By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
The next few months and, for that matter, several years are going to be very busy for Alex Lewis and Abhijeet Borole, Co-Founders of Electro-Active Technologies Inc.
Just named as one of seven participants in Cohort 3 of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) “Innovation Crossroads” program now underway, the duo is finishing-up participation in the “Indie Bio” accelerator program in San Francisco, showcasing the company today through Wednesday at the “TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo” in Boston (see our recent teknovation.biz article), and preparing for the “H2 Refuel Accelerator” that starts next month in New York.
We caught-up with Lewis who has been in San Francisco with the four-month “Indie Bio” program which ends with a “Demo Day” on June 25. The accelerator selects 15 early stage biotechnology start-ups twice each year; makes a $250,000 seed stage investment in them; and provides lab and co-working space, mentorship, and access to its network.
“We were looking for the opportunity to pitch our company and raise awareness about it,” Lewis told us. Electro-Active Technologies is developing a modular system that can be placed onsite or in a decentralized location to produce renewable hydrogen from organic waste. This will enable companies and communities to reinvest their waste for added value and improved sustainability.
“Indie Bio seemed like a good opportunity, so we submitted an application and were selected,” Lewis explained. During the four months in the Bay area, Electro-Active Technologies has been focused on scaling its prototype to a 50 times larger system, a process that involves stacking reactor units together.
“That’s a big jump in a small amount of time,” Lewis said, adding that the company hoped the June 25 finale will lead to other investments.
In terms of the “H2 Refuel Accelerator,” he sees it as an opportunity to continue to scale-up the technology while also connecting with some global corporations like Shell and Toyota that are committed to bringing hydrogen innovations to market and are key sponsors of the accelerator.
Borole will be the start-up’s point person for the New York State program, while Lewis will take that role with the two-year ORNL initiative.
“’Innovation Crossroads’ will also help us with scale-up and probing more into the science,” Lewis says, citing as one example a deeper examination of food waste. “The microbial community is still relatively new to us.”
All of these efforts lead to what Lewis hopes will be pilot demonstrations in the field in 2020.
“We’ve got momentum building,” he says.