The Climate Tech Startups to Watch: February Week 1

February Week 1, 2024: In this weekly series, we highlight 5 climate tech startups to watch by featuring the incredible startups, companies, or projects that are leading the fight against the climate crisis. 

Each month, we add these startups to our running list, which we have categorized based on fuel emission sector data from the most detailed, recent data SBC could identify from the World Resource Institute in 2016.

This initiative from Startup Basecamp aims to support founders by giving them access to networking and exposure opportunities that help them to scale and finance their climate tech solutions.

Do not hesitate to join our collective movement by requesting your membership.

With care,
Guillaume and the SBC TEAM

Energy use in Industry and Buildings

1. Ecolectro


Founded: 2015 – Ithaca, NY, USA

Founders: Gabriel Rodríguez-Calero & Kristina Hugar

Elevator Pitch: Ecolectro is a polymer company making the materials that make clean fuels and chemicals.

Problem they solve: The transition to green hydrogen as a clean energy source is hindered by the lack of materials that can withstand the harsh conditions required for its production and use. Traditional materials, like perfluorosulfonic acid polymers, pose environmental and health risks due to their toxicity. Ecolectro addresses this critical gap with their novel polymers, which offer a safer, more durable, and highly conductive alternative. By improving the materials at the heart of fuel cells and hydrogen production technologies, Ecolectro enables a broader adoption of green hydrogen, contributing to the reduction of reliance on fossil fuels and the advancement of clean energy technologies.

Impact: Their polymers are designed to replace toxic materials, significantly reducing environmental harm and enhancing the sustainability of fuel cells and electrolyzers. As green hydrogen emerges as a key component of a low-carbon economy, Ecolectro’s technology is critical in overcoming existing material limitations, enabling more efficient and environmentally friendly hydrogen generation and utilization.

Stage: Seed.

Interested in Ecolectro?
To learn more about their technology or get in touch, see here.

Cross-cutting enablers

2. Synovance


Founded: 2017 – Paris, FR

Founders: Brian Jester & Efthimia Lioliou

Elevator Pitch: Synovance develops next-generation, bio-produced pigments that are pure, sustainable, and free of harmful chemicals. These pigments, identical to their synthetic counterparts but GMO-free, provide a seamless “plug and play” solution for the textile industry, requiring no alterations to existing dyeing processes.

Problem they solve: The textile industry, as the second most chemically intensive sector and the leading polluter of fresh water globally, presents a significant environmental challenge. Traditional dyeing methods, unchanged for over a century, contribute extensively to this problem. Synovance addresses the urgent need for sustainable practices within this sector by introducing bio-produced pigments that eliminate the reliance on petrochemical products and the associated harmful chemical usage. Their innovative approach not only reduces the environmental footprint of textile production but also supports the transition to a more sustainable, bio-based economy.

Impact: By utilizing biomass and producing pigments locally, Synovance drastically cuts down on waste and emissions, reducing the industry’s impact on water pollution and chemical dependency. This shift towards using sustainable, pure molecules in dye production has the potential to significantly lower the ecological footprint of fabric manufacturing globally. Furthermore, by offering a direct replacement for chemical dyes, Synovance facilitates a smoother transition for the industry towards greener practices, paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable world.

Stage: Seed.

Interested in Synovance?
If you are interested in learning more, see here.

Energy use in Transport

3. Dimensional Energy


Founded: 2016 – Ithaca, NY, USA

Founders: Janson Salfi, David EricksonClayton Poppe 

Elevator Pitch: We transform carbon dioxide into sustainable aviation fuel and products.

Problem they solve: The conventional extraction and production of hydrocarbons have had devastating effects on the climate, indigenous populations, and the environment at large. Dimensional Energy addresses these critical issues by providing an alternative to oil that leverages carbon dioxide and water, thus circumventing the need for traditional hydrocarbon sources. Their technology mitigates the environmental impact associated with fossil fuels and offers a sustainable solution that contributes to the decarbonization of industries reliant on hydrocarbons, particularly aviation, one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize.

Impact: By repurposing CO2, a predominant greenhouse gas, into fuel, they are effectively closing the carbon loop and paving the way for a more sustainable future in energy production. Furthermore, their commitment to sourcing feedstocks responsibly ensures that their operations contribute positively to ecological balance and community welfare, setting a new standard for environmental stewardship and social responsibility in the energy sector.

Stage: Series A.

Want to learn more about Dimensional Energy?
To learn more about their technology or get in touch see here.

Industry (chemical and cement)

4. Ammobia


Founded: 2022 – San Francisco, CA, USA

Founders: Karen Baert & Tristan Gilbert

Elevator Pitch: Ammobia is a climate tech start-up fueling our decarbonized world with cost-effective clean ammonia production.

Problem they solve: The conventional production of ammonia, one of the world’s most critical chemicals for agriculture and industrial applications, is energy-intensive and heavily reliant on fossil fuels, contributing significantly to global CO2 emissions. Ammobia addresses these challenges by introducing a cleaner, more sustainable method for ammonia production that utilizes renewable hydrogen and air. Their low-CAPEX, flexible process not only reduces the environmental impact associated with ammonia production but also enhances the economic viability and scalability of using ammonia as a sustainable energy carrier and fuel.

Impact: By producing clean ammonia at low cost, Ammobia facilitates a transition to zero-carbon fertilizers and energy sources, significantly mitigating climate change impacts. Furthermore, the ability to efficiently store and transport ammonia can revolutionize energy systems by enabling the use of ammonia as a green fuel alternative. 

Stage: Seed.

Interested in Ammobia?
To learn more about this company, see here.

Energy use in Transport

5. Cosmic Aerospace


Founded: 2021 – Centennial, CO, USA

Founders: Christopher ChahineMarshall Gusman 

Elevator Pitch: Cosmic Aerospace is building all-electric passenger aircraft with longer flight ranges.

Problem they solve: The aviation industry has long sought after electric solutions to reduce its carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels, but the challenge of matching the range and cost-efficiency of traditional aircraft has been a significant hurdle. The Cosmic Aerospace leaps over these barriers, proving that long-range electric flight is not only possible but also practical and imminent with current technology. This pioneering approach eliminates the need for “battery miracles,” instead relying on innovative design and engineering to make sustainable aviation a reality today.

Impact:  The introduction of the Cosmic Skylark by Cosmic Aerospace marks a significant advancement in reducing the environmental impact of commercial aviation. As a zero-emission aircraft, it eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional jet travel, offering a cleaner alternative that can significantly contribute to global efforts to combat climate change. Moreover, by demonstrating that long-range electric flight is achievable with existing battery technology, the Cosmic Skylark paves the way for a rapid transition to more sustainable air travel practices across the industry. 

Stage: Seed.

Interested in Cosmic Aerospace?
If you are interested in learning more, see here.

Do you know of other startups we should include in our Startups to Watch Series? Submit to our list!

How do these startups fit in with all the others we have looked at?

Check out our running list of the 400+ climate tech startups to watch we have featured. 

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