MassCEC Catalyst & Diversity in Cleantech

Company Stories

MassCEC and MassVentures co-manage the Catalyst/DICES grant program, which provides grants of up to $65,000 to researchers and early-stage companies looking to demonstrate initial prototypes of their clean energy technologies. Read some of their stories here.

For more information see: Catalyst Info

Applications accepted now through March 18, 2022.

AeroShield Materials

Aeroshield is making a new generation of energy-efficient windows with superior performance to those on the market today, yielding greater energy savings and comfort at an affordable price.

Spun out of MIT in 2019, the startup’s innovation is a super insulating sheet of porous glass that can be dropped into existing window manufacturing. These transparent, aerogel sheets create a window that is 50 percent more insulating than traditional double-pane windows with a payback period that is 3 to 5 times faster than a triple-pane of similar performance. 

Cofounder Elise Strobach was motivated to innovate the window inserts because $40 billion is lost every year in the United States from leaky windows, but most of the energy efficient windows on the market today don’t solve the problem because they are designed to meet the bare minimum of building code and minimum energy efficiency standards. 

 AeroShield developed its core technology, and proved out low-volume manufacturing, with Catalyst and other grant funds. It is now raising a Seed round to expand its manufacturing capacity. The startup is part of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, the Activate Boston 2020 cohort, and was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30: Energy. 

Adden Energy

Adden Energy has developed a breakthrough, (mechanically-constrained) solid-state battery solution that outperforms the liquid Lithium-ion batteries used currently in vehicle electrification. Adden’s battery solution allows for quick, daily recharging, safe energy storage, and long battery life, solving key barriers to greater adoption of electric vehicles. 

Solid-state batteries use a solid, rather than a liquid, electrolyte solution, which eliminates the risk of explosion or fire, as well as the need for safety components. That allows more space for active materials. As a result, solid-state batteries are lighter, have more energy density, offer more range, and recharge faster.

 Adden’s solid-state battery allows for charging in under 15 minutes, and 10,000 battery cycles (or charges) over the battery’s lifetime. In contrast, today’s EV batteries typically require a 10-hour charge and last for less than 5,000 cycles. Funds from the Catalyst and other grant programs helped the Harvard spinout develop its core technology. The company is now raising a Seed round to prove commercial feasibility. Read more.

Alloy Enterprises

Alloy Enterprises Inc is tackling on-demand manufacturing for aluminum parts to help lightweight automobiles, trucks, airplanes, and heavy machinery. Its light-weight aluminum parts could help reduce  Electric Vehicle (EV) weight and increase driving range—addressing “range anxiety,” or consumer angst about how far they can drive an EV before it runs out of juice. A Catalyst grant helped the Greentown Labs member incubate its technology and raise substantial additional funding in its first year. Read more.

Sol Clarity

Spun out from Boston University in 2020, Sol Clarity has developed an automated self-cleaning product that instantly removes dust from solar collectors--which is a big problem in arid regions and can decrease solar yield by 50 percent. The company's innovation, electrodynamic screens (EDS), are rows of interlocking, parallel electrodes that charge dust particles with static electricity and sweep them off the surface by electric wave. EDS remove 90 percent of dust in under 2 minutes, without the use of costly labor or precious water resources.

Transaera

Transaera is on a mission to cut the cost of owning an air conditioner by more than half, using a combination of novel materials and hardware designs. The MIT spinout has innovated a wholly new way for removing humidity and heat from air that is vastly more energy efficient. Its prototype uses a highly porous class of materials called MOFs (metal organic frameworks) to passively collect moisture from air. Traditional air conditioners, in contrast, use an evaporator, or a cold coil to pull water out of the air through condensation.

MetalMark

MetalMark is developing air purification systems that capture and destroy sub-micron pollutants, including viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ultra-fine particulates.  Its technology is based on a cutting-edge, bioinspired, nanostructured material that the cofounders developed and functionalized to break down chemicals. Spun out of Harvard University, the technology is more effective, more energy efficient, uses fewer natural resources, and is less costly to maintain than comparable air purification systems.

 
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