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The team members of Solar Biocells.

On March 15, 2016, University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business’ Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host the 3rd annual Energy New Venture Competition. The one day pitch competition will highlight the next generation of early-stage energy entrepreneurs as they rise to the challenges posed by today’s energy landscape and advance emerging energy technology companies. 

Amongst the 16 international companies participating, seven are Calgary based.

In an effort to showcase the ‘made in Calgary’ talent, expertise and innovation, Calgary Economic Development wants to share their stories with you.

Q. WHAT TECHNOLOGY HAS SOLAR BIOCELLS CREATED?

A. Solar Biocells is an innovative bioengineering startup that has performed a radical rethink of biological biomass production, leading to an entirely new concept for the capture and conversion of CO2 into biomass. This biomass can be converted to methane, a liquid fuel or biomass pellets. We use phototrophic microorganisms (such as algae or cyanobacteria) that offer a natural mechanism to convert energy from the sun to take up CO2 for growth for this process.

 

Q. WHAT NEED OR PROBLEM DOES IT SOLVE?

A. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have been identified as a major contributor to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This technology will reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to help counteract CO2 emissions resulting from electricity production from coal or gas-fired power plants and oil sands operations.

 

Q. WHAT’S YOUR KEY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?

A. We believe accountability is the key to success for our business. The competitive advantage of our approach is that we are able to demonstrate productivity of our systems live and online. To demonstrate accountability we propose to first move into the education market, then to industry once our technology is de-risked and our claims have been substantiated.

 The low costs and simple nature of our process make it possible to produce an educational package targeting elementary schools. This is the basis of our Fixing The Atmosphere project (www.fixingtheatmosphere.com). The package consists of a number of Biocell modules (1 – 10 m2 total), salts, inoculum and meters for light, temperature and productivity. This will enable groups of kids to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and produce biomass. Readings from these meters will be connected to the internet and can be followed live on our website. This will enable us to demonstrate the value of our process to the world in a transparent way. It will also have educational benefit, provide us with excellent visibility and ideally position us for moving into industrial markets.

 

Q. WHY CALGARY?

A. With its can-do attitude and a large, highly skilled workforce, Calgary is the perfect place to grow our company. 

 

Q. IS THERE A COMPANY THAT INSPIRES YOU?

A. Carbon Engineering

 

Q. WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE THINGS YOU BELIEVE YOUR COMPANY NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

A. Sunlight, water and nutrients; the three requirements for our phototrophic microorganisms to grow.

 

We’d love to head from primary and secondary school teachers and students as well as good people who can help us with advertising via social media. 

Want to contact this company? Please send an e-mail to: EnvCompetition@haskayne.ucalgary.ca and click here to connect with Solar Biocells on Twitter and Instagram

About the Energy New Venture Competition

On March 15, 2016, the Haskayne School of Business’ Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host the 3rd annual Energy New Venture Competition. Offering $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, the one day pitch competition will highlight the next generation of early-stage energy entrepreneurs as they rise to the challenges posed by today’s energy landscape and advance emerging energy technology companies and concepts. The free event takes place at the BOW building in Calgary (AB) and is open to entrepreneurs, industry experts, venture capitalists and the public at large. The Energy New Venture Competition is hosted in partnership with the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum hosted on March 16 and 17, 2016 also in Calgary.

Both events are supported by Calgary Economic Development as they support the Economic Strategy for Calgary goal of strengthening the linkages between the energy and technology sectors.

Space is limited. Register today!

 

Discussion

Megan Zimmerman Profile Picture

BY Megan Zimmerman

Director, Business Development

Trade, Business Development & Client Excellence

CONNECT:

Megan joined the Communications team in 2007 and moved to business development for clean tech and renewable energy in 2014. She works to connect a diverse stakeholder group and promote innovation. She is a fellow with Energy Futures Lab accelerating a green economy in Alberta.

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