The Venture Spotlight Series: Earth Day Edition
The state of the world is on everyone’s mind. Amongst all of the uncertainty however, we are bearing witness to the many amazing agencies, companies and individuals who are taking positive action. A huge part of this are the innovations emerging to solve climate change and environmental degradation. Ranked the #1 institution in the world for taking urgent action to combat climate change and seventh, globally, in the Times Higher Education Impact rankings, UBC is a breeding ground for environmental solutions. With April 22nd marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we wanted to celebrate those working towards a better world, shining light on some of the amazing ventures in our ecosystem making a sweeping impact to create a cleaner, more green planet.
Acuva Technologies is empowering customers globally to produce safe drinking water through their advanced UV-LED disinfection systems. A global leader in UVC-LED water disinfection technology, Acuva designs, develops and manufactures advanced UV-LED systems for water disinfection applications. Developed in partnership with UBC, Acuva combines the proven performance of UV disinfection with the energy efficiency of LEDs to purify drinking water with microbial disinfection rates up to 99.9999% without adding chemicals into the water, eliminating the need for plastic water bottles. Acuva has entered partnerships with major OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) around the globe to integrate their UV-LED water disinfection modules. In April, it was announced that they are introducing a UV-LED disinfection mask and UV-LED disinfection portable device in efforts to help fight COVID-19.
Acuva is an alumni of the HATCH Accelerator program
Cambridge Energy Partners
Cambridge Energy Partners (CEP) is taking solar to new frontiers. A manufacturer of movable solar trackers for the remote industrial market, they help customers develop energy solutions for a variety of applications. CEP’s Nomad solar tracker is the world’s first movable solar tracker, allowing mines and heavy power users in remote regions access reliable, low-cost and clean power while providing the same performance as traditional large-scale solar trackers. Last year, CEP announced a partnership with Scatec Solar, a large Norwegian independent power producer. Under the agreement, Scatec Solar will use CEP’s movable solar tracker to offer short-term off-take agreements to commercial and industrial customers worldwide.
Cambridge Energy Partners is an alumni of the HATCH Accelerator program
CarboNet is changing the way the world treats water. A cleantech company that has developed a proprietary chemical method to remove contaminants from water, CarboNet’s vision is to end the issue of contaminated water by being able to treat any water, anywhere. Unlike conventional water treatment chemicals like detergents and heavy oxidants, CarboNet’s novel NanoNet technology can go after tiny particles and net them for easy removal. Inspired by BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico, CarboNet’s technology was developed at UBC in 2016 and has since spun off into a scalable company poised for impact. On April 28th, CarboNet was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 BC Tech Technology Impact Awards in the “Startup of the Year” category. CarboNet is an alumni of the HATCH Accelerator program
ChopValue is creating beautiful and sustainable home decor from recycled chopsticks. With over 100,000 disposable chopsticks being thrown out daily in Metro Vancouver alone, ChopValue’s mission is to extend the life of an everyday product that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. By partnering with local restaurants and businesses including Vancouver International Airport, ChopValue collects waste and upcycles it into furniture and decor solutions. Today, they manufacture a wide-range of products, including coasters, butcher blocks and side tables, and also provide eco-friendly custom solutions for closed-loop partners, like businesses and real estate developers. Recently, they raised a $2.65 million pre series A funding to launch their micro factory franchise concept and released a limited edition line of games including domino and “jenga” type building blocks.
ChopValue is an alumni of entrepreneurship@UBC’s Social Venture Incubator program
Green Metrics has created modern energy solutions for building owners. Commercial buildings are significant energy consumers with few tools for controlling energy costs: Green Metrics is an all-in-one solution that displays energy use, energy generation and net GHG emissions, making intelligent recommendations on energy management through their efficiency tracker and platform. Through this, they provide actionable insights to lower costs and improve a building's value through their data platform and IoT solution of hardware, software, and cloud data. Earlier this year, they graduated from the HATCH Accelerator program and are continuing to make an impact in green energy solutions.
Green Metrics is an alumni of the HATCH Accelerator program
Mangrove Water Technologies
Mangrove Water Technologies is creating water from waste. Their modular solution converts waste gas and saline water to high value chemicals, simplifying logistics and the supply chain, reducing water use, disposal and the cost of production as well as mitigating the impact of GHG and waste gas. A UBC spin-off company, Mangrove won the Emissions Reduction Alberta Grand Challenge in 2019, receiving $5 million to help commercialize their technology. In Alberta alone, they are expected to help save over 11 billion litres of water - equivalent to 4400 Olympic sized swimming pools- and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million tonnes CO2e (equal to the annual carbon emissions from over 300,000 cars) each year.
Mangrove Water Technologies is an alumni of the HATCH Accelerator program
Nada is determined to create an unpackaged future. Vancouver’s first zero waste grocery store, Nada’s mission is to cultivate a better world by inspiring people to change the way they shop for groceries. Using their digital smart scales, customers use their own bags and jars to buy their groceries, saving tens of thousands of containers from landfills and encouraging customers to rethink how they buy, and connect to, their food. Partnering with local food suppliers, farms and businesses, Nada is helping to create more sustainable supply chains, compounding their impact. Their team has been working hard during the pandemic to continue to provide customers locally sourced and sustainable options, open from 12pm to 7pm, 7 days a week.
Nada is an alumni of entrepreneurship@UBC’s Social Venture Incubator program
The planet is noisy… but the future is quiet with Orbitless. They have created the first novel drivetrain technology in generations, providing an option for gearbox designers everywhere. Orbitless helps to enhance their design or create new ones, offering better efficiencies, lower noise and lower cost solutions. Patented in the US, China and Europe, Orbitless is poised to become a new standard in gear design, alongside the existing technologies like planetary, parallel axis and strainwave (harmonic) drive technologies. The Orbitless Drive can be used in a variety of applications from e-mobility, motion control, energy, home automation, or anywhere gear motors are used. In April this year, Orbitless was announced as one of Rocket Builder’s 2020 Emerging Rockets in the CleanTech category, demonstrating their potential for growth and contribution to BC’s cleantech landscape.
Orbitless is an alumni of the HATCH Accelerator program
Susgrainable's vision is a world where food waste and diabetes are a thing of the past. Susgrainable transforms beer “waste” into premium baked goods, using the protein and fibre that is disposed of in the brewing process. Through this, they help tackle two big problems, food waste and diabetes, both of which are climbing at alarming rates. Over the course of two years, they’ve developed technology that dehydrates barley from craft breweries into their signature upcycled barley flour transforming it into delicious and nutritious products. You can find their goods at various retail partners around Vancouver (including Nada!) and they are launching their online shop this week.
Susgrainable is part of entrepreneurship@UBC’s most recent Core Technology Incubator program
This content was originally shared through our April 2020 Venture Spotlight, a monthly series sharing the latest news coming out of the entrepreneurship@UBC community. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop for all things entrepreneurship@UBC, from upcoming events and announcements to venture success stories and ways to get involved, here