the future of climatech
Houston startup selected for international carbontech accelerator
A new international accelerator focused on the commercialization of carbontech has announced its new cohort — and one Houston-based company has made the cut.
Cemvita Factory has been accepted into the Carbon to Value Initiative, a recently launched accelerator supported by The Urban Future Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Greentown Labs, and Fraunhofer USA. The program is focused on supporting companies with technologies that capture, convert, and store carbon dioxide (CO₂) into valuable end products or services, according to a news release.
"In addition to being absolutely necessary to stave off dangerous climate impacts, carbontech innovations represent a potential $3 trillion market opportunity," says Pat Sapinsley, managing director at the Urban Future Lab, in the news release. "We are excited to welcome 10 startups, each proposing different business models and technology innovations to realize that opportunity."
Cemvita Factory, which was founded by siblings Tara and Moji Karimi in 2017, has created a way to biomimic photosynthesis to take CO2 and turn it into something usable for its energy clients, like feedstocks. Cemvita has 30 different molecules its technology can produce and works with the likes of BHP, Oxy, and more."We are excited to represent Houston in the first cohort for the Carbon to Value Initiative," Moji Karimi tells InnovationMap. "We want to send a message that Houston is not just the Oil and Gas capital of the world, but also the center of gravity for a sustainable Energy Transition."The C2V Initiative selected 10 startups out of over 130 applications from 26 countries. The cohort has technologies ranging from carbon utilization product and process innovations to carbon capture and carbon sequestration solutions.
Cemvita isn't alone in repping the Lone Star State. San Antonio-based CarbonFree, which has commercial technologies that capture and convert industrial CO2 emissions into minerals for sale or storage, also made the cohort.
The other eight non-Texas companies are:
- Air Company, based in New York City, transforms CO2 into high-purity alcohols that can be used in spirits, sanitizers, and a variety of consumer industries.
- Reykjavík, Iceland-based Carbfix provides a natural and permanent carbon storage solution by turning CO2 into stone underground.
- CarbonQuest, based in New York City, provides decarbonization technologies and solutions for buildings with a focus on modular carbon capture.
- Toronto, Canada-based CERT converts CO2 to chemicals such as ethylene via electrolysis.
- Made of Air, based in Berlin, Germany creates drop-in ready, durable thermoplastics using carbon captured by biomass.
- Oakland, California-based Mars Materials develops a new pathway for carbon fiber production using CO2 as a raw material.
- San Francisco-based Patch is a platform for negative emissions.
- Planetary Hydrogen, based in Dartmouth, Canada, combines hydrogen production with CO2 sequestration via ocean air capture.
The program kicks off at a virtual event on May 6 from 3-5 p.m. The six-month program will provide its cohort with a customized curriculum, hands-on mentorship, and knowledge-sharing sessions with C2V Initiative's Carbontech Leadership Council — an invitation-only group of international corporate, academic, and government thought leaders.
The cohort will also receive complimentary membership and access to the Greentown Labs community, which includes is recently opened facility in Houston.
"We know that to effectively address the climate crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change, we need to rapidly scale and deploy carbontech solutions to accelerate the energy transition," says Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. "We're proud to support these startups from all over the world and look forward to the collaborations that will spark among the startups and our CLC members."
Listen to Cemvita Factory's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast below.