CleanTech Innovation Showcase Presenting Company Track #3 Recap

Presenting Companies during the Morning Session: Track #3 at the 2021 CleanTech Alliance Innovation Showcase featured three presenters that focused on Energy Efficiency Solutions: Oxygen8, Allumia, and WHYGRENE.

James Dean, the CEO of Oxygen8, went first and talked about the importance of indoor air quality. Experts recommend that we should increase our air filtration rates in buildings. However, doing so results in an increase in energy costs. Historically, most businesses have prioritized energy efficiency savings, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus has shifted to prioritize air filtration. While competitors make you choose between price or quality, Oxygen8 offers high quality air filtration while maintaining cost savings from energy efficiency. James spoke about how Oxygen8 offers smart controls to monitor ventilation and showed examples of his company’s retrofit projects at the University of British Columbia and at a restaurant in New York City.

Next, the CEO of Allumia, Aaron Block, spoke about his company’s product.  He contextualized his presentation with the fact that commercial buildings in the U.S. waste $130 million per year in energy. Energy efficiency is regarded as the most cost-effective form of energy, yet so few take advantage of this, due to the complexity of mass market transactions. Aaron discussed how a single project can involve two to six parties, not including bidding vendors, and how reaching scale means thousands of deals per month, with most of the parties ill-equipped to deploy efficiency at scale. Allumia is a utility-driven solution that makes it easier to deploy efficiency at scale. It offers real-time performance monitoring and insights on savings. Aaron concluded his presentation by talking about the two utilities on the East Coast that are already using Allumia and how the company hopes to expand into new markets.

The final presentation for Track #3 came from WHYGRENE’s Founder and CEO, Patrick Phelps. Patrick talked about how WHYGRENE is better than its competitors thanks to its decentralized and secure platform that is both efficient and affordable. WHYGRENE uses blockchain and the IBM Cloud to ensure that its services can’t be hacked and provides a secure option for utilities to buy and sell. Finally, Patrick played a few demo videos that showed how WHYGRENE can control microgrids to maximize efficiency by charging and discharging accordingly.

Presenting Companies during the Afternoon Session: Track #3 at the 2021 CleanTech Alliance Innovation Showcase featured three presenters that focused on a Cleaner, More Sustainable Planet: Hexas Biomass, Boeing, and EarthUp.

Wendy Owens, Founder and CEO of Hexas Biomass, went first and talked about her company’s patented Xano grass™. Xano grass™ is genetically similar  to both corn and bamboo, and can grow to be over 40 feet tall. Xano grass™ produces five times more ethanol per acre than corn and can be grown on marginal land, which frees up corn to be used for food rather than fuel. Xano grass™ is also good for farmland because it prevents runoff. Hexas Biomass aims to have long-term relationships with farmers and provides extensive technical support to ensure that the grass isn’t planted until there is a market for it.

Next, Steve Shestag, the Director of Environment at Boeing  spoke about Boeing’s commitment to diversity, communities, and veterans. He detailed the four areas Boeing is focusing on for carbon reduction: 1) Replacement of more fuel-efficient aircrafts; 2) Network operational efficiency; 3) Advanced technology; 4) Renewable energy sources. Boeing is committed to flying on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) by 2030 and already has some aircraft flying on a mix of fuels. Its R&D department is looking into battery-powered electric aircraft as well as hydrogen aviation. Boeing is increasingly investing in renewable energy for its facilities and is committed to purchasing responsible offsets where renewables can’t be used.

The final presenter in Track #3 was Stephen Bay, the CEO of EarthUp. EarthUp addresses the triple bottom line, which states that companies should commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits. EarthUp allows companies that use their platform to put its employees first and makes it easy to track scope 3 and scope 4 emissions. EarthUp’s platform can track employees’ emissions from teleworking and commuting and compiles this information into an easy-to-read dashboard for employers to review. EarthUp’s platform can personalize data based on the employee and can help employers realign their sustainability goals based on their employees’ values.