match. Combined with lower capital intensity, this technology holds the promise to drive solar costs down to be competitive free of subsidies worldwide.
Electricity is moving out to the edge, to our mobile devices, our cars, and everything in between. This requires dense energy storage -- battery technologies based on lithium. Combined with other industrial uses of this strategic element, volumes of lithium demanded worldwide are increasing, in particular for the high purity form required for batteries. As vehicle electrification continues, new lithium sources and production technologies will be required to keep up with demand.
Simbol Materials produces high performing and environmentally responsible critical materials for the energy storage industry. The company’s patented processes inexpensively extract lithium, manganese and zinc from geothermal brines, at lower cost but more importantly, unmatched purity. The company owns mineral rights to hundreds of thousands of tons of lithium and will locate its first commercial plant in California’s Imperial Valley. This resource is strategically advantaged as it is U.S.-based and is not subject to climate risk, as are the dominant technologies that depend on evaporation.
Securing consumer purchase and payment transactions without impacting convenience is a massive global priority. Innovation in mobile payments and financial networks is complemented by advances within the payment card itself.
Solicore offers advanced ultra-thin, flexible, lithium polymer batteries as well as integrated battery and electronic systems solutions for a new generation of powered payment cards as well as other applications. The company’s patented technology is based on solid-state electrolyte polyimide chemistry and enables batteries to be manufactured using high volume printing processes. This is the main enabler to opening the possibilities of active
software intelligence and communications on-board the payment card, putting new capabilities in the hands of card issuers to deliver consumer features and security without sacrificing convenience for both online and card-in-hand transactions. The company has crossed a tipping point in worldwide demand for these products and is poised for very rapid growth.
Additional new products and applications that require on-board battery power are emerging. From smart cards to RFID security and thin film medical products, Solicore’s batteries provide the power required in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Residential solar has become mainstream. It is no longer about selling to early adopters with a green agenda, but mainstream consumers focused on savings. Hundreds of thousands of residential rooftop systems have been installed in the U.S. and continued rapid cost declines drive the opportunity to over 40 million within four years. This has created a new asset class for investment. As the cost of solar project capital commoditizes, scale and customer experience will determine the long term winners in the market.
Sungevity specializes in the sales and marketing of residential rooftop solar systems, with a particular focus on creating an unparalleled experience for the customer. They
combine this culture with a business model that scales radically and that has grown at 100% each of the last three years.
Sungevity employs proprietary software utilizing aerial photography and image analysis to automatically design solar arrays for customers’ rooftops remotely, without having to visit the home. Their system efficiency extends to social media and referral selling techniques that drive low cost sales and high customer satisfaction. This technology platform and reputation for high customer experience enable Sungevity to scale both in the U.S. and internationally and make it a strong partner for channel sales relationships with strategic partners.
ZeaChem will change the world by creating high margin and sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels and chemicals. Able to use wood chips, wheat straw, corn stover, or grasses to make a range of drop-in products for the $1T+ chemicals and fuels markets, ZeaChem can profit today without any subsidies and is competitive with $50 per barrel oil. ZeaChem’s advantage centers around its fermentation process which converts 100% of the carbon in the sugars into end products, delivering unmatched yields
with what is a low risk, highly efficient, and robust process using standard industrial equipment.
The profit margins ZeaChem will deliver have never been seen before in the petroleum industry, and the price stability from its fixed cost renewable feedstocks will enable customers to decouple from oil-driven fluctuations in their own business’ profitability, causing a ripple effect of change and opportunity.